A Little Bit of Poetry News/Hazleton Arts Fest

I’m taking a slight pause from my usual blogging about the world of horror films to announce a few poetry-related items.

First, Daryl Sznyter and I will be participating in the first ever Anthracite Arts Festival this weekend in Hazleton, PA. Most of the events will be taking place at the Hazleton Arts League. Check out the flyer below because all of the events sound unique and engaging. On Saturday, from 6-10, we’ll be hosting an open mic, and we’ll also be reading some poems and will have books for sale.


Second, I have two poems, “April Light,” and “What You Learn about the House,” in the new issue of Still: The Journal. They can be read here, and make sure to check out the rest of the issue, too.

Lastly, I have a review of Wendy Chen’s debut poetry collection, Unearthings, over at 4squarereview.com. You can check that out here. I can’t even begin to say how much I loved this book. Keep your eye out for her work. She’s a poet to watch.



Some Poetry News

I’m breaking briefly from the blog content I’ve been posting lately to share a little bit of poetry news.

First, I am happy to announce that I have two poems in the new issue of Ovunque Siamo: New Italian-American Writing. You can read the poems, “Praise Poem for After the Storm,” and “Punk Goes Acoustic,” here.  The entire issue is worth a read and features  poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and book reviews.

Another poem, “Praising the Familiar,” was recently featured as the poem of the week by Zingara Poetry Review. You can read that here.

Over at 4squarereview, I had the chance to review Amy Lawless’ new collection, Broadax. This is a book I highly recommend. It is fierce and funny.  You can read the review here.

Lastly, I will be taking part in the release party for the anthology Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump’s America on Sunday, March 18 at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC.  The reading begins at 3:30 pm. All proceeds from the anthology benefit the National Immigration Law Center. You can check out the Facebook event page here.


Some Poetry News


I wanted to share a quick update on the poetry front. I have a new review published over at 4squarereview on Ariel Francisco’s latest collection, All My Heroes Are Broke. I really like his work, and in the context of the immigration debates occurring in the U.S., his poetry feels especially powerful and resonant at this moment. Check out the review here. 

I also have three poems in the new anthology Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump’s America, out this month through NYQ Books. The collection includes work by Patricia Smith, Kaveh Akbar, Ariel Fransisco, Kyle Dargan, Gregory Parldo, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, and dozens of others. Proceeds will be donated to the National Immigration Law Center. You can order a copy through several retailers. Click here for more info. There will be a launch in mid-March at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC.


Quick Poetry Update

I mentioned a few weeks ago that in the new year, I would be writing poetry book reviews for 4squarereview.com and more essays for the Schuylkill Valley Journal. My first review for 4squarereview, on Aaron Coleman’s forthcoming book, Threat Comes Close, was published last week. You can read it here.  I also have an essay on Robert Bly and environmentalism in the new online edition of SVJ. This essay was a multi-month project, so I hope anyone interested in poetry or environmentalism takes the time to check it out. You can read it here.

This summer, I’ll be working on a new poetry manuscript, though I  feel no rush to publish it. I am merely going to start the process of ordering the poems. At least one section of the book will contain poems written in response to horror films. Three of those poems were published in the November issue of The Horror Zine and one was published in the debut issue of Rockvale Review. Check them out!

Aside from blogging about film, horror, and literature, I’ll still post poetry updates on here now and then.


Two Award-Winning Poets Visiting the Region

If you’re in NEPA, there are two events worth checking out this week. Two poetry heavyweights are giving FREE readings! First, Maria Mazziotti Gillan is reading at Keystone College, in Evans Hall, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Here is her bio:

Ms. Gillan has published 21 books, most recently the poetry collection What Blooms in Winter (NYQ, 2016) and the poetry collection with some of her paintings, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets (Redux Consortium). She is the founder and executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, Paterson, N.J. and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. Ms. Gillan is also director of the creative writing program and professor of poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY. She is the recipient of many awards for poetry and service to the literary community. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, New Letters, The New York Times, Poetry Ireland, Connecticut Review, The Los Angeles Review, The Christian Science Monitor, LIPS, and Rattle, as well as numerous other journals and anthologies.

Second, Yusef Komunyakaa is reading at Binghamton University this Thursday evening. For his bio and details about the reading, click here.

We’re lucky to have two big names and wonderful poetry advocates visiting this region within a day of each other.


Some New Words

I want to give a shout-out and thank you to The Schuylkill Valley Journal and Glassworks for publishing some of my new work. The Schuylkill Valley Journal published my essay “Revisiting Emerson: Why His Ideas on Genius Matter Now.” The essay was written before and after the election, in response to the international surge of right-wing populism. More so, the essay explores some of Emerson and Thoreau’s key ideas about protest and the American tradition. The essay can be read online here, and it will appear in print this summer.

Glassworks literary magazine published my poem “I Go Back to January 2015” in the new spring print and online issue. You can read the entire issue here. I encourage you to consider subscribing to either or both magazines, as they are two of my favorites in the tri-state area.

New Project!

I’ve been living with Waiting for the Dead to Speak for the last several months, doing readings for the book, sometimes with other NYQ authors and friends.  It’s been a blast, but now, with the spring term in full force, I’ve been focused on teaching and writing new work. I’m also putting together a new class, slated to run next fall: horror literature and film! Because of this, I’ve immersed myself in film theory essays again, in particular ones about the horror genre. Because of that research, new poems arose, first a piece about my Catholic guilt and watching The Exorcist, then one about Boris Karloff as Frankenstein,  and then one about Jason, and so on and so on. I don’t typically write a series of poems about one subject. I haven’t done that in years, since I worked on my chapbook Front Man, which is about the punk rock scene. That said, horror movies, when done well, do a great job at addressing society’s larger anxieties. Due to the uncertainties we’re living in, it just feels like I need to be working on these poems right now. It also allows me to process what is happening in the current geo-political landscape, while also removing myself from it somewhat. A few of the poems have been confessional, like some of what’s found in Waiting for the Dead to Speak, but for the most part, I use the poems to explore a number of horror films and what’s at stake in them, be it environmental disasters, end of the world scenarios, class issues, or feminist undertones.

Who knows how many of these I’ll write, but after publishing some book reviews and a few essays lately, it feels good to really dive into poetry again.