Abby’s short story “Empty Vessels” was just published in the Summer 2018 issue of Sweet Tree Review!
Exciting news! Abby has a chapbook forthcoming from Finishing Line Press titled This Fluid Journey, and it is now available for preorder. TFJ is a coming of age story for women, from the happy days of childhood and sunshine to the fear and anxiety of the college days. Poet Jessie Graves writes, “Abby N. Lewis is a young poet with an old soul, already aware of the losses of time, the pressures put upon us by growing older, and by the uncertainties of the future. She writes with rich imagery and real feeling for her subjects.” Preorders are open until July 20, 2018, and you can preorder here. Preorders ship on September 14, 2018, and reserving a copy shows the publisher that you support Abby as a poet.
Abby’s poem “Smoke Break Outside Swann’s Chapel Church” was just featured as the daily poem for Sunday, May 6, on Red Eft Review. Click the link attached to the poem’s title to read it.
A wonderful review of Abby’s poetry collection Reticent can be read via this link. Here’s a taste of some of the nice things Diana Iozzia had to say about the book:
Abby’s poetry deserves a nice cup of tea, a seat on a bench by a beautiful lake, and a nice sun in the sky. I could imagine reading this on vacation in the mountains or by the beach. I plan to keep this in my car to read on road trips or on lunch breaks when I just need to clear my head.
Abby’s poem “Our Late Grandmother’s House” won third place in the Age 19-22 category of the May Poet’s Playground contest, which is held each month by The Tennessee Magazine. The poem can be read online at this link.
Read Abby’s poem “Pinecone” in issue 8 of Cheat River Review here.
Abby’s short story “Abandoners” can be read in the latest online issue of Timber at this link.
Listen to a podcast interview with Abby conducted by Daniel Hedden about the publication of Reticent, among other things, here.
They always grow next to water.
That’s what initially attracted me to the willows. I grew up with a lake only a short walking distance away, and a river in my backyard. My parents used to own a pontoon boat that we would go out on all summer. I was small then, around six, when we first got it. I have many a fond memory of that boat. There were also a lot of Jet Ski adventures—and incidents—as well.
Water is happiness to me, childhood, a picture of a full family on the pontoon. My younger sister asleep on the shaded back couch, Dad driving with his sunglasses on, Mom with her flimsy visor with the dolphins jumping across it, my older sister insisting that we stop to go swimming. All of these memories are conjured by the sound of the rocks licking the water further downstream.
Shelter was the next thing. The willows with hair so long they dirty it playing with the wind in the dust at their feet. I love to slip behind that gentle curtain and merge with the bark, run my hands through a different kind of river.
The willows with short hair are forever stretching to reach the water, to touch the smooth surface that’s always just out of reach. I like to think they’ll make it someday, if only because I’ve seen willows with their hair dunked heartily in the water, bathing or drinking, I can never decide which. Maybe it’s both. All I know is they look happy.
Which brings me to my last point. Willows have a dreary connotation to them. They’re almost the gothic/alternative children of the tree family, with their heads bowed, moping around. I like to think of it as purposeful diligence, always striving to grow that hair long enough to reach the river, to return to childhood, to happiness. Isn’t that what we’re all doing? Searching for that time in our lives when the direction was clear, when the water only flowed one way—toward home?