Welcome to My Site....Want to know more about me? Read on.
I was raised one mile from the small town of St. Charles, Iowa, a place that deeply influences my work. I discovered my desire to be a writer as a child, listening to my hardworking mom read imaginative stories. One of my favorite poems was: The Goblins'l Get You If You Don't Watch Out. Still love that one. The volume has an honored place on one of my shelves.
Out of seven siblings on our apple orchard, I was the one who, while my sisters and brothers were out milking the cows and feeding the pigs, was found lying on a blanket under an apple tree with a book in her hand. Well, what can I say? It was Jack, my oldest brother, who was hanging out on a branch, not me.
My siblings are, and were, talented painters, musicians, singers, songwriters, wood artisans and automobile geniuses. My mom wrote poetry, read and was an excellent mother. My dad, who died in his early thirties, was a gifted artist and played a mean saxophone.
I began my educational career attending night school while I worked full time for an insurance company in Des Moines. During this time, doing things like walking the thirty blocks to the company, I was able to save enough money to attend the University of Iowa the following year. No scholarship? No one told me I could apply for one. Well! Whatever!
Two years later, due to the cultural climate of the Midwest, the fact I fell madly in love with a more than handsome fella, I chose a traditional path and married early, giving up my college education and becoming the best wife and mother I was capable of at that time.
It was during my mid-thirties that the call to live the life of a writer resurfaced. Having returned to college to finish my undergraduate degree, I enrolled in literature and creative writing classes and soon became obsessed with writing daily. Throughout my course work, I continued to write and in the end earned a Doctor of Arts degree with a dissertation of my own poetry from Drake University.
During those years, I was honored to be accepted into Bread Loaf, but because of family complications, chose not to attend. Some of the authors I believe have influenced me are as ecclectic as my furniture: Carl Jung, Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Carolyn Heilbrun, Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, Agatha Christie, Edgar Cayce, and, and...
I have had the fortune to live in England and teach at a university in Turkey. I also taught on a ship travelling from Athens to Russia and at other times travelled to India and China. In October of 2012 Tom and I travelled to Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Austria. Where would I like to go next? Wherever I haven't been. I label myself a gypsy academic and writer who is always two-steps off the grid--and I mean always.
I continue to take courses and to attend conferences and seminars as I learn my craft and explore my artform. My most recent class was with the Director of Harvard’s Creative Writing Program, Bret Anthony Johnston who I first saw speak at an AWP conference in New York. What I took from that class was to Write. Write. Write. Yeah, well, I'm not sure that was wise advice for someone like little old obsessive me.
My literary interests lie in the area of women’s issues and eastern mysticism.
March, 2011 marks the date Prairie Wolf Press Review, an online journal featuring established and emerging writers and visual artists went live for the first time. I am a proud co-founder and an editor. Love it! Love it!
Say Yes, my book of poetry was released in Spring of 2013. You can hear an audio of my premier reading at :
After this reading, Say Yes was listed as No. 1 on the Cedar Rapids best-seller list. Whoohoo.
The joys of my life are my two children--Conrad, the co-owner of an online media company in Washington and Danielle, a speech language specialist in California, their spouses, my five grandchildren, and my partner, Tom (who keeps me laughing).
Everyday I wake up and thank the universe for my life. I am one lucky woman.
I love readers. Buy. Read. Let me know what you think. Then buy others for gifts. There wasn't a finer woman than Jackie Day. Reading her inspiring story can change your life. It did mine.
Thanks for stopping by, j.d.