Patti Sullivan’s chapbook At The Booth Memorial Home for Unwed Mothers 1966, was the Prizewinner of the HELEN KAY CHAPBOOK POETRY PRIZE, Evening Street Press, 2014. She has two other chapbooks, For The Day, DeerTree Press, 2012 and Not Fade Away, Finishing Line Press, 2014. Poems appear in journals Spillway, Chiron Review, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy The Workplace, Miramar, Salt, Glimpse, Lummox, Askew, Solo Novo, Waymark, Cloudbank, Spectrum, If & When, American Narrative Poetry, Hummingbird, We Are Beat-National Beat Poetry Foundation, To Give Life Shape, and Muse . Ekphrastic poems online currently include “Inspired By Poetry & Art “, Ventura and “Big Enough For Words” the Edson Smith photo collection at the Santa Barbara Library.
She is a life-long painter & collage artist with numerous individual and group shows, book covers and magazine publications. Her collaborations with her husband, poet Kevin Patrick Sullivan have appeared for several years in the mail art assemblage ARTLIFE. Her visual art has been printed in SOW’S EAR, CAFÉ SOLO, ARTLIFE, and SOLO CAFÉ as well as numerous covers for Evening Street Review. She’s participated in several group and individual shows at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, Linnaea’s Café, The Beacon Art Show, ART LIVES HERE and OPSIS Gallery.
Patti helped facilitate the Annual San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival which her husband, poet Kevin Patrick Sullivan founded along with the monthly reading series Corners of the Mouth. In 2014 they published the anthology Corners of the Mouth, A Celebration of Thirty Years At The Annual San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival, DeerTree Press, which included over 140 poets who had read at the festival over the years.
She continues to explore many avenues of creative outlet along with her co-editing duties with The Evening Street Press & Review and keeps looking forward.
Winner of the 2014 Helen Kay Chapbook Poetry Prize
At the Booth Memorial Home for Unwed Mothers 1966 by Patti Sullivan
Cover design by Patti Sullivan
ReadAt the Booth Memorial Home For Unwed Mothers 1966 on Google Books At the Booth Memorial Home For Unwed Mothers 1966 available on Kindle Read At the Booth Memorial Home For Unwed Mothers 1966 on scribd or read below
There was a place for girls like me…That place was the Booth Memorial Home for unwed mothers.
From her opening in Post Summer Blues –This was in the mid-sixties/girls didn’t keep their out of wedlock babies/my crime was being stupid and trusting, to her stunning afterward–In those first days/weeks months years/ after she found me/I couldn’t stop saying /Daughter—Patti Sullivan’s work is simply unforgettable. Her poems collectively constitute a portrait of a culture: mid-twentieth century, still-Puritanical, Southern California. Match-strike moments, achingly painful, sometimes darkly humorous, plunge us into a young woman’s cultural transgression and punishment. In Booth Memorial, Sullivan transcends era and location, to illuminate a timeless and placeless dilemma: how to say yes to life and dignity in the face of exile and unbearable loss. Long after turning the last page, we are left grateful and larger in spirit. —Maía, author of The SpiritLife of Birds, Adder’s Tongue Press
Patti Sullivan is our guide into the lives of dispossessed girls behind closed doors at the Booth Memorial Home; through her words their elemental loss finds its way into language, both sorrowing and redemptive. Her voice is clear, courageous, and achingly honest—these are poems that open the heart. —Marsha de la O, author of Antidote for Night, BOA Editions
Patti Sullivan’s poems are arrows, swift and quiet, hitting their mark, sinking deep. Powerful and necessary, these poems make me say when reading, “This is what poetry is for!” In Patti’s passionate, honest voice, I hear generations of silent women who nod their heads, murmur agreement, urge her forward. Why didn’t we ever talk about the truth, she questions the silence imposed upon her as a young unwed mother, would we die or catch fire. —Mary Kay Rummel, Poet Laureate of Ventura County, CA, author of The Lifeline Trembles.
Read selections from At the Booth Memorial Home For Unwed Mothers 1966: Post Summer Blues 12 The Stories They Tell 13 Along Comes Mary 15 Home Away from Home at 17 17 Visiting Hours 18 The Most Beautiful Dress in the World 20 Going Over 21 Limbo 23 Forget About It—Why Can’t You 25 Notes on the Booth Memorial Home 26 from Evening Street Review, NUMBER 12, Spring 2015
Patti’s art on covers of Evening Street Review: