finds inner voice in poetry
is donating book proceeds
to Center for Women and Families
Helen E. McKinney
BROWNSBORO, Ky. (July 2010) Author Barb McMakin
remembers vividly the day she and her husband, Dale, turned on the TV
while on vacation to see Oprah Winfrey interviewing author Elizabeth
Berg about her latest book. That was when McMakin turned to Dale and
said, That is what I want to do.
by Helen E. McKinney
author Barb McMakin
has written a new
book of poetry.
Bergs book, escaping into the open: the art
of true writing, arrived at her home several days after the couple
returned from vacation. Dale, along with my sister, Carolyn, and
other friends and family have been so supportive of her writing
career, said McMakin, who has been employed by the Oldham County Public
Library for a little over a year.
She has written a chapbook of poetry, Digging Bones, which
will be released in September. McMakin has had individual poetry published
in Kentucky Monthly, Lucidity, Amy Kitcheners
Angels without Wings Golden words Anthology (on-line), The
Heartland Review and The Enigmatist.
McMakin, 55, has always had it in her to become a writer. While taking
a writing course during her freshman year of college, McMakin said she
had a good teacher who encouraged her often. McMakin said she got
to know myself better through her writing.
Although she has dabbled in all writing genres, she chose poetry because
poetry packs a punch. It says a lot in a few words, said
McMakin who is originally from Jeffersonville, Ind. She moved to the
Brownsboro area of Oldham County when she married her second husband
and credits him with being a big influence and supporter of her writing
Digging Bones is a collection of poetry covering a variety
of subject matter. Published by Finishing Line Press, advance copies
went on sale in May for $12 through July 9. Shipping charges during
this time are only $1, and Finishing Line Press plans to mail ordered
books by Sept. 3.
Finishing Line Press, based in Georgetown, Ky., pays authors in copies.
The number of copies that McMakin receives will be determined by on-line
or mail-in purchase requests. Copies that McMakin receives will be placed
for sale in local businesses with proceeds donated to The Center for
Women and Families.
When McMakin heard of recent budget cuts for The Center, she contacted
us, said Steven Bowling, Director of Community Engagement for the Center
for Women and Families. She saw how crucial our services are to
the community. She saw a need, and chance to possibly form a partnership.
The center, which originated in 1912, has a lot of restricted funding
to be used only for certain project or needs. Any funding received from
the sale of McMakins book can be used in a variety of ways, which
may include providing meals or purchasing bedding or other supplies.
I think its a nice partnership, said Bowling. We
can do lots with it. Its a good fit. We appreciate all the community
support we can get.
The poems contained in Digging Bones are based on McMakins
life experiences. She has submitted work to journals and anthologies
and said it is wonderful to have my work validated in that way.
She plans to enter more poetry contests in the future as well. Some
of her accolades include winning the Kentucky Red Robin Restaurants
2007 Valentines Day Essay Contest, placing sixth out of 3,800
entries in the Writers Digest Third Annual Poetry Awards, and
placing first and second in the 2009 Chattahoochee Valley Writers
Conference. She has received awards from the Arkansas Writers
Conference, the Kentucky State Poetry Society, the Massachusetts Poetry
Society and the Indiana State Federation of Poetry.
McMakin credits her membership with the Green River Writers group as
a boost to her writing. Critiques and suggestions she has gained from
the group have been invaluable.
You learn as much from hearing discussions about others
work as comments on your own work, she said.
Since September 2004, McMakin has been working to improve her writing
with Green River Writers founder Mary ODell. She has the
patience and expertise to help a writer find her or his best voice.
I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with her and to learn
from her on an ongoing basis, she said.
Also influential to her has been member Gail Chandler, who took
me under her wing from the very start, said McMakin.
Shelbyville, Ky., resident Chandler said, Barb is such a nice,
caring person. The thing that impresses me most about Barbs writing
is her work ethic and her concentration on improving her writing.
Chandler is also a poet and said the group has helped move me
from where I was at to where I can be. I had so far to go. Finishing
Line Press published a poetry chapbook for Chandler in April 2010.
"I enjoyed Barbs new book. I thought it was really thoughtful,
Digging Bones can be ordered
online from Finishing Line Press at www.FinishingLinePress.com,
or by sending check or money order to Finishing Line Press, P.O. Box
1626, Georgetown, KY 40324.
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