Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New work at Return to Default! Old work at With + Stand!

Some new poems up at Return to Default! These are from a new manuscript called The Duration.

With + Stand lost their hard copies of their 6th issue, with work by many excellent humans including Tyrone Williams, Jennifer Bartlett, Angela Veronica Wong, Cara Benson and me, but you can now download a silky-soft PDF.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Publicly Complex: Simone White, Christine Hou, Geoffrey Nutter!

Tomorrow (Saturday, 10/26) at 6pm:

poetry by
Simone White
Geoffrey Nutter
Christine Hou

at Ada Books (717 Westminster St.)

Three poets whose work I think is just so great. You will too, if you come and hear them.

Review of The Fluency of Light

I reviewed The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theatre of Black and White by Aisha Sabatini Sloan. This book surprised, provoked and moved me; I recommend checking it out.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Publicly Complex presents Waldrop, Ragosta, Hayden!

This is tonight we're talking about:

poetry by
Keith Waldrop
Ray Ragosta
Sarah Hayden

Saturday, October 19th, at 6 pm
at Ada Books (717 Westminster St., Providence)

Hovering with The Skin Team

I added a power tower to the map, which is not the territory:

Jordaan Mason's book is stingo stuff.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Also, the government

In the department of "doesn't actually address the roots of the problem, but might make some people's lives more possible in the short term", today is a great day to donate to a food bank (because WIC is affected) and/or veterans' services (because the VA is affected). Donating to a national park, when the National Park Service's website is back up (it's down now because of the shutdown) would also be a good idea.

Links are to RI institutions because that's where I am (and where I donated), but searching for "[your state] food bank" or "[your state] veterans' services" should get you there.

New work in N/A

The new issue of N/A is up, and it's full of good work by Gina Abelkop, Matt Henriksen, Rae Armantrout, Michelle Detorie and more (including me). Go look!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review of origin of by Kiely Sweatt

My review of Kiely Sweatt's origin of is up at Coldfront.

A little taste: "The speaker may lust for a 'Frenchman with a thick accent' or feel an addict’s hunger, but the relative terseness and tight surface of the poems as a group offer a resistance and a desire to get the moment of intensity in and over with."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Poetry on Demand and Post-It Lit at the RISD Museum 9/19!

As part of the RISD Museum's Design the Night: Open House, I and six other poets will be at the museum on September 19th, 7-8:45 pm, with two participatory events.

Poets will be stationed at typewriters in four places around the 4th and 5th floors of the museum. You can walk right up to them and request a poem. They will type it for you on either a Smith-Corona Skyriter or a Smith-Corona Galaxie, and you'll get to walk away with it in your hand.

You can also come to the Post-It Zone (near the new media gallery on the 4th floor) and make poems on the museum walls, Magnetic Poetry style, with lines from participating poets, or add your own.

The poems made over the course of the evening will be collected in limited-edition chapbooks made by four Providence writers / book artists. To get a copy, you'll want to come to Ada Books on Sunday, 11/17, at 4 pm, for a reading and distribution party.

The Design the Night poets:
Mary-Kim Arnold
Lindsay Beebe
Indigo Bethea
Adam Golaski
Cherry Pickman
Amish Trivedi

The chapbook artists:
Maria Anderson 
Janaya Kizzie
Kat Murphy
Kate Schapira

Monday, September 2, 2013

Arterian, Mena, Schapira at Ada Books on September 4th!

This reading just popped up like an enthusiastic and intricate fungus in the hot damp end of summer:

Diana Arterian
Erica Mena
and me, Kate Schapira

at Ada Books (717 Westminster St., Providence)
on Wednesday, September 4th, at 7 pm

Please come!

Note: this isn't a Publicly Complex reading. Those start on 9/21, with Krystal Languell and Rangi McNeil.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Brenda Iijima's going blooming falling blooming

I reviewed the drastically beautiful going blooming falling blooming, by Brenda Iijima (from Delete Press), for LitBridge! Go look, and then invite this object into your home so it can bite you.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Danielle Vogel TODAY (Sunday) at the RISD Museum!

Danielle is the last performer in my week, so you can scratch your nagging "I was supposed to come to that thing Kate was curating" itch AND hear incredible, embracing, destabilizing and recentering work at the same time! 12-1, Lower Farago Gallery (Benefit St entrance), please come.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Joanna Howard AND Joanna Ruocco TODAY (Saturday) at the RISD Museum!

