Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Indie Ink Runs Deep: Kelly Davio

I'd been tossing around the idea of blogging a tattoo series for nearly a year. I know there are websites and books out there that have been-there-done-that already, but I hadn't seen one with a specific focus on the authors and publishers of the small press community. 

After hoarding the photos and essays I've been collecting from these guys since July of 2012, and with the promise of spring peeking its deliciously sunny head out through all of this winter gloom, I decided there was no better time than now to finally unveil THE INDIE INK RUNS DEEP mini-series!

Today's ink comes from Kelly Davio, Managing Editor of The Los Angeles Review, Associate Editor of Fifth Wednesday Journal, and a reviewer for Women’s Review of Books. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, and others. Her debut collection of poetry, Burn This House, was published by Red Hen Press in 2013. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and she teaches English as a second language in the Seattle area.

Life involves a good quantity of bad news. Those of us who choose to become writers sign up for even more bad news than we might get otherwise. We even self-address stamped envelopes so that we can receive bad news in our mailboxes. It can be tempting to see writing and publishing as consisting, on the whole, of piles of rejection.

When I had Derek Nobel of Lucky Devil Tattoo ink this piece on my shoulder in 2008, it was because I needed to believe that good news would eventually outweigh the bad, and that devoting myself to the written word would bring me more joy than disappointment. This envelope is my good news, which I choose to believe is always coming. It serves as my visible, physical reminder not to allow discouraging circumstances color my perspective on the long arc of the writing life.

In a quick succession of events in the year after I got this tattoo, I would become an editor for The Los Angeles Review, receive a publishing contract for Burn This House, and sign with my fantastic agent, Gordon Warnock. Was my ink a lucky talisman that made it all happen? Probably not. The work I’d been putting in for years was simply starting to bear fruit. But the good news I carry on my back stood as a daily reminder that, if I work hard and work well, good news will eventually come to me.

1 comment:

  1. You and your brilliant work are an inspiration to us all, Kelly! Thank you for lifting my spirits as well as my hopes yet again.