Ploughshares is pleased to announce that “Moral Compass,” a poem by Janice Northerns will be published in the Winter 2020-21 issue. Northerns, former English and creative writing instructor at Seward County Community College, retired in 2019.
“One of my goals in taking the early retirement was to take time to write more and submit more,” she said. “It’s a direct result of that decision and validation of the goals I set for myself.”
Publication in Ploughshares, an award-winning journal of new writing, “is a big deal to me,” Northerns said. “It’s prestigious, it’s been around forever, and it’s hard to get into.”
The poem “Moral Compass” reflects on an episode in Northerns’ young adulthood, when an unexpected check arrived in the mail.
“It has a lot to do with me finding my own way as an adult in understanding what is moral behavior,” Northerns said. She plans to include the poem in her next collection of poetry, which “is more focused on my upbringing,” on a farm in West Texas.
Northerns’ first book, Some Electric Hum, was published by Lamar University Literary Press in 2020. SCCC hosted Northerns in a live poetry reading in September 2020 to celebrate the book’s publication.