Not one but TWO Joannas! 12-1 pm, Lower Farago Gallery (Benefit St. entrance), you should be there, I will be there.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Andrew Colarusso TODAY (Friday) at the RISD Museum!

Enter the museum on Benefit St. at 12 pm.

Leave the museum THROUGH THE ROOF at 1 pm having been completely electrified by Andrew Colarusso's words.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kate Colby TODAY (Thursday) at the RISD Museum!

Starting at 12, wander in and out of Kate Colby's rigorous and winged poetic accumulations.

Same as before -- Lower Farago Gallery (Benefit St. entrance). Also, stick around (or come back) for musical transformers Humanbeast between 4 and 8.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tina Cane TODAY (Wednesday) at the RISD Museum!

From 12 to 1 pm or so

Tina Cane will lay some peerless precision down for you all

in the RISD Museum's Farago Gallery (Benefit St. entrance).

Drop by with your ears open!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Serena Putterman TODAY (Tuesday) at the RISD Museum!

All Providential people with a free lunch hour (12 to 1)

are advised come to the RISD Museum's Farago Gallery (Benefit St. entrance)

TODAY (Tuesday, August 13th)

to hear Serena Putterman's frank, strange words open a window.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Locally Made Poetry and Prose at the RISD Museum!

I'm excited to report a weeklong set of events at the RISD Museum: as part of their Locally Made show and series of programs this summer and fall, they've given me the chance to invite some writers -- some of whom you may know -- to share their work at the museum, in the gallery just below the Benefit Street entrance, at noontime. Here are the writers and dates:

8/13: Serena Putterman
8/14: Tina Cane
8/15: Kate Colby
8/16: Andrew Colarusso
8/17: Joanna Howard and Joanna Ruocco
8/18: Danielle Vogel

You can count on hearing good work any day you show up. There's a list of these and other amazing Locally Made events at the Museum's Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Reading at Brookline Booksmith, 8/9: Knox, Schapira, Flatt

Michael Flatt
Caroline Knox
Kate Schapira

will be reading for BASH (curated by Black Ocean)
Friday, August 9th, 7 pm
at Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA

Here's the Facebook event page. Please come! Tell your Boston-area friends! I've been wanting to read at Brookline Booksmith for years, and I'm particularly excited to read there with these excellent writers.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Two "No"s and a "Yes": tortuous paths to "doing something" -- or not

Yesterday, as soon as I heard my husband gasp when he opened the browser window, I knew. Later, at a writing event when people were looking at me, I quoted LaLasha Murphy: "What do I tell my babies? Run? Play dead? Fake a seizure?" Later, another writer (white, as am I) said, "What you read was like a poem. It's too bad you can't use it." I said, "No, that's hers. I can't use that."*

So my first "No" is: This verdict is about anti-Black racism in the U.S. and the structures that feed it and feed on it. DON'T try to make it about anything else. If you're already not doing that, great -- this statement is, obviously, not directed toward you.

My second "No" is in some ways more indirect. Blogger Ana Mardoll has been posting for the past day or so about the American Legislative Exchange Council, which furthers legislation like the Stand Your Ground law. More about ALEC and the companies that support it (as well as companies that have cut ties) here at its Buycott campaign. Rather than (or in addition to) boycotting, Mardoll recommends writing letters to the companies on the "Companies to Avoid" list whose services you use. I'll be writing to AT&T, my phone carrier. Write to my gmail address, publiclycomplex, if you would like a script for a letter.

My "Yes" is more indirect still. In my classes, I already ask my students to be attentive to the assertions they're making -- to evidence, to source, to interest. Who wants this statement to be true? Why might someone make it, other than its truth? Where does our knowledge come from, and where could it come from? How can we search for voices and beyond the ones that are easiest to hear? So -- more of that.

*With regard to all the actions in this post: I'm listing them as examples of things TO do, NOT because I want "credit" for them or anything weird like that.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Voting Rights

I just donated to Election Protection, which has this list of resources and recommendations on the recent Supreme Court decision striking down section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (in response to which Texas and North Carolina have already announced additional restrictions on voter ID).

I'm on the lookout for places to donate that will specifically pay for new ID for people who need it and might not otherwise be able to afford it (including travel to places where it can be supplied, copies of birth certificates, etc.) and if I find them I will let you know (all six of you).

You may refer to the last paragraph of this post for my thoughts on voting.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I reviewed Simone White's UNREST!

