The Review Review Reviews (whew!) Four Chambers Press

and I get a shout out! Read the review in its entirety here. My section is quoted below:

“While quite a few other poems succeeded on one level or another, two resonated particularly deeply. In Shevaun Brannigan’s ‘To the cabbie who waits for me as I unlock the door,’ drunkenness and loneliness ‘in the 20 hour dress and its wrinkles,/in the body and its nightly defeat,’ engender a quiet cry for help, which in turn lays bare a desperate life: ‘A little girl is going to run out/the door, chased by her father./Get her out of here.'”

I am so glad they liked this poem, as it is one I am quite fond of! I wrote it in Hila Ratzabi’s Red Sofa Salon workshops. There is an open house for these workshops January 11th, from 1-4. Click on the link to register, she is a wonderful teacher and there is no obligation to join!

Nonsense in Poems

As someone who is perpetually being told I am too literal, I enjoyed this article on “Why Poems Don’t Make Sense” by Matthew Buckley Smith.

I feel as though many of the poems I read today don’t make sense, which is hard for me because I am very much a beginning, middle, end type person. I recognize this as a limitation of mine, and of my poetry.

Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Love/Anti-Love Reading

Just wanted to share my call for submissions for a reading I am curating for female poets, to be held in Philadelphia.

I read at the first one, and below is a picture from that (very chilly but fun) reading:

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Call for Readers:

I am organizing a new, all female poet reading series in Philadelphia. The first reading was held at the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym and featured Hila Ratzabi, Kimberly Ann Southwick, dawn lonsinger, and Chloe Martinez. There is one slot open for the next reading, to be held on February 13th at 1fiftyone Gallery, and I am also scheduling line-ups for future readings.

To submit, please email three poems and a bio as an attachment by December 31st, and indicate whether you are available on February 13th, and/or if you would like to be considered for future readings as well. The theme for the February 13th reading is love/anti-love, and you are encouraged to submit poems that fit that theme if you are interested in reading that date. Other poets reading on February 13th include Elliot Battzedek, Catherine Bancroft, Jennifer Hook, and Liz Solms.

Women of color and non-cis gendered poets are strongly encouraged to apply. Please include a note specifying as such if you consider yourself to be a member of a community underrepresented in the world of literature.

When the Sun’s Out, it Beams

Three pieces of writing news:

1) I got a pushcart nomination from my beloved Four Chambers Press for “Local Church Falls in Love With Area Library“! I couldn’t be happier over this. I greatly love this journal, and it is nice to feel as though it’s mutual! Congratulations to their other nominees, Dexter L. Booth for “Nothing in Reverse,” Josh Rathkamp for “On the Way to a Party Neither One of Us Wants to Go To,” Zeke Jarvis for “Sex with Anne Hathaway,” Leon Hedstrom for “Borealis,” Allyson Boggess for “Phoenix Daycare Kid Eating Fake Snow.”

Please read all of their works, the majority of which are available online! And if you are dying to read Rathkamp’s piece as well, order Four Chambers Press Issue 2 here. It makes a great gift!

2) I received an honorable mention in The Feminist Wire‘s first annual poetry contest, judged by poet Evie Shockley. I am over the moon about this! I submitted two poems to them, “In Response to Learning the Lego Line of Female Scientists was Limited Edition,” (a poem I wrote about in this entry) and “House.” Not sure which one won, or if both did, but this is terribly encouraging!

3) I won first place out of 107 submissions for a scholarship to attend the Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway in Atlantic City, NJ from January 16th through 19th. I got the call notifying me when I was at a very noisy bar, and kept thinking I’d misheard. It’s wonderful news, and I am very excited about this! Haven’t figured out who I am studying with yet, but I will report back here after the retreat.


I check my submittable ob-sess-ive-ly. OBSESSIVELY. Read: I have a problem. There is a journal I have submitted to many, many, many times. I watch them sit in my submittable queue as unread for months, because there are many thousands of other people who submit to this journal many, many times as well.

I usually know the exact day they finally start reading my submission, because of previously mentioned obsession with checking my submittable. The most recent submission, I had the time-of-opening down to within an hour.

They rejected it twenty minutes or so after they opened it. Crushed. Crushed! I have this image of an intern reading it and going “meh” (sort of akin to an okc message I got once after changing my profile picture, back in the dating days), and then pressing “reject” immediately. That is the best case scenario with that timely of a rejection. It could be they all sat around a table laughing at my audacity to submit to such a journal with my shoddy little poems. It could be the twenty minutes was filled with guffaws, or even vomiting.

Maybe not vomiting.


So I got the email and felt terrible, and stewed, and complained about it to Joe, how I had spent months on these poems and all they could give me were twenty or so minutes and a best case scenario “meh,” which is of course true, that is all they could give me given the many thousands of other people who submit to this journal many, many times as well.

That was a few days ago.

Today I called and subscribed to it. Which I know might seem scandalous to some purists reading and clutching their pearls aghast that I would submit to a journal without subscribing to it, but I only have so much money for poetry journals, and besides they have a prominent online section I stalk in between refreshing my submittable queue.

Anyway, I am feeling like a responsible, if crazy, member of the poetry community.

That is all.