News: Publication

The second issue of Pittsburgh Poetry Review dropped today (that’s fancy official publishing language. Or I’m confusing publishing with childbearing), and my poem “The Perpetual Artist Lays Down Her Tools” is between its pretty covers.

It is chock full of poems, including several by artists I know and admire like Donna Vorreyer, Darren C. Demaree, Sally Rosen Kindred, and Ariana D. Den Bleyker. Pick up a copy or a 2016 subscription today!

PPR Issue 2 Cover Art

News: I guest edited the December issue of Stirring!

I’m honored and humbled to say that I was invited to guest edit for the December issue of Stirring: A Literary Collection, which went live yesterday. It was a great experience, and I got to read a wide variety of really interesting work. The team over at Stirring is an absolute pleasure to work with, and I’ve always admired their journal. I think this issue turned out to be pretty lovely, so I hope you’ll give it a read!

The issue features poetry by Benjamin Balthaser, Nancy Bevilaqua, Lanette Cadle, Maggie Smith, Donna Vorreyer, and Lauren Yates, fiction by William Bradley, and nonfiction by Liz Prato.

“Medicine” by Tara Wynne



What I’m Reading: Poems by Jocelyn Sears

I happened upon the poems “Accidental” and “Keep” by Jocelyn Sears in BOAAT today. They’re the sort of poems that, on first read, you just tumble through them, pulled by the gravity of the story, imagery, and language, and find yourself at the bottom of them breathless, covered in leaves, and eager for another ride down.

From “Accidental”:

AccidentalRead her BOAAT poems here, and find some of her other work here.

What I’m Reading: Ekphrastic Poems by Sara Biggs Chaney

Today I’m reading and re-reading ekphrastic poems by Sara Biggs Chaney at The Boiler. They’re based on the photographs of Katerina Plotnikova, who uses live animals and striking color in her photographs — they’re very evocative. So, too, are Sara’s poems.

From “II. Brown Bear“:

I smell my death on your belly
and I do not flinch.

Your face               a cannon
on the hinge of my neck

See the photos that inspired the poems here and here.

News: Publication

I’ve got six (6) (?!?) poems appearing in the summer issue of Menacing Hedge, each of which includes a reading in my dulcet voice (which has previously been praised for “the purity of its timbre,” FYI):

Repetitive Motion Injuries
Rape Poem #3
The Persistent Appeal of Synchronized Drowning
The Secret Life of a Secret Collector
Explanations for Silence
Butcher’s Goodbye

An excerpt from “Repetitive Motion Injuries”:

I have the tissue paper wrists of a child,
barely wider than the blue thread stitching
through them, just thick enough to tingle life
into these lined hands. He held them

both in one hand behind me.

Please note “Repetitive Motion Injuries” and “Rape Poem #3” may be triggering to some victims of sexual assault.

The issue also features work by Deborah Bacharach, Amber Amber Rose Edmondson, Alicia Elkort, Ruth Foley, Fox Frazier-Foley, Brenda Mann Hammack, Jennifer Hanks, Amy Elisabeth Hansen, Lissa Kiernan, Andrew Koch, Kathleen Brewin Lewis, Emily Stoddard Furrow, Timothy Day, Jay Gershwin, Kat Giordano and Connie Guo. Read the whole lovely thing here.

menacing hedge
Art for Summer 2015 issue of Menacing Hedge by MANDEM

News: June Poems of the Week

Throughout the month of June, I selected poems to appear each week at the TheThe Poetry Blog. TheThe is great at sharing interesting work and engaging essays and interviews. Here are the poems I selected, with an excerpt from each:

Better than Television and Will’s White Hen by Alisa Golden

Her ankles swole up
and she leaned on a
sprinkler key like a cane.

Letter from the Back Porch by Sara Biggs Chaney

I would never ask you
to come back

as I don’t contain ideas
like come back

The Size of Things, Decreasing Scale by Jen Stein

11) Your pupils grown wide soaking light
12) A bean seed to be planted
13) My pupils when fixated
14) The distance between your thumb and my neck

Nocturne in Which we Fail Yet Again to Have Sex in your Parents’ Hot Tub by Amorak Huey

Your breasts at the surface of the roiling water. The smell of chlorine
and desire. We divide and assign the space between us.

Your specialty is keeping score, mine is pretending not to.

A huge thanks to Fox Frazier-Foley and Micah Towery for inviting me to contribute!


What I’m Reading: An Ending Is a Blunt Object by Samantha Deal

Spending time today with this long poem posted at Word Riot, falling in love with its language and imagery and the deep, resonant familiarity of it.

. . . Everything—even the crickets—will stop
& listen as you split a screen door from its dry-socket frame

but I’ve heard the unfastening of hips, the careful click of human
exhaustion. I’ve heard a wooden door open its mouth for you

& I swear I would too, because it’s your not-quite-human quiet
that I want. I called you hazy field of yellowed grass, called you sleepy

heap of secrets. For a long time I plan to keep the slow motion
swing of you between my legs—here, at the joints, the fragile

rubbed against & held together. . . .

Read the whole thing. It’s beautiful.


What I’m Reading: Winter Tangerine’s “Shedding Skins”

Winter Tangerine has a fascinating issue that features poems alongside their earlier drafts, as well as the poet talking about the evolution of the piece.

Here’s an excerpt from Sara Biggs Chaney’s poem “The Engineers Lament the Inevitability of Foundation Collapse“:

Problems occur.
The floor runs slant.

Drop a marble on the doormat;
gravity will attend.

And her final words on editing:

At any rate, I decided this poem was finished when I could find no more tangles through which to comb.

Process is such an interesting thing, and as individual as a thumbprint. It often even varies widely from poem to poem. It’s great to get inside the mind of a poet, and behind the scenes with their work.

shedding skins

What I’m Reading: JuJubes Summer 2015 Issue

The new issue of JuJuBes includes three gorgeous pieces by Darren C. Demaree.

That’s why I’ve stood here
for hours, naked
& now expecting a tide
to rise from a part
of me I do not know.

from “Nude Male with Echo #38”

The issue is also presented in video format, which is really lovely. Or, you can download a free PDF or purchase an interactive PDF of the issue here.