My review of Unrest, Simone White's resistant and impassioned chapbook from Ugly Duckling Presse, is up today at Coldfront in their Chap Nook column. It's so good -- the chapbook, I mean, though I hope the review is too. Do your mind a favor and buy Unrest here!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How to Stand With Texas (Even If You Don't Live in Texas)

Donate to the Lilith Fund or Texas Equal Access Fund (or both!) to help low-income women pay for abortions they want.

Jane’s Due Process counsels teenagers with questions about abortion services in Texas, connecting them when necessary to pro bono legal counsel who can represent them if they opt to seek a judicial bypass waiver to get around the parental notification requirements for minors getting abortion in Texas. They also monitor policy and help make sure that bad cases at the lower court levels don’t become bad precedent at the state Supreme Court level.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast does all the things that so many of us have so many reasons to be grateful to Planned Parenthood for doing.  Their Action Fund supports more direct political engagement.

Blogger Nonsequiteuse from Houston gathered these and other resources to support reproductive justice in Texas. If you'd rather donate to an abortion fund in your own state, the National Network of Abortion Funds lists them by state (you need to type in your zip code).


NOTE: Of the six(?) people who look at this blog from time to time, there may be those among you who object to abortion. These links are for the other four(?) of you.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Excited to report that my new chapbook, The Ground / The Pass / The Wave is out from Grey Book Press!

Here it is while still forming:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Presses Most: I teach for Frequency

I'm teaching a six-week workshop called What Presses Most for the Frequency workshop series in Providence. Here's what you need to know before you register:

This is a class for students who are ready to be braver in their writing practice and presentation. Writers will challenge themselves on two fronts: by writing in ways or under circumstances that are strange but important to them, and by exploring ways to arrange meetings between their work and the world. Plan for in-class writing, mini field trips, and the design and making of three chapbooks in six weeks. Writers in any genre are welcome; we will be reading and writing mainly short-form pieces.

Dates: Tuesdays, 6:30-9pm from July 9-August 13

Location: Ada Books, 717 Westminster St. Providence

Tuition: $240 (does not include photocopying costs, which are estimated to be around $40. Frequency has a few scholarships available to cover the copying costs for those in need -- let them know when you register that you'd like to be considered.)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A little history for your art

This blog is cool -- representations / documentation of people of color in European art -- most of what I've seen so far is 1400-1800-ish. In addition to art that's great to look at, presented with historical context, this blog can be used to refute a few different sub-varieties of racist sputtering!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

USO: I'll Be Seeing You

I reviewed USO: I'll Be Seeing You by Kim Rosenfeld over at the Small Press Book Review!

Kim's book is deeply attentive and worth the same kind of attention from you.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Have you been reading/looking at iArtistas? Well, you could start!

Specifically, for the purposes of this discussion, you could start by reading or listening to my poem "The Field Museum."


James and I went to Taiwan! Things that are great about Taiwan: James's extended family, potted plants on the sidewalk and on people's balconies, mountain trails, the MRT (subway) in Taipei, foods on sticks, parks with public exercise equipment, the high speed rail from Taipei to Kaohsiung, designated safe waiting areas for women in the subway at night, foods not on sticks, CLEAN public bathrooms, scooters outnumbering cars (at least in the cities we visited), low levels of dudes being jerks to other dudes for not being dudely "enough" (at least in public), high levels of baby cheek volume (insufficient data on how this compares to baby cheeks of other nations -- anyone want to fund an exhaustive study? I admit that I know an American baby that could boost our national average). Loved Taiwan, hope to go back one day.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review: My Tranquil War by Anis Shivani

I reviewed Anis Shivani's collection of poems, My Tranquil War, for the PANK blog. Go and look!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reading tonight!

I'm reading with colleagues Susan Kushner Resnick, Michael Stewart, and Robert Ward, on the Brown University campus (Wilson 102, on the main green -- if you walk in from Brown St./Waterman St, it's on the left). The reading's at 6:30 pm. Please come!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: Rise in the Fall by Ana Božičević

I reviewed Rise in the Fall by Ana Božičević for the Small Press Book Review.

You should check out the other reviews there as well, and the other books reviewed there.

