Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recently -- and Coming Up

Earlier this month, I read from recent works and partook in a lively Q&A with students enrolled in Northeastern Illinois University's Summer Creative Writing Institute. Thanks to Olivia Cronk and Christine Simokaitis for graciously inviting me into their classroom. Shortly after that, I spoke in Brad Greenburg's English 405 class about teaching poetry through writing poetry. I may not be teaching any classes myself this summer, but it certainly doesn't feel that way -- which is not a bad thing: I get the emotional and intellectual rush(es) without any pesky lesson planning or grading.

Next week, the Brief Nudity express takes me to Berkeley, California for a reading at one of my favorite places, Moe's Books, sponsored by one of my favorite resources, Poetry Flash. I look forward to seeing comrades from the Bay Area and visiting familiar haunts from my occidental past.

Additional upcoming appearances include a return to the Ipsento Reading Series (9/14), the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books (9/22, where I'll be coordinating two hybrid events on the poetry and music of a singer-songwriter), and a reading/panel at the Midwest Modern Language Association (11/9).

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Brief Nudity Book Tour Update

Just returned from a swing through the southland for two readings supporting Brief Nudity. The first was at Murray State University, where I inaugurated the summer low-residency MFA reading series (and later, got to listen to and meet fellow visiting writer Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn). The following night, I was fortunate to read for one of the biggest audiences a poet can dream of at Poetry Sucks! at Third Man Records in Nashville. This multi-media event included co-poets Paige Taggart and Sampson Starkweather, musician and artist Tim Kerr (whose paintings were on display), as well as rock 'n' roll from Lee Baines III & The Glory Fires. What can I say? It was an incredible couple of days.

Photo by Mark Robbins

 Right before my trip south, I had a blast returning to the Wit Rabbit Reading Series, joined by co-poets Jason Bredle, Tim Murray, and Lana Rakhman.

Tomorrow, I will give a talk and read from Brief Nudity as well as new works at the Summer Creative Writing Institute at Northeastern Illinois University. This is yet another return engagement, one which I am always thrilled to participate in.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

WKMS Interview

Click here to listen to my recent interview with Kate Lochte on WKMS, where I read from and discuss the inspiration behind some of Brief Nudity's poems.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Post-Solstice Recap

After two months of radio silence, here's some of what's been happening.

In May, the Brief Nudity reading tour kicked off with a special event in St. Louis.

No Lizard Kings was created to discourage, disparage and dispel the myth of the poet-rocker as some kind of hipster satyr. I was joined by fellow harmonic versifier Ken Kase, whose book, Seven Sonnets is available from Amazon. A month later, the event came to Chicago, again with Ken as well as local chanteuse and word warrior Snežana Žabić. This was the official book launch party for Brief Nudity, and a great time was had by everyone!

Also in May, I read from Brief Nudity at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was a pleasure to see many familiar faces at this event.

There are additional upcoming readings for Brief Nudity in Chicago; Murray, KY; Nashville; Berkeley, CA; Waukesha and Milwaukee, WI, with other dates TBD. Go here for your best central source.

I also recently completed my twenty week Hands on Stanzas residency at Skinner West Elementary. You may read about the various lesson plans and ideas taught throughout the year, as well as peruse student poems through the Poetry Center's Skinner blog.

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