My poem “Made in China” is up at The Humanist. Excerpt:
I wonder how many millions
of small white worm
cocoons were unraveled to make
his tie. I imagine vast fields
of them, confined and shining,
hanging somewhere in an overseas
warehouse under yellow lights
lost to dust.
Thank you to Jennifer Bardi, Editor in Chief at The Humanist, for publishing it!
I’m reading a whole bunch of times in April (it’s National Poetry Month!) with a whole bunch of talented people. Please come see me. Free hugs with all poetry listenings! What a deal.
April 1, 2017 ♦ 7:00 pm
White Whale Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA
PPR Presents Reading Series
April 7, 2017 ♦ 6:00 pm
Better World Books, Goshen, IN
WordPlay Anthology Reading
April 9, 2017 ♦ 2:00 pm
Iechyd Da Brewing Company, Elkhart, IN
WordPlay Anthology Release Party
April 20, 2017 ♦ 7:30 pm
LangLab South Bend, South Bend, IN
Lit Literary Collective Poetry Bonanza!
April 22, 2017 ♦ 7:00 pm
The General Deli & Cafe, South Bend, IN
Retirement Plan 2: Pro Choice South Bend Benefit Reading
April 28, 2017 ♦ 6:00 pm
South Bend Museum of Art, South Bend, IN
Ekphrastic Chapbook Release Reading
I’m excited to announce that Whale Road Review has nominated my poem “Porcupine Denies His Vulnerabilities” for the Best New Poets anthology! A huge thanks to Founder and Editor & Chief Katie Manning and Managing Editor Ellen Huang for the nod. Here’s the poem. Please go read (and submit to!) the lovely Whale Road Review.
He is monogamous, but always stands quill-
length from his mate. Only the pads of his foot
are naked, his tongue, the nervous sentinel
of his eye. When she cries, he whirrs
his bristles like rainfall on the dust-
packed savanna. She forgets
their distance. She burrows while he collects
the bone-wrought scaffolding of lesser
plantigrades, builds a shrine
to what is hard.
Rappahannock Review asked me some questions about my poem “Dream Man #5,” and it was super fun to try to sound smart about my work. For example:
RR: One of challenges in writing about love and loss is avoiding becoming cliche or sentimental. As a poet, how do you ensure your approach to these topics remains fresh?
KC: One of the most beautiful poems I’ve read about love and loss is “Kiss of the Sun” by Mary Ruefle, and my favorite “romantic” film is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I love them because they approach love and loss obliquely, and pay homage to the downright messiness and ineffectiveness of people. Ruefle recognizes that it’s entirely possible that she won’t be able to quench her love’s thirst, but she still promises to chuck an orange as high as she can — one last hail-mary attempt at connection. In Spotless Mind, Clementine and Joel know full well that their respective neuroses will make their relationship rife with conflict, but (spoiler alert!) they still choose to be together. I think poems risk cliche and sentimentality most when they ignore the complexity of people and real life, and the fact that it’s often through — not in spite of — hardship and conflict that the deepest love can be nurtured.
Here’s the interview, and the poem it’s about.
I’ll be reading with three magnificent journals and dozens of brilliant writers at offsite readings in DC during AWP. This is my first AWP, but I hear that these readings tend to be magnificent parties with great opportunities to meet other artists you admire, in addition to hearing them share their work. Hope to see you there!
February 8, 2017 ♦ 6:00 pm
The Greene Turtle, 601 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20004
Pittsburgh Poetry Review AWP Reception/Reading
February 9, 2017 ♦ 6:00 pm
Johnny Pistolas, 2333 18TH ST NW, Washington, DC 20009
Menacing Hedge Dinner Party Jamboree
February 10, 2017 ♦ 7:00 pm
Studio 1469, 1469 Harvard St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Gallery Reading by Stirring and Five Oaks Press
My poem “Dream Man #5” is up today at Rappahannock Review. It’s about divorce and personal pan pizza. What’s not to love??
On December 16 at 7:00 pm, LangLab in South Bend, Indiana is hosting “Celebrating Emily Dickinson: An Evening of Poetry and Music.” Soprano Karen Dickerson will be singing Aaron Copland’s “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson,” and I’ll be reading some new poems I wrote just for the event. I’m really excited to be part of this. I hope you’ll come!
My short, sexy little poem “Confessional” is up at Up the Staircase Quarterly today:
Visit the site to hear audio and see the lovely art accompanying it, and read the rest of the issue!
Another poem of mine is up at Columbia Journal. It’s called “The Privacy Rights of Individuals” and is about North Carolina’s HB2, otherwise known as “the Bathroom Bill.” The title is taken from the ironic statement of Governor Pat McCrory in defense of the bill:
I’m proud of us protecting the privacy rights of individuals and not putting burdensome regulations on business and letting them make the decision, not government make the decision.
The poem begins:
There’s this line of white faces
in cisgender suits standing
in front of the toilet
at Safeway. Their arms are locked
together but it’s not in a gay way
they’ll tell you
without being asked.
My poem “Make America Literal Again” is up today at the Columbia Journal. I wrote it in a huff a few months ago after reading news of a 15 year-old girl who was allegedly groped and definitely pepper-sprayed while protesting at a Trump rally in Wisconsin.
It may go without saying that this election cycle is heartbreaking and disturbing to me for myriad reasons. I hope that, as in times past, poetry can act as a vehicle for social change.