Round Robin: a CHEAP POP reading series

One thing I’m grateful for in 2020 is how the landscape of literary readings has changed. Where they used to be in-person only, tough-if-you-don’t-live-near-by events, accessibility of readings and author events via Zoom has exploded and given folks a chance to hear their favorite writers talk/read in a way they haven’t previously.

My darling CHEAP POP will be dipping into the online reading series circuit starting in November 2020 with the launch of ROUND ROBIN. The series (which I’ll be hosting) will be bite-sized readings by authors we’ve previously-published at CP, all centered around a theme (the theme for our first reading on Nov. 18, 2020 is CHANGE).

Incredibly excited about this opportunity to expand CP’s reach and give folks a safe, exciting (and, hopefully, inspiring) space to see/hear writers read and chat about their work. Details of our first event are in the image below: DM the CP Twitter account or email them at for the Zoom link/password. Hope to see you there!

Online (Free) Workshop: The Sky is a Story

I’m delighted to have a writing lesson called THE SKY IS A STORY up at Pidgeonholes as part of their LESSONS FROM A DISTANCE, a series of free writing workshops created on a range of topics by a range of authors.

What this lesson will (hopefully) get you to do is consider the words we, as writers, choose. Or, perhaps, maybe it’s this: think about what your default is, the crutches we all have—in word choice, but also genre, form, content, perspective and POV.

I use the sky and weather as an entry point to discuss word choice, plot points, the importance of world-building, while also touching upon other inspirations (like art) to help us build our writing vocabulary.

So, when we describe anything, we’re speaking figuratively, because we can’t literally, or actually, describe what any of us are experiencing.

What I want you thinking about is all the little things that make you who you are, on any given day, and how we lean into our words when we write. It’s hard to come up with new ways to say something, and the sky—and/or the weather—is a great place to start.

You can check out my lesson here, and the rest of the LESSONS FROM A DISTANCE curriculum is worth checking out, too.

Interviewing Sara Rauch for Fiction Writers Review

For Short Story Month at Fiction Writers Review, I had the pleasure of interviewing author Sara Rauch about her debut collection What Shines from It. We talked about finding inspiration in the natural world, Shel Silverstein, using visual art to help plot and plan, and the importance of hope.

I think of all those books I read, all those songs I listened to, when I was younger (hell, even now), that helped me understand there was something larger than myself out there in the world, something to look forward to, something to discover, something like solace, something like transcendence. If I can help bring any of those feelings, to anyone, through writing, then I will continue to attempt to do so, for as long as I am able.

You can read the whole interview here. Grateful to the editors of FWR, and for Sara Rauch for her time.

2020 F(r)iction Creative Nonfiction Contest

I’m thrilled to be the judge for F(r)iction’s 2020 creative nonfiction contest, along with uber-talents Charlie Jane Anders (short story), Devin Kelly (poetry), and Alina Stefanescu (flash fiction).

Per F(r)iction’s site:

Our editorial staff favors stories that celebrate the weird, take risks, and are driven by a strong, unique voice.

Submissions are due by March 31, 2020, with a $500 prize at stake.

You can find full particulars on the F(r)iction site. Good luck!


Pushcart Nomination – “After a Long Day at Work, He Contemplates a Vasectomy (and the Western Interior Seaway)” (Ghost City Review)

Grateful to Ghost City Review for nominating my poem about vasectomies and estranged family relationships for a Pushcart Prize. It’s an incredible cohort to be a part of, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Grateful to Justin Karcher and all the editors at GCR for believing in this piece. You can read it here.

“We Know So Little 012: Common Cuttlefish” at Pidgeonholes

The newest installment of my micro-essay series, We Know So Little, is about the miraculous, astounding cuttlefish, and learning to accept my body, my flaws, who I am.

But, here’s the thing: we won’t call them aliens any longer, implying—because we don’t understand—that they don’t belong here, that they haven’t worked hard to maintain, because, yes, the cuttlefish have found a way, haven’t they? And not knowing can be beautiful, a mystery we don’t need to understand to appreciate, the rhythm of the black waves crashing on the shore, the moon hanging low and yellow, toes digging divots into the wet sand, smiling—finally feeling like yourself, who you’ve always been and always wanted to be.

You can read the whole series here.

“We Know So Little 011: Horse” at Pidgeonholes

The newest installment of my micro-essay series, We Know So Little, is about horses, our inexplicably-linked history with them, and how they’ve served as a source of calm and comfort throughout so many instances of turmoil in my life.

The horse is running at full-speed, the arch of its back unmistakable, hooves raised high, ears perked, mane blowing, slicing through warm wind, scrubland, high desert, jungle. You’re twenty, no thirty, no sixteen; you’re single, no married, no dating: the horse responds to your touch with spasms of its remarkable muscle, by blowing its lips, letting out an imposing roar. It responds to you, the two of you together, this dance along the horizon, the edge of a lake where a marbled sky overhead promises rain, where thunderous green storms promise relief.

Describe a horse running forever.

No: describe how we got there.

You can read the whole series here.

New poem at Hobart

I have a new poem at Hobart called “Ode to the Moon Trees” about trees grown from seeds shot into space in 1971, largely forgotten now:

Back on earth, shock and awe: planted,
the seeds germinate; there’s no discernable
difference in their make-up. So they’re given 
away as gifts by the President, planted
on college campuses, in city centers, 
affixed with plaques to mark their terrible
cosmic journey.

I’ve long wanted to be published in Hobart, so this is a dream. I’m grateful to the editors there for publishing this poem.