I didn't say this in the review so I'll say it here: I bought this book at AWP and then sat down on one of those half-hassock, half-planter things in the lobby and read it all the way through. I thought about what I would probably have to destroy and was still reluctant to destroy. Thanks, Ana, for writing this book.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Divination in Providence: Jori Ketten, Hollis Mickey and Kate Schapira at AS220 Project Space

 Hollis Mickey and I are doing a collaborative event with Jori Ketten's Wayfinding show at the AS220 Project Space!

an event featuring images and text from 
Wayfinding: New Letterpress prints (and some tiny books)


AS220 Project Space
93 Mathewson Street
Providence, RI 02903

You can hold small prints from the show in your hands while contemplating the future and past. With Jori Ketten's Wayfinding prints as a starting point, I'll write your sacred texts and Hollis Mickey will explores what you hold for your future. Tent by Ariele Affigne, map (maybe) by Walker Mettling. 

This is free, fun, and potentially formative. Please come and discover.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mary Cappello: Archaeology of the Actual

For all nonfictional Providencians and nearby dwellers: Mary Cappello is teaching a one-day creative nonfiction studio called Archaeology of the Actual on Saturday, April 27th. You can learn more about it here, but the most important things about it are:

- "In this studio, we’ll explore the object world and its evocations. We’ll send plumb lines down into the literal places where we live, and we’ll warm-up memory by way of sound and touch."
- You'll get to work with a very good nonfiction writer who is also a very good teacher, alive to nuance, endlessly enthused and fascinated, patient and insistent.
- You'll also get to work with other committed and excited writers in an intensive setting.
- It costs $65, which you might actually be able to afford.

Date: Saturday, April 27, 10:30am-2pm (with a brief break for lunch)
Location: 186 Carpenter Street
Click here to learn more and register.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bother the State Department about the Keystone XL Pipeline

The State Department has opened comments on their report on the Keystone XL Pipeline, so you can now let them know that you think it's terrible, which it is.

350.org has made it really easy: they have a list of talking points you can choose from (mainly dealing with the increase in greenhouse gases if the fuel thus extracted is burned; immediate increase in environmental destruction and water pollution, and the short-term and limited quality of any jobs that the project brings to the area), and/or you can just type a message of your own. This is another "can't hurt, might help, doesn't take very long" move. Highly recommended. I did it two days ago.

Click here to send the State Department your comment opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

James McShane adapts "Negative Emotions"

If you like the stories of Lydia Davis, the comics of James McShane, or anything at all that is good in the world, you'll enjoy this graphic adaptation of Davis's short story "Negative Emotions".

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Out Like a Lion: Fertile Underground Fundraiser

Fertile Underground, a food co-op in Providence, is raising money for a new food access effort that you can read about here. I think this is a good project. I and a bunch of other people are reading to benefit it on Friday, March 29th, at 6 pm, at 1577 Westminster St.

Mary-Kim Arnold
Mark Baumer
Tina Cane
Darcie Dennigan
David Emanuel
Laura Brown Lavoie
Wendy Lawton
Casey Llewellyn
Serena Putterman
Kate Schapira

The event itself is free. You can see the store, investigate the project, donate if you'd like. Please come!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How to Be at AWP

One human alone has the capacity to be slightly-to-medium gross and make a small-to-medium mess (unless they're really trying). If you multiply that by thousands, we have the capacity to be very gross and make a huge mess without any intention of doing so. I saw this happen at AWP in Chicago last year, so what follows is a brief and basic guide to doing what you do at AWP in Boston without making extra work for the people who work in the spaces you're using. 

If you're sleeping in a hotel, leave a tip for the person who will clean your room. $2 per day per bed, at the end of your stay, seems to be the standard. (There are also guidelines at that link for how to leave the money so that it will be clear it's for that person.)

If you use the bathrooms in the hotel or convention center, and you get pee on the seat, wipe it off.  If you use tampons, don't flush them. Get your paper towels, if any, all the way into the garbage.

If you're working a book fair table, walk your trash to the garbage can -- don't leave it underneath.

If you currently work a "hospitality" or "service" job, or once did, act the way you wish customers would act. If you need something from someone who works in the hotel, ask politely. If you take a cab, tip the driver. If you buy food or drink, be civil to the person who hands it to you.

At an event like this, you're not acting in isolation; if you do something mildly repulsive or disrespectful, you will be part of a huge wave of increased difficulty for people who have very hard jobs. Interactions between a customer and a service worker, especially in a fast-moving and high-stress situation, often bring out the worst in the customer. I've been the customer/asshole in that situation and I don't want to be again, so this reminder is also for me.

I know there are many people for whom this reminder is unnecessary. But I also know that when we're tired, jet-lagged, overstimulated, anxious and/or hungover, we are not at our best, and if we have any latent racism and or/class prejudice and/or entitlement and/or plain spitefulness, that's when we let it show.

