The Fool in the Corn, my second full-length poetry collection, published by Saddle Road Press on December 21, 2022, can be ordered here: The Fool in the Corn.
Poems explore fertile but confusing formative experiences on an Illinois commune and what it was like to leave and join mainstream society. Tarot, nature, dreams, and the imagination play a part in easing the transition and remain constants on the path through graduate school at the Writers’ Workshop in Iowa, marriage, motherhood, and losing my mother to cancer.
Challenges faced along the way seeded my love for using the tarot cards as inspiration for journaling, writing, and developing my intuition; the story of connecting to the tarot cards thus also weaves throughout the book. The title, “The Fool in the Corn,” refers to the Tarot Fool, wise innocent and eternal adventurer.
Praise for The Fool in the Corn:
From childhood in a commune, through the complexities of adulthood, marriage, motherhood to parental death, these poems travel from Illinois to California to Iowa and back to California, highlighting the mysteries of the natural world, the struggle in relationship, the sorrow in loss, the search for ‘answers that can only be lived.’ The poet explores the ‘dark harp of the human heart,’ at times the leader and caretaker, at times the ‘outlier in a field of corn.’ These poems invite us to look, remember, forgive, and keep faith with The Fool as the poet does, finding beauty in the ordinary and comfort in the imagination.
–Sandy Coomer – author of “The Broken Places“
In this memoir-in-poems, Tania Pryputniewicz explores family relationships, moving from her own childhood in a commune through her parents’ divorce to her own marriage, parenting, and loss of her mother. She has woven corn fields and autobiography with tarot cards and mythology, and the results are riveting.
Look implores Tania Pryputniewicz’s artfully orchestrated memoir in poems. Remember and re-imagine intone these stunning narratives. In lush imagery and exacting detail, with vulnerability, wit and wisdom, one woman’s life unfolds. From confused communal girlhood, to an unpredictable father, to her parents’ divorce, to maturing as poet, wife and mother, to the heartbreaking chronicle of a dying mother’s journey, the riveting thread of “The Fool in the Corn,” is the growing resonance of a woman’s voice: tentative, tender, fierce and emboldened. In such company, we too are inspired to bring back, without apology, all that you dare.
Additional Interviews and posts about The Fool in the Corn:
Brevity Blog: Lisa Rizzo interviews Tania Pryputniewicz, When Poetry and Memoir Meet
Saddle Road Press Conversation: Appalachian Fairytale Meets Memoir In Poems, a Conversation with Diane Gilliam and Tania Pryputniewicz about the novel Linney Stepp and The Fool in the Corn
Tarot for Two: blogpost related to the poem, “Firstborn” read in the SRP conversation, Nine of Wands, Hierophant, and Star
Tweetspeak Poetry: Review by Glynn Young, Poets and Poems: The Fool in the Corn
Heart’s Compass Tarot: Discover Tarot Journaling and Create Your Own Cards was published by Two Fine Crows Books (an imprint of Saddle Road Press) in February of 2021 and can be ordered here: Heart’s Compass Tarot.
I have to admit that I am a tarot dabbler. I’m fascinated by it, always amazed by the revelations I have when I do work with the cards, but I have never been able to develop the sustained practice that would bring me more familiarity and thus, more benefit from the tarot. That is, until now. After reading the Heart’s Compass Tarot workbook I am confident that I will become a regular practitioner. I found it refreshing that the author did not dictate which deck should be used, or that one must stick to the descriptions of what the cards supposedly mean in the interpretation books that come with the cards. Readers can feel free to experience the cards in their own unique ways and are encouraged to create their own decks and instructions for interpretation. Symbols may be universal, but the interpretations can sometimes be uniquely personal. I will be using this workbook for a long time and anticipate that I will work through it multiple times over the coming years. —Mickey Eliason, author of Reflecting on the Teaching of Angeles Arrien: From A to Z
The Heart’s Compass Tarot workbook helps readers discover their inner voice, the oracle within, and how the archetypes, symbols and personalities found in the tarot are guideposts for our life’s journey. Bring your open heart and allow this workbook to show you how to uncover, befriend, and transform the stories we tell ourselves. The Heart’s Compass Tarot workbook will help you fall in love with yourself again and again. —Jamie Della, author of The Book of Spells
In addition to chapters on interpreting cards and card spreads, Heart’s Compass offers ways to use tarot symbolism to explore numerous creative processes including art, poetry and improvisation. Of particular value is the author’s guidance to successful tarot analysis including the creation of personal cards that can embody deeply meaningful discoveries and reflections. If the tarot is a journey of the soul, then The Heart’s Compass Tarot workbook is its indispensable guide. —William Haigwood, author and creator of The Counterculture Tarot
Tania Pryputniewicz’s Heart’s Compass Tarot workbook is a generous and joyful offering for anyone interested in, curious about, or immersed in the secrets, mystery and magic of the tarot. “You are the oracle,” Tania writes and then, throughout this beautiful workbook, shares with us creative and imaginative paths into working with the tarot and creating our own tarot decks. “The first rule of the heart’s compass approach is self-love and compassion,” and this book resonates with those very qualities. I can’t wait to begin the work. —Judy Reeves, author of A Writer’s Book of Days
As described in the advance praise above, The Heart’s Compass Tarot workbook is designed to help you joyfully explore the tarot through tarot journaling as a path to discovering your own symbols, creating personal tarot cards, and seeding new creative work.
