I did a poetry reading in the snow today

In honor of Philly Poetry Day 2016! You can find the photo album here. My favorite photo in the album appears below, from when I was INSIDE. It is of my teacher and I, Leonard Gontarek.


I also got called teacher’s pet today by several people, including the teacher and myself. This was not nearly as traumatic as when it happened in the fourth grade so rest assured I am FINE.

I Want to Write a Memoir

is a poem of mine in Rhino, text of which can be found here. An audio recording of me reading it is here. Were I to record it again today I would sound much croakier, as I am immensely ill from a cold as of 12 hours ago. The wind changed.

Before I write a memoir, I ought to write a poetry book. I have a manuscript being reviewed by Leonard Gontarek right now. We did this once before, and he rightfully told me to chuck 1/2 the poems in the manuscript. That was 1.5 years ago, and in between it was looked at by editor and poet Sandy Marchetti, who had great tips and analysis. I highly recommend her! And him!

I am torn between three titles, all of which are terrible in their own way.

Or maybe I will call it “Dear Freud” or even “Deer Freud” and have antlers coming out of Freud’s head on the cover image. Oh I love this idea! BUCK THE PATRIARCHY it will say on the back cover.

Okay, if you could please vote for one of the following manuscript titles in the comments, I would appreciate it. And by “you” I mean Emily, the one person who reads this, plus anyone who comes by googling fox kits and finds that picture I posted in 2012.

  1. Everyone Love Me All the Time
  2. Dear Freud
  3. I Don’t Want to be a Person Today
  4. Deer Freud
  5. Everything is Breaking

Please support your answer with your work for full credit.

Good things come in threes

Three items of note:

I moved! I’m so excited! The first piece of mail in my new house was a copy of Bone Bouquet, in which I have two poems. How did they know to match the cover to my decor?


I suggest buying a copy of the issue or even subscribing. They have some really great cutting edge work in there. I am elated to be included.

Secondly, I have a new poem available online, the one that got an Editor’s Choice with Philadelphia Stories. The poem is called “Considering Need.” I wrote it after receiving four rejections in one day and reading a lot of Carl Phillips.

Thirdly, an anthology I’ve been accepted to about the female body, Hysteria, is doing some crowdfunding to pay poets like me! For $10 you get a copy of the anthology, including my poem “Bathroom Graffiti,” and that seems like a pretty great deal. I would be grateful if you contributed!

I have some other items to mention in a future update, such as the poetry contest I am coordinating to benefit women and girls! Or the wonderful surprise I got in the mail from Pittsburgh! AND MORE!





I’m $14 a Year Away From Being a Professional Poet

I kid! Just a crack about me not ponying up to pay for the actual domain name. I’ve had that on my to-do list for about three years now, but every time I think about doing it I want vegan pizza instead.

So, news. Philadelphia Stories holds a national poetry prize (The Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry), and I got an Editor’s Choice award for my poem “Considering Need”! I am really excited about this. It doesn’t quite continue the Bridesmaid trend, as the judge didn’t select my poem, but I sort of feel like the favorite Uncle who’s invited to read a secular passage at the wedding. Grateful for the honor and excited for the ceremony.

Also, my poem “Why My Mother is Afraid of Heights,” which there is a video of me reading here, (side note, every time I google to find this video auto correct populates with “Why my mother is afraid of me” which makes me awfully worried for today’s youths–and their parents) appears in a new anthology Veils, Halos, & Shackles on international violence against women. It can be preordered by clicking that hyperlink. Do it! There are some amazing poets in this collection, among them Amy Small-McKinney, my buddy.

I also got my contributor’s copies of Booth in the mail, which is gorgeous. You can read my poem here, but I recommend buying a hard copy.

Finally, I wanted to share a link for a fundraiser (not one of mine, I swore those off!) for the Philly Loves Poetry Festival. Philly has a great poetry scene because of, in part, such pillars as Larry Robin and this festival will be wonderful. Thanks in advance if you help make it happen.


It has been too long!

2016 is off to a good start for me, with four poems accepted so far for publication, and one reading in Pittsburgh.

The poems accepted are:

“Although I Have Made My Father into a Bird” by Tahoma Literary Review. I really admire this publication, and am glad they chose this poem. It discusses my father’s mortality, and is more abstract than my other work, perhaps because it is such a difficult subject for me to address head-on.

“When the Trolley Driver Says ‘Take Care'” by Bone Bouquet. They are a wonderful all women’s journal based out of Brooklyn, and had accepted another poem of mine back in October. When they were preparing proofs, they returned to my submission packet and decided to snag not just one, but two! This poem is both about joy, and crippling depression. It is like many of my other poems (almost wrote “mother poems”) in that way.

“You Glad I Wrote this Poem?” by Redivider. Such a good journal, and an editor there, whom I’ve never met, was particularly encouraging of me to resubmit after another poem got some attention during reading for their contest. “You Glad I Wrote this Poem?” is about oranges, love, and puns. It is one of my favorite poems I have ever written.