Make an effort, while you're at AWP, not to make anyone's day harder than it already is.

"Are you going to AWP?"

I am! And so delighted not to have to get on a plane.

On Friday, I'm reading with Noemi Press writers, including but possibly not limited to:

Erica Anzalone
Shane McCrae
Jeffrey Pethybridge
Khadijah Queen
(and me)

at the Boston Playwrights' Theater 
from 4pm to 6pm. Two stops away from the Hynes Convention Center on the Green Line (B towards Boston College) to Pleasant St. station. It's great if you come to hear me, but you really need to hear everyone I'm reading with. And you can still get to the 7 pm events!

On Saturday, I'll be at the book fair roaming around in the daytime. At 7:30 pm (doors at 7) I'm reading with writers from Lost Roads, Horse Less, Coconut and Sidebrow at The Distillery. It's BYOB and it will be amazing. Green Line (toward Lechmere) to Park St, change to the Red Line toward Ashmont/Braintree, take the Red Line to Broadway station. This venue is wheelchair accessible, but it's a 10-ish minute walk from the T stop.

 Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 25, 2013

More Big Things: Kate Colby

One of my other favorite poets and people, Kate Colby, doesn't have a blog so I have posted her responses to The Next Big Thing here.

The Next Big Thing

Tagged by: Darcie Dennigan

What is the working title of the book?

What was once one book just became two books, titled I Mean and Blue Hole.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The dark recesses. And the light ones.

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry, prose, poetics essays

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?


What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

“As the object of 20 Questions / I always choose light.”

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

These are various writings of the last three years.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Max Ernst, Joe Brainard, Corita Kent, John McPhee, Easter Island, Mork & Mindy, my son Willie

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Pink dolphins!

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I hope and imagine they will be published by a small press or presses. Ugly Duckling and Litmus published my first four books.

Tagging: Youmna Chlala

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Word for/Haunted Word

Thanks to the seemingly tireless efforts of Jonathan Minton, and a kind invitation to submit from Adam Golaski, I have a poem in the new issue of the ever-excellent Word for/Word, one of the online journals I read even when I don't have work in it. My poem is about ghosts and grammar, but I'm not going to link directly to it because you should read your way through the issue.

More Big Things: Michael Tod Edgerton

... what?

Here you may learn about the brand new right now book of one of my favorite poets and people, Michael Tod Edgerton.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Thanks to Deborah Poe for tagging me for this!

Since I don't have a full-length collection coming out in the next little while (unless I do! do I, presses to whom I've sent work?) and because I'm a smartass, I have done this this way:

The Last Big Thing / The Next Little Thing / The Next Next Big Thing

What is the working title of the book?

The Soft Place / The Ground / The Pass / The Wave / Bad Sentence

Where did the idea come from for the book?

My Social Security statement /a drive through Texas to a wedding / A 1929 grammar textbook

What genre does your book fall under?

poetry / poetry / poetry & essays
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I hate this question and I'm not going to answer it.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

I attempt to get through my own armor. / Crossing is hard, even crossing together. / These sentences examine and restage the relationships between grammar and power.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

about six months / about two months / still working on it

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

my husband James, Bernadette Mayer and Bhanu Kapil / Lynn Xu, Josh Edwards and a border patrol officer, and James, also /  my students and seven other writers

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Parts of it are kind of funny. / It was once three even smaller books. / Catwoman will make a guest appearance.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

published by Horse Less Press / to be published by Grey Book Press / email me at my gmail address, publiclycomplex, if you think this book might be for you!

I'm tagging Christie Ann Reynolds, Michael Tod Edgerton, and three other MYSTERY PEOPLE -- I'll post links when I have the full list!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Help Lorem Ipsum!

Fellow book-reading humans, please consider making a donation to Lorem Ipsum Books in Cambridge, MA, who are about to lose their premises. You can donate here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I return

I was busy. I went to New Orleans to see my dearest friend. I worked on some writing, and I got my syllabi together for the teaching semester, which has now started.

Rob McClennan interviewed me for his series 12 or 20 Questions, and he also reviewed The Soft Place. Thanks, Rob!

Don't forget to buy Little Eva, the Insomniac from Mars. Send me your receipt and I'll send you something special!

The first Publicly Complex reading of 2013 is on February 9th at 6 pm: Michael Tod Edgerton, whose amazing new book Vitreous Hide is just out from Lavender Ink, and Rachel Levitsky. If you're in the Providence area, you should come!