[News]

“Return of the Blue Nun” in Pushcart Prize XLV: 2021

October 16, 2020

Many thanks to Bill Henderson and the Pushcart Prize editors for selecting “Return of the Blue Nun,” to appear in Pushcart Prize XLV: Best of the Small Presses 2021

Since 1976, the Pushcart Press has published an annual collection of the best poems, essays, and short stories, submitted by editors of little magazines and small book presses. 

“Return of the Blue Nun” was unpublished when I found it in Madeline’s archive, and first appeared in Where the Horse Takes Wing: The Uncollected Poems of Madeline DeFrees (Two Sylvias Press, 2019). It’s one of three “Blue Nun” poems she wrote over her lifetime, taking the fictional Blue Nun of Blue Nun wine as an alter ego who represented both her independence from and enduring connection to her identity as a vowed religious.

After arriving at the University of Montana in 1967, Madeline had to learn to navigate civilian life, including frequent faculty cocktail parties. Understandably nervous, she confessed to the English Department Chair, Warren Carrier, that she had little experience with alcohol. He brought her a bottle of Blue Nun, a semi-sweet German wine (liebsfraumilch), that was known to be easy to drink. Madeline liked the wine, and she appreciated both the joke and his kindness. She always maintained a fondness for Blue Nun, and hung several Blue Nun bar mirrors in her home. She and Carrier remained friends, and kept up a correspondence that spanned at least 30 years.

Typescript of “Return of the Blue Nun,” with handwritten edits
Madeline DeFrees Papers, UMass Amherst Libraries

“Return of the Blue Nun” Awarded 2021 Pushcart Prize

Where the Horse Takes Wing cover

May 24, 2020

Madeline DeFrees’ poem, “Return of the Blue Nun,” has been awarded a 202l Pushcart Prize. “Return of the Blue Nun” appears in Where the Horse Takes Wing: The Uncollected Poems of Madeline DeFrees. Many thanks to our publisher, Two Sylvias Press, who made this beautiful book possible; Madeline would have been very pleased to share this honor with them.

Thanks also to Bill Henderson and the Pushcart Prize editors. Since 1976, the Pushcart Press has published an annual collection of the best poems, essays, and short stories, submitted by editors of little magazines and small book presses. “Return of the Blue Nun” will be published in Pushcart Prize XLV: Best of the Small Presses.

Madeline featured in “The Nuns Who Wrote Poems”

May 18, 2020

Madeline DeFrees is featured in the article, “The Nuns Who Wrote Poems,” by Nick Ripatrazone, in the May 25, 2020 issue of America, The Jesuit Review.

In the mid-20th century, several nuns…were writing ambitious poems and publishing them in renowned magazines and newspapers. Their writing garnered awards and accolades. These women were not the first literary nuns–Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, O.S.H., a 17th-century Mexican nun, is famous for her iconic verses–but something of a minor literary renaissance happened in mid-century America and abroad. Although literary nuns tend to be overshadowed by poetic priests like Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., and Robert Southwell, S.J., these women deserve attention.

Blue Dusk in Seattle Review of Books

Blue Dusk

March 13, 2016

The Seattle Review of Books featured Blue Dusk in their Lunch Date column March 7, 2016. Paul Constant wrote, “She’s thoughtful and earnest and intelligent and a little bit prickly, just like the best of our poets.” Read the entire review here.

Seattle Celebrates Madeline DeFrees

December 27, 2015

Join us in celebrating Madeline DeFrees’ life and work Saturday, January 9, 2016, 2 pm, at Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122.

Rick Simonson, Chris Howell, Susan Rich, Elizabeth Austen, Candace Black, Elizabeth Weber, Gary Thompson, Jennifer Maier and others will be there to share memories of Madeline and their favorite poems.

More information on the Elliott Bay Book Co. Web site:
Calendar listing
Directions

 

Celebrating Madeline DeFrees

November 19, 2015

There will be a celebration of Madeline DeFrees’ life on December 4, 2015, 3:00 pm, at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 2310 SE 148th, Portland, OR.

Details to follow about a memorial in Seattle. Information will be posted here, or you can contact me if you’d like to be notified by email.

Photo credit: Rosanne Olson

 

Remembering Madeline DeFrees, 1919-2015

November 19, 2015