Mad Orphan Lit. is about playing with unexpected (often illegitimate) associations.

It’s about transgressing lineages, languages, and traditions in order to share a glimpse of the ineffable truth of being human in the real world—with its murmurings of starlings, and bills to pay.

I am an American-born poet, playwright and teaching artist, settled on the Southwest coast of Norway. I have a BA in Theater Arts, a PhD in Creative Writing, and an interest in mental health, secular Buddhist philosophy, and yoga.

Aristotle wrote that an audience will access the "truth", not through the action of the players, but through the leaps of personal associations the audience makes while viewing the action. And Robert Bly told us that it's the poet's job to take the reader on leaps between the conscious and the unconscious. So come leap with me, and share with me where you land, and what you see!

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Process Essays: I start with expressive writing, tidy it up around the edges, but leave room for leaping. My thoughts are always in the present tense, and always ripe for reconsideration, comments, and contradiction.

What I Noticed this Week: Like a toddler, I’ll point out the shiny or mysterious things that caught my attention each week. I’ll share literature, artwork, videos, etc., and offer them as fodder for your own Sunday contemplations.

Weekly Poem: Poems from previously published books and/or from one of my two current works-in-progress.

Monthly Announcements: Bits of self-promotion and peer-promotion. New play synopses, publication updates, and mini-reviews of what I am reading/watching.

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Audio for the essays and poems

A Monthly Podcast with an annotated poem, that will dig into the allusions, historical and scientific aspects that I tend to embed in my poetry.

Ren Powell is a poet, playwright and teaching artist. A restless Californian, she’s now somewhat settled on the west coast of Norway. She has published six full-length poetry collections,  several bilingual chapbooks, and more than a dozen books of translations. Her plays have been performed in Canada, Norway, and the United States. Ren’s own texts have been translated into eight languages.

Ren currently teaches at Vågen Upper Secondary School for the Visual and Performing Arts. She has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Lancaster University (England), and a BA in Theater Arts from Texas A&M University (USA), and a diploma in Yoga Teaching, and Counseling.

A member of The Norwegian Author’s Union, and The Norwegian Guild for Drama and Theatre Instructors, Ren also served as the International PEN Women Writers’ Committee representative for Human Rights from 2006 to 2008.

Ren is an associate editor and feature writer for Poemeleon, and a Poetry Reader for the peer-reviewed journal Orange Blossom Review.