Welcome ..... you probably clicked your way here because you've read my books, or you’ve been reading my work in magazines and anthologies, on paper and online. Maybe you know about my motherhood research. Maybe you've heard I'm a member of Chicago’s pre-Roe underground abortion service, often called JANE. Perhaps you’re looking for my book about Grace Paley and other writing. In any case, you can read a poem, essay or story right now, or listen to me read at SoundCloud or Oregon Poetic Voices, or watch a video of me reading at the Pond House. You can even hear episodes of my KBOO Community Radio show - Poetry and Everything.
Many Happy Returns! 4th Period English is back! This chapbook, a collection of poems in the voices of characters - most of them high school students - talking (and arguing) about immigration, was designed/created by Susan and Mac at Ash Creek Press, with cover art by David Shratter. Portland publisher Charles Overbeck has just brought out a new edition to be of use in this awful time, and we're thinking about the collection's obvious value as performance. Order it directly from Eberhardt Press.
AND! Coming soon, also from Eberhardt and also to help us deal with the national horrorshow, is a new edition of Grace Paley's Life Stories. Though refreshed in various ways (new design, new cover, new preface, some editing), this biography again/still offers a strong focus on Grace's fiction and activism, and the strong relationship between them. Grace isn't here anymore, but her life is a model for us all, in the streets and on the page. Her friend Ursula K. Le Guin, in an interview in the Dec. 8, 2017 issue of Entertainment Weekly, was asked: "Is there a book you wish you had written?" She replied: "Any of Grace Paley’s books. But [actually] I don’t wish I had written anybody else’s books; I just wish I was more like Grace Paley.” For this one we're going to need some support, so we’ve put up a Kickstarter page (begun on Monday 9/17). Click it up and help us out, please&thankyou! And, of course, do tell everybody else to do the same!
Announcements from the Planetarium, my newest full length collection, was published in spring of 2017 by Flowstone Press, the poetry imprint at Left Fork Books. I did a batch of readings to celebrate in 2017 and 2018 - at the Astoria Library (out where the Columbia River runs into the sea), Broadway Books, Backstory Books (with Josh Lubin), Stonehenge Studios (with Constance Hall), Portland's NW Library (with Amy Miller), the J. Conrad Dunagan Library of the University of Texas/Permian Basin, the Rainbow Cafe in Auburn, Washington (with the Striped Poets), Another Read Through (with Devon Balwit and Matthew Minicucci), the Ghost Town Poetry series in Vancouver, Washington, the Peregrine series in Lake Oswego, Oregon, the Pond House series in Milwaukie, Oregon and at the Lents Farmers Market in Portland, where there were four of us providing poetry-as-food: Darlene Pagan, Jon Boisvert, Tim Whitsel and me.
And now for something completely different: On March 12, 2018, I was part of a panel at SXSW in Austin, Texas - we talked about reproductive justice and abortion access in seriously practical terms. You can listen to us (moderator Imani Gandy + panelists Candice Russell, Susan Yanow, and me) at this link: The Handmaid's Tale IRL: What if Roe Were to Go?.
More events in the fall -- no doubt because (a) we'll be in the run-up to the mid-term elections, and (b) the USA is in dire straits as I type this (end of summer, 2018), some gigs I've signed on for are politically-inflected ..... one's in the afternoon of October 14th and one on the evening of November 3rd .... also, I'll be staffing a table at the Resource Fair for the Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice at Madison High School in Portland during the day on October 20th .... check back later for details!
In September, Poetry and Everything will feature Michael Spring; he'll be reading his work and talking with me on KBOO Community Radio, Monday, September 24th at 10:00pm --- and, after that, you can listen to the show online anytime from anywhere. If you missed Wendy Chen in August, you can find her there.
Listen to an interview at THE ABORTION DIARY podcast - Melissa Madera’s valuable collection of first-person stories. We talked for a long time about many things (Chicago's underground abortion service, my own abortion, lots more) and she did a great editing job.
Listen to a story at BEAR WITNESS, the show produced by Erin Yanke and Moe Bowstern at Portland’s Jack London Bar. That event was the first time I included my cancer experience in my art, and I'm happy to say it went well. Here's an audio clip, hosted by Portland’s KBOO Community Radio; it includes Moe’s brief intro and her usefully thoughtful words at the end.
For info about + links to my recently published work in journals and zines, online and on paper, check out Selected Works.
And, as the song says, you must remember this ........ Shop at your local, independent bookstores; support the reading and writing community you love. In Portland, Oregon, amazingly and luckily, there are several good ones!