“After Staring at a Kandinsky” by Tinderbox Poetry Journal. When I saw this relatively new journal had published Feats of Poetic Strength Reader K.T. Landon, I knew I had to submit. There are many other poets they’ve published I quite admire, so I am so glad this poem found a home there. “After Staring at a Kandinsky” has similar themes to “When the Trolley Driver Takes Care.”


Speaking of Feats of Poetic Strength, at my Pittsburgh reading I was so glad to rub shoulders with three of the past readers, MaryAnn L. MillerElizabeth Hoover and Sarah Boyle. We four and several other poets (including JC Todd) wrote poems in response to abstract paintings, then gathered at the art gallery and read them to a surprisingly large crowd.

Below are some photos from the event, called Transactions.

Going clockwise beginning from upper left, that’s me with the painting I wrote in response to, and my poem on the wall, which if you would like to read I would be happy to send to anyone. Then the fabulous MaryAnn L. Miller, who played a major part in coordinating the event, below her is Elizabeth Hoover, then Sarah Boyle, JC Todd, and above her is the photo of myself with the artist of “my” painting, LJ Palmer (a wonderful wonderful man).

Finally, today is a very special poet’s birthday, and I wish her one! I “Brad”ly wish I were there to celebrate it with you!

It is also my Uncle Vince’s birthday. He has been my poetic patron for many years, starting with slipping me a crisp bill in a handshake when I was nominated for my first Pushcart. It made me feel like a man. I hope you have a great day Uncle Vince!

Here’s to another four poems getting accepted in February. Just kidding, that won’t happen! Even in a leap year!

Recap of Feats of Poetic Strength Volume VI

Most pressing news of all! We raised $323 for WOAR (Women Organized Against Rape), Philly’s ONLY rape crisis center. This was thanks to all of our donors, and a last minute donation from Denise Ingram made a big difference.

The evening began with some mutterings and remarks by myself. Here is a picture of me taken by Sheila Squillante. The Halloween bucket at my feet that appears in some of the pictures is the “hat” we passed around for donations.12049532_10207363850521816_4737071480735104883_n

The evening really began with Sandra Beasley, poet superstar who just blew me away with her great imagination and performance style. Each hand gesture was deliberate. She very much does her poetry on the page justice. Also, one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Pictured below.


Next up was Dawn Manning, who read a number of tanka, a form I’ve never experimented with, but love hearing other people employ. She is a master of them! Her poems addressed great atrocities, everything from the Atomic Bomb to gendercide. Listening to her work felt important. Pictured below.IMG_20151024_193624_611

Then the wonderful Emily Cox from WOAR spoke! She’s pictured below speaking passionately about the work done by WOAR. If you have a friend, or you yourself, have experienced assault or rape, please reach out to them. They have counseling, a helpline, and many other resources.


Next was the great Sheila Squillante, a lovely soul who excitingly was reunited with her college roommate of 22 years ago for the reading! She read the poem that made me choose her for the reading, so that was a delight for me. She also has a wild relationship with the use of second person. Such a fan!


The evening closed out with the inimitable Annie Won, who read two of the poems from the Entropy series I had posted in the facebook group, and just really love. The link at her name will take you there. She also read some great poems about or influenced by walls, structure, constraints. And her second to last poem was hilarious, and my personal favorite. I tried to get a photo of her holding her beautiful books, but the below will have to suffice.


AND A MANDATORY GROUP SHOT, stolen from facebook and the wonderful Denise’s posting.


Time will tell if the series continues. Cross your fingers with me it does!

More News! And Final Post of the Day, I Swear!

1! Thank you to Museum of Americana for nominating my poem “The Original Siamese Twins” for Best of the Net! Super cool! They also nominated my bud Denton Loving’s short story! Best of luck to him and my other friends who received nominations.

2) Rhino nominated my poem “I Want to Write a Memoir” for the Orison Anthology, a collection of writings about faith, and it was selected for inclusion! I feel a little bit like this.

Two New Acceptances

I have two new acceptances to report, one is my visual/experimental poem “Bathroom Graffiti,” which was picked up by the forthcoming anthology Hysteria. This anthology is limited to lady-folk and non-cis gendered writers, and is being edited by E Kristin Anderson and Allie Marini. I’m really excited to see what the end product will look like!

Continuing the lady theme is the acceptance of my poem “I Want to Ask Grandfather Frank About the Stars in Panama” by Bone Bouquet (an all women’s and non-binary individuals’ journal). It will appear in Spring 2016, and is part of a project where I turn my family legends into poems. I was taking a hiatus from it due to life, etc., but this may have sparked my interest in the project again.

Grandfather Frank

My grandpa pictured above. The poem takes place about the time this picture was taken. I miss him every day, as well as my grandmother, Maurine.

Two Recent Publications


I recently (/months ago) got my contributor’s copies of Crab Orchard Review for my poem “Lucky Ones,” about the kidnapping of the Nigerian Girls (the title makes sense when you read it), and Washington Square Review for my poem “What if I Don’t Even Like You?” which is strangely enough a love poem borrowing two lines from Dorothea Lasky’s poem “Depression.”

I am very pleased to be in both of these amazing journals. Pick up a copy of either/both, if you like!