Autumn Renga

Monica A. Hand

I’m grateful for Monica A. Hand, poet and Guest Curator, for Mom Egg Review’s VOX MOM blog page.  Monica and I have known one another for many years—we met in Washington, DC as budding poets.  Back then, Monica and I would gather with a handful of other women and share food and drink and good company while practicing the renga form.  I didn’t realize how much I miss having that kind of community until recently when Monica tapped me on the shoulder to try this digital, long-distance version.  At first, it wasn’t really working so well.  Monica started the poem using email. So a verse would pop up out of the blue and it felt, sadly, like an intrusion—just like email tends to feel (I’m speaking for myself here, of course).  We fell behind with the verses.  Then we decided to try Skype on a Sunday morning.  And—bam—the whole thing came together.  I heard the beautiful voices of Cherise Pollard, Kate Rushin, R. Erica Doyle, and Monica and I felt connected.  That’s what I needed.  The verses flowed.  We stepped off-screen and had our coffees and teas, snacks, or whatever.  And we’d thumbs-up a verse live.  And we’d chat and ask questions about poetry or writing or whatever while the one among us whose turn it was to write muted her sound and stepped away.  It was perfect.  As close to being together in a kitchen or living room or monastery rooftop as we could be.  Total zen.  Total cool.  Many thanks to Mom Egg Review editor, Marjorie Tesser, for including our work in the journal. Read “Autumn Renga” here.

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