We have beautiful examples of student cards and tarot inspired essays and poetry as well as layouts and exercises you can try to deepen your understanding of your family, your ancestors, and yourself. The best way to stay in touch with me is by signing up for my monthly newsletter. I will post a cover of the workbook here as soon as we have finalized it.
I am indebted to Ruth Thompson and Don Mitchell at Saddle Road Press for their savvy, love, and support. The tarot writing and tarot art classes I teach through Antioch University (through their inspiration2publication program), San DiegoWriters, Ink, and through my website are based on the heart’s compass approach you’ll find in the Heart’s Compass Tarot workbook.
In November Butterﬂy, the lyrical I looks into the mirror to ﬁnd a different face with each pass. In this way, Pryputniewicz maintains the intimacy of the poetic I while expanding the personal lyric to a global resonance. As Ophelia, Jeanne d’Arc, Nefertiti, Amelia, Lady Diana, Marilyn and Sylvia come to reﬂect, we too ﬁnd ourselves dissolving into the mirror…. Pryputniewicz threads the narratives of multitudes into the singular I; with her gift of deep empathy, imagination, and lyricism, she gives readers the chance to live again and again and again.
—Nicelle Davis, author of Becoming Judas
Tania Pryputniewicz has captured, with exquisite timing, eye and taste, the iconic power of our great archetypes, be they ancient or contemporary. Time spent with her work is always enriching.
—Persia Woolley, author of The Guinevere Trilogy
Reading, we enter a world in which Guinevere loves and does not love; we glimpse her as a girl wearing “pale slippers like falcon hoods, / so lethal, so light.” Later, she is a woman, shimmering, conﬂicted, drawn to a great, obliterating love…. What does it mean to love, deeply, passionately, and in ways that will make it impossible to return to the life one was living before? What does it mean to link the great streaming magic of the everyday—to a real day? Divination and sacriﬁce offer us a way through. Pryputniewicz does not ﬂinch from the challenges of the labyrinth—pathways that might lead equally, or randomly, to betrayal or desire. “So easy to muck the translation,” she writes, “no common language— that gap between the self one loves and the self one fears.” Her book gives us some courage—as we read and breathe that gap—to return what we ﬁnd there to our own shattered and shattering, quotidian and startling lives.
—Bhanu Kapil, author of The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers
Poetry Flash, Reading at Moe’s Books (MP3) on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 with an introduction by Richard Silberg; special thanks to Don Mitchell for recording the reading. Includes poems from November Butterfly including Corridor, Mordred’s Dream, Orion, God’s in the Butter, November Butterfly, and Dragonfly.
*If you would like to support Saddle Road Press directly, use the contact support on this website to contact Tania; please specify if you would like your copy signed.
*Additional ways to show your support for November Butterfly: consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads; your support and stewardship of poetry is deeply appreciated.
November Butterfly: Thirteen Writing Prompts Based on the Power and Creativity of Iconic Women Designed to Help You Write New Work From Multiple Points of View (created with generous help from Don Mitchell of Saddle Road Press).
The prompt PDF runs 15 pages and features movie stills with text from the poetry movies I’ve made in collaboration with Robyn Beattie. Each image is accompanied with writing prompts and links you can use personally to kickstart your own writing. Or if you teach in a classroom, the prompt PDF can easily find application in English classes, writing workshops, multi-media classes, or Women’s Studies classes.
The prompts specifically address Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, Amelia Earhart, Jay DeFeo, Gertrude Stein, Nabokov’s Lolita, The Three Sisters of The Three Oranges fairytale, Lady Diana, Thumbelina, Ophelia, Jeanne d’Arc, Nefertiti, and Guinevere. References to artwork by both Judy Chicago and Kathe Kollewitz also appear.
I would love your feedback on using the prompts personally and/or if you decide to use them in a workshop or classroom setting. Drop me a note using my contact form for details or questions about the PDF.
Selected Prompt Example from Thirteen Writing Prompts Based on the Power and Creativity of Iconic Women Designed to Help You Write New Work From Multiple Points of View:
Thumbelina, Prompt 8
“I’m surprised to find, in writing the poem, that girl, mother, and flower coexist in the imagination alongside an innocence I thought lost, beside a self I thought irreparably fractured.”
Thumbelina: Innocence Found (Feral Mom, Feral Writer).
Thumbelina, originally published by The NonBinary Review in Issue #1, Grimm’s Fairytales, appears on p. 25 in November Butterfly. The poem speaks from the point of view of Thumbelina addressing her mother while questioning the riddle of their shared fate.
How Hans Christian Anderson Revolutionized Storytelling Plus the Best Illustrations from 150 Years of the Beloved Fairytales. Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings. Features visual depictions of Thumbelina, The Snow Queen, the Nightingale, The Little Mermaid and more. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end to see the variety depending on illustrators from Kay Nielsen to Maurice Sendak to Takeo Takei.
Thumbelina grows up by Jenny Rossi (short prose poem).
Thumbelina board on Pinterest (images).