INTRODUCING CHRONIC JOY’S NEW POETRY COORDINATORS
We are excited to introduce our brand new Chronic Joy Poetry Coordinators, Karin Fendick and Megan Willome! Join us in welcoming them to the Chronic Joy family.
Phyllis Klein wrote, “…poetry gives rhythm to silence, light to darkness. In poetry we find the magic of metaphor, compactness of expression, use of the five senses, and simplicity or complexity of meaning in a few lines.”
Poetry allows us to explore chronic illness – the symptoms, confusion, loss, grief, and uncertainty, the moments, days, and small victories from a different perspective, to journey with words, follow where they lead, and to give voice to difficult emotions and challenging days, to touch the wellspring of our faith and discover God’s still small voice in new and deeper ways.
Poetry, wrote Robert Frost, “begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a loneliness. It is never a thought to begin with.”
This is where the Chronic Joy Poetry Prompts begin – with an opportunity for exploration. Karin and Megan are hard at work preparing the monthly invitations. We look forward to the journey! Monthly prompts begin soon!
POETRY PROMPT COORDINATOR, KARIN FENDICK
KARIN is a Chicago-born, suburban-raised poet and writer who met Jesus at age 43, and her husband, Rick, a rural-born and bred Canadian, soon after, through events only God Himself could orchestrate. In 2019, Karin and Rick retired from active mission service in Zambia and returned to Manitoba, Canada, where they adopted an adorable cross-breed pup named Kona, who follows in the beloved paw prints of beloved furry siblings, Jonety, Bruce, Timon, Runty, and Faith.
Karin is the author of From Ashes to Glory: A Psalm a Day, a collection of 47 brief psalms celebrating the span from Ash Wednesday through Resurrection Sunday, and touching on the beauty of creation, the brokenness of humanity, the worship and grace of God, and the daily struggles of life. Though written as a daily offering of worship for the Lenten season, these psalms will encourage and draw readers closer to God in any season.
Karin lives with and often writes through chronic pain.
The Melody – By Karin Fendick
my muscles, joints
do not agree with the cold
every fibre aching
as I cried out
this is how the Lord responded
when the pain sings
listen to the melody
and find Me there
in the low notes
the long wails
you will hear My voice
draw your strength
from My presence
do not allow the pain
to speak words of exclusion
you are always welcome
in the secret place
abide in Me
POETRY PROMPT COORDINATOR, MEGAN WILLOME
MEGAN is a poet and writer, an author, journalist, and editor, a workshop teacher, and a lover of words, books, tea, and movement in many forms. She is enamored of memorizing poetry, which she began in September, 2018. Megan is currently an author and editor at Tweetspeak Poetry, a contributing writer for the WACOAN, a monthly magazine, where for eight years she wrote a column called, “Musings,” and occasionally for the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post, her local newspaper.
Megan is the author of The Joy of Poetry, a story of losing her mom and finding poetry, which is part memoir, part poetry anthology, and part spirited defense of poetry, especially for those who think they hate it.
“Poetry is my prescription for adversity,” Megan writes. “It can touch hidden places in ways prose can’t … Because I never know when I’ll find the secret something I need to get through the day, in a handful of oddly spaced words.”
Valentine’s Chai – By Megan Willome
Sitting in a sunny café, I call my parents
because I can’t stand to hear
bad news at home.
So I call from here, on my cell,
armed with chai
She’s telling the doctor, No more.
She will leave his office with some pills
that will lengthen her sweet tooth in time
for Valentine’s Day.
I quaff my tea and head to the store
for candy hearts, chocolate hearts,
Reese’s peanut butter hearts, heart-shaped
cookies piled with icing—any
confectionary way to say I love you I love
you I love you I love you I love you.
Monthly Poetry Prompts begin soon! Look for Karin’s inspiring debut, Thorns.
Take a look at our new POETRY page. Check back often for new prompts, poems, and resources.
More Poetry Prompts
Michael would sometimes lead a drill called Good-Better-Best, where participants give Good work for a specific period of time, then Better for a shorter period, then their Best for a brief spurt, maybe for only 10 seconds. I'll never know what those bursts felt like to him on his bad days. He smiled through it.
Reckless abandon - giving self in total surrender to God. Is it scary? You bet. I open my hands, trusting God will catch me. If that's too much, try this: Surrender your words, then write your poem. Allow the wonder of a new thing.
Books to Inspire
Though not from a liturgical background this poet felt led to celebrate the holy through the time span from Ash Wednesday to Resurrection Sunday. From Ashes to Glory is a collection of forty-seven brief psalms written as a daily offering of worship that will encourage and draw you closer to God in any season.
Part memoir, part humorous and poignant defense of poetry, this is a book that shows you what it is to live a life with poems at your side (and maybe in your Topo Chico®).
Megan Willome’s story is one you won’t want to put down; meanwhile, her uncanny ability to reveal the why’s and how’s of poetry keeps calling—to even the biggest poetry doubter. If you already enjoy poetry, her story and her wisdom and her ways will invite you to go deeper, with novel ideas on how to engage with poems.
Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, expounding on her love for the physical world and the powerful bonds between all living things. Identified as “far and away, this country’s best selling poet” by Dwight Garner, she now returns with a stunning and definitive collection of her writing from the last fifty years.
Marilyn Chandler Mcentyre
Readers are invited to consider what caregivers and medical professionals may learn from poetry by patients. It offers reflections on poetry as a particularly apt vehicle for articulating the often isolating experiences of pain, fatigue, changed life rhythms, altered self-understanding, embarrassment, resistance, and acceptance.
Chronic Joy® Poetry Coordinator & Writer
Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord; saved by grace; a worshiper; a poet; a broken heart; a lover of words; hungry for truth; amazed by love; on the Potter's wheel His work in progress. After five years in Africa, Karin and her beloved husband of twenty years, Rick, are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. Author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).
Chronic Joy® Poetry Coordinator
Megan is a contributing writer for Wacoan magazine in Waco, Texas, the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post, and Magnolia Journal. She is also an editor at T.S. Poetry Press and the author of The Joy of Poetry. She lives in the Texas Hill Country, where she writes and edits from home. Links to her work can be found at her website, meganwillome.com and Twitter. Megan's day is incomplete without poetry and tea.