Jodi Hottel

Anais Nin said, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection.” 


Her statement captures one of the reasons I am a poet. My poetry, whether in response to a personal experience, a work of art, or a slice of history, usually comes into being through an emotional experience that I want to taste again and allow my readers to sample as well. 



I am pleased that the editors at Unlost nominated my cento, "One Big, Outrageous We" for a Pushcart Prize. Here is their message:

The editors at Unlost have nominated “One Big, Outrageous We” for The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series, “published every year since 1976… the most honored literary project in America – including Highest Honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters” (see more at My fellow editors and I went through our two issues of Unlost that were published in the calendar year 2023 (issues 30 and 31). Of the 43 poems published in that period, your poem was one of six selected for nomination.

Here is the link to the poem:


Reasons to Keep Writing


because the world needs more poetry

because there are so many em dashes—

            and so little time

because every dog should have a poem written about her

            and every person needs a love poem

because it requires all of your attention

because it keeps you sane 

[and no one will be able to live with you if you don’t]

because all your friends do

because the best people are poets

because there are clouds

because it gives you a reason to take a walk

because you want to remember

because you need        to call on rain

                                    to grieve

                                    to rejoice

                                    to create music

                                     to use your breath

because it’s legal to repeat, break all the rules

because writing is infinitely inventive

because you can          join tradition

                                    repudiate tradition

                                    invent a new form

because it’s so lucrative

because you’re getting cranky

just to see the reaction you get when you say, 

I’m a poet