See you at Split This Rock!

I’m looking forward to this year’s Split This Rock Poetry Festival, which features too many amazing poets and panel topics to name. I hope to see you at my reading/panel below. Split This Rock Poetry Festival Thursday, April 14th, 11:30-1:00pm Eco-Feminist Poetry, Intersectionality, & the End of the Earth Jess X. Chen, Safia Elhillo, Clara Chagxin Fang, Cecilia Llompart, Hila Ratzabi AFL-CIO Gompers Room [Map] Solastalgia (n.): the pain experienced when the place that one…

Continue reading

Words Off the Page: An Evening with Jewish American Poets

On December 10th I had the pleasure of reading at the National Museum of American Jewish History with a wonderful group of poets in honor of The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. Below are some photos from the event taken by photographer Matthew Christopher for the Museum. It was particularly special to read with Hal Sirowitz, who lived for many years in the same neighborhood I grew up in (Fresh Meadows, Queens) and is a former Poet…

Continue reading

Today I spread my poems on the floor

(Photos by Lindsey Rae Gjording) It’s what every poet eventually has to do if they’re putting together a manuscript. Spread the poems on the floor. Like the batter of a very rich cake, pour it in the pan, spread it evenly. Let it find its shape and settle. But the recipe is not as clear with poems (and you don’t get a delicious cake as a reward for your hard work). Before today, I was…

Continue reading

The Earth Needs Our Poems

The news around the world is particularly grim lately, with the horrors of war and violence at the forefront of our minds. In the face of such senselessness, it seems fair to ask: Does poetry matter? Can it make a difference? I think about this a lot in the context of my writing on climate change. And I keep returning to the same conclusion. That poetry opens up spaces in the human imagination that didn’t exist before. It…

Continue reading

The Next Big Thing: Poems on Climate Change

Thank you to poet Ti Kendrick Hall for tagging me in the Next Big Thing! I realize now as I’m writing this that I was tagged once before, a year ago, but at that time I wrote about the story behind founding the Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop. This time I could probably talk forever about my current poetry book project, and I’m excited to share! 1) What are you working on? The short answer…

Continue reading

What Did You Do On Your Residency? I Sat And I Stared: A Lesson from Seinfeld

The writing process is notoriously mysterious and hard to describe, especially when one is in it. Writers are used to having to prove to people that they actually work, even though what they do doesn’t look a lot like work, or a lot like anything. Case in point: I’m coming up on the last week of my residency at the Vermont Studio Center. What did I do while I was here? It probably doesn’t look like much.…

Continue reading

In the Middle of It: Notes from Vermont

I’m on the other side of the Ides of March, post-Purim (the holiday of reversals), and inhabiting another side of myself. I am two weeks into my first writing residency, with two weeks to go. The first week here at the Vermont Studio Center was long and deep. I started writing immediately on the first day (even at the airport on the way from Philadelphia), and kept up a good pace for the first few…

Continue reading

Your Writing Is Your Work––It’s Not You

Yesterday I got an email from a poet friend that began: “I hope all is well with you and your poetry, not that the two are really separable.” I was struck by this line. Am I separable from my poetry? What does the assumption behind that statement mean? At first glance, the statement made perfect sense. To some extent my very well being depends on the health of my writing practice. This logic can apply…

Continue reading

How to Ask for Money as a Poet: A Drama in Ten Parts

1. Start by actually writing poems. Find that you’re sneaking in writing time wherever you can get it to fit. 2. Realize you have a book inside you. 3. Get really excited you have a book inside you. 4. Apply for artist residencies so that you can have the uninterrupted time and space you need to get that book out. 5. Get accepted to said residencies (if you’re lucky). 6. Realize you need money to…

Continue reading