WENDY TAYLOR CARLISLE - A Short Biography
Wendy Taylor Carlisle was born in Manhattan, raised in Bermuda, Connecticut and Ft Lauderdale, Florida and lives now in the Arkansas Ozarks in a house she built in 1980. She has an MA from The University of Arkansas and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of The Mercy of Traffic (Unlikely Books, 2019), Discount Fireworks (Jacaranda Press, 2008) and Reading Berryman to the Dog (Jacaranda Press, 2000.) Chapbooks include They Went to the Beach to Play (Locofo Chaps, 2016), Chap Book (Platypus Press, 2016), Persephone on the Metro (MadHat press, 2014), The Storage of Angels (Slow Water Press, 2008), and After Happily Ever After (Two River Chapbooks, 2003.) Her work appears in multiple anthologies.
About her poetry Wendy says:
I write poetry because I cannot keep from it. What I need in order to write are a quiet mind, a Moleskine or one of those cheap Mead notebooks—the kind with the mottled covers, preferably black and white and a Pilot P500 pen. If I’m lucky, I get a nudge from my unconscious for a jump-start. At other times I use some words other than my own for inspiration, another poet's essays or poems, letters from/to anyone.
Some of the poets who give me inspiration are Jo McDougall and Lola Haskins for their pith and concision and grace. I am hopelessly in love with C D Wright, who is inimitable, although I keep trying to imitate her anyway. Her poem "Personals" tells it all without giving anything away—now that's a skill. Phil Dacey is a favorite for his absolute mastery of the sonnet, his humor, his wisdom and his rogue heart.
Her poems have appeared on line and in print in Fringe Magazine, Mojave River Review, Right Hand Pointing, 2River View, Redheaded Stepchild, Unlikely Stories, StorySouth, Cease, Cows, Arsenic Lobster, Country Dog Review, CiderPress Review, Cardinalis, Windhover, Borderlands, Ekphrasis, Passager, Texas Observer, TEX, The Monserrat Review, Café Review and others.
She was a finalist for the Vern Cowles Poetry Chapbook Prize, 2013 and a quarter finalist for Concrete Wolf Chapbook Contest 2013 and the Mary Ballard poetry Chapbook Prize 2014. She has won The Bernice Blackgrove Award for Excellence for Discount Fireworks, and was runner up in the Cider Press Review Book Contest for the same book. She was awarded the Lipscomb Award from Centenary College and a Passager Poetry Contest award as well as an Argos Prize 3rd place Award (2014). She has been 11 times nominated for the Pushcart Prize and once for Best of Web.
Anthologies that include her work are Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books (Minor Arcana books, 2014), Write to Woof, Gray Wolfe Publishing, 2014, Sol: English Writing In Mexico, Vol. I (Mexico, 2012), poem, home: An Anthology of Ars Poetica (Paper Kite Press, 2009), Letters to the World (Red Hen Press, 2008), Is This Forever or What? Poems and Paintings from Texas (Greenwillow Books, 2004), The Poet's Grimm (Story Line Press, 2003), Affirming Flame: Writings from Progressive Texas Poets in the Aftermath of September 11th (Evelyn St. Press, 2002)
In general, I write every morning. I journal or I revise if nothing poetic is happening. As a rule, I keep worrying poems until they die of being overhandled. I've jettisoned a great many metaphors to gain the core idea of a poem. I usually write quite a long draft, then kept taking more and more away. The question I continually ask and hope someday to answer is how do I get to Rilke's "ten good lines." If I had the answer to that one, I'd be, as we say here, in high cotton.