Dr. Katharyn Howd Machan, a writing professor who specializes in creative writing, is publishing Dark Side of the Spoon, a chapbook of poetry, with Moonstone Press. She entered her poetry collection into a contest the press ran and placed in the top ten. Dark Side of the Spoon is about the heroin addiction of Machan’s daughter, who has since become clean. Machan says, “It takes the feelings of loss and worry about a loved one with addiction as a parent that can’t do anything about it” and ends with hope.
The inspiration came from a previous work of hers, A Slow Bottle of Wine, which was a more autobiographical version of these events. When creating her chapbook, she had written all of her pieces independently from one another, but found they linked in this topic. She decided that this time around she wanted her collection to lean more towards a fictional tone and end on a more hopeful note.
“I’m hoping to voice what other people are suffering from heroin, which has gotten worse from the pandemic,” says Machan. “I always hope my poetry will help to voice what other folks are experiencing, especially the folks that haven’t been trained in writing to express feelings the way I have been over the years.”
Originally, her entry was just poetry, but the press invited her to add at least eight pages of images. With the help of her daughter, whom the chapbook is about, and her son, Machan will be adding graphic art and photos to her work.
While not yet available to order, Dark Side of the Spoon will be available from Moonstone Press this summer.