News: A Gajillion April Readings (Updated)

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 ArtSouth Bend, IN
Ekphrastic Chapbook Release Reading

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News: Award Nomination

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.

Porcupine Denies His Vulnerabilities

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.

News: Interview

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.

News: Publication

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.

News: Award Nomination

My essay “Snowstorms and Trigger Warnings” was recently nominated for a Best of the Net award by cahoodaloodaling. This nomination really means a lot to me; the essay addresses a topic that’s very personal to me, and which has recently become germane again with the University of Chicago’s recent statement to its incoming freshmen that it does not support trigger warnings or “safe spaces.”

If you’d like to read the essay, it can be found in cahoodaloodaling’s “Trigger Warning” issue on page 6. Download the free pdf of the issue by clicking here. TW: the essay contains content potentially triggering to survivors of sexual assault.

cahoodaloodaling has always been an absolute joy to work with, and consistently supportive of my work. I highly recommend sending them your writer things, and reading their written things, as often as practicable.

Trigger Warning Cover cropped

News: Readings in South Bend, IN on April 27

I’m doing two readings this Wednesday, April 27 in South Bend. The first is a reading for Analecta, the IU South Bend student literary journal. I have 3 poems and an art piece in this year’s journal. That reading starts at 5 pm in the IUSB library atrium; I’ll be reading my pieces from the journal, and I’ll start at around 6:20.

After that, I’m headed to The Well, a not-for-profit coffeehouse in South Bend’s River Park neighborhood (just east down Mishawaka Avenue from IUSB) for an open mic that starts at 7:30. I’ll be reading at 8:00 or so and will be reading some new work that I’m really excited about!

Both readings are free and open to the public — that’s you!

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