About Pen Names

Hello, strangers and friends alike!

Do you write under a pseudonym?

My pen name is taken from The Kittiwake, a poem by Wilford Wilson Gibson.

With the struggles I’ve experienced in life, his poem holds special meaning. I find the Kittiwake represents hope, and this poem a struggle for achievement of any kind.

The pen name has intimate meaning to me, but I’m still grateful for my real name. I published a book of poems under my real name years ago as a challenge to myself. Nothing happened. It was a miracle. I thought the whole world would cave in and bad reviews be thrown at me night and day. Turns out, nobody cares! Which means I can happily keep doing what I love under a gauze of anonymity. It may seem backward– who doesn’t want their poem to touch a heart? I know it would make my day.

But the moment of publishing let me know my struggles were sand. just so much sand. And I could make of it what I would. It was an enormous relief. Like walking in the library and going-look at all those people who made their dream come true. Always a booster of le morale. Anyways, I don’t talk with you much, and just wanted to say I am so thrilled to be part of a community of writers and poets and creative people. and i want to ask you– what’s your pen name and why did you choose it? what does it mean to you?

The Kittiwake

by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

With blistered heels and bones that ache,
Marching through pitchy ways and blind,
The miry track is hard to make;
Yet, ever hovering in my mind,
Above red crags a kittiwake
Hangs motionless against the wind—

Grey-winged, white-breasted and black-eyed,
Against red crags of porphyry
That pillar from a sapphire tide
A sapphire sky. . . . Indifferently
The raw lad limping at my side
Blasphemes his boots, the world, and me. . . .

Still keen, unwavering and alert,
Within my aching empty mind
The bright bird hovers—and the dirt
Of bottomless black ways and blind,
And all the hundred things that hurt
Past healing, seem to drop behind


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