Archive for the ‘Other Literary Work’ Category

Sam Houston State University MFA reading + Conversant

November 11, 2015

Happy to be reading Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. in Sam Houston State University’s Peabody Memorial Library (adjacent to Austin Hall) as part of the MFA program’s on-going reading series.


Also, if you haven’t checked out the recent issue of The Conversant, November’s issue features Brian Teare with Christy Davids; Rosebud Ben-Oni with Matthew Salesses on his new book, The Hundred-Year Flood; Stacy Szymaszek with Matt Longabucco; Lynarra Featherly with Stacey Tran and Travis Meyer of Poor Claudia; Jane Joritz-Nakagawa with Bill Berkson; my interview with Maria Miranda Maloney of Mouthfeel Press; Mathew Timmons & Ben White’s The People: Episode 32 with Kristin Cammermeyer & Claire Rifelj; Andy Fitch’s interview with Nightboat author Andrew Durbin. Check it out at

Failure to Identify Poetry Patio Party with María Miranda Maloney & new issues of The Conversant

September 5, 2015

Dear friendlies,

I finished my PhD! And moved to Houston, Texas to teach poetry and literature at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.  Lovelies and local artists/writers John Pluecker & Jorge Galván Flores are hosting a poetry patio party for myself and another writer newly moved to the area.  Info below.

And The Conversant is fully up and running after a summer hiatus.

Check out our most recent issues at

September’s issue of The Conversant is live! This month’s conversations include Freesia McKee with Anja Notanja Sieger & La Prosette on typewriting performance; Open House presents: Housten Donham with Fred Moten; Rosebud Ben-Oni with CantoMundo poets Diego Báez, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, J. Michael Martinez, Juan Morales and Octavio Quintanilla on {Power} Ballads; Andy Fitch with John Sakkis as part of an oral history of Nightboat Books; Mathew Timmons and Ben White’s The People with Troll Thread; Randall James Tyrone with Dan Beachy-Quