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Alumni Spotlight: Justin Groppuso-Cook

by Writing Workshops Staff

2 years ago

Alumni Spotlight: Justin Groppuso-Cook

by Writing Workshops Staff

2 years ago

Today, we're catching up with Justin Groppuso-Cook. Justin attended Blake Kimzey's Path to Publication seminar and his poetry was recently published or forthcoming in Crab Creek Review, Luna Luna Magazine, Autofocus, The Tiger Moth Review, and as winner of the Haunted Waters Press Award for Poetry.

Most of Justin's work revolves around family, tradition, & healing - with sprinkles of mythology & magic. About four years ago, Justin began studying Amazonian plant medicine under a Shipibo lineage in Peru, and that has taken his style and voice in a fresh direction. Travel informs his writing. Being a musician also shapes Justin's work in a particular way and he sees his poetry as a beacon in the turbulent times we are living under. There is a spiritual nature to Justin's work that touches on higher forces yet doesn't lose sight of the divinity of simply being human.

Right now Justin is working on a lot of new pieces - he has notebooks of rough drafts that he is excavating and polishing into slightly cleaner drafts. He is also putting the finishing touches on his first full-length collection entitled "A Kin Rekindling".

Justin's short term goals include finding a publisher for his chapbook, "Our Illuminated Pupils: A Symphony". Second, he wants to get more poems published, especially in a few "top-tier" literary magazines. Last, Justin wants to write new, exciting pieces and get a working draft of his first full-length collection ready for an editor's discerning eye.

Justin's long term goals include publishing his full-length collection and getting a second full-length collection - tentatively titled, "The Divine States of Consciousness" - finished and published. Last, but certainly not least, Justin wants to continue to build and grow within the poetry community of Detroit.

We're rooting for you, Justin! Thank you for letting us be part of your writing journey. He had this to say about attending Blake's seminar on publication:

"I enjoyed Blake's genuine & uplifting presentation style. He was very transparent in his publication journey - the highs & lows. I still remember the picture of him working in a restaurant - might have been a Chili's or a Ruby Tuesday's? - dreaming of literary success. It struck a chord as I currently work in a pizza shop as one of my many hustles. So much great information was packed in such a short seminar!"

BIO: Justin Groppuso-Cook is a Writer-in-Residence for InsideOut Literary Arts Project as well as a Teaching Artist for Living Arts Detroit. His poems have appeared in Dream Pop Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Rust + Moth, & Glass: A Journal of Poetry among others. He has been twice  nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In the summer of 2022, he will be a  resident at Writing Workshops Paris. More information can be found on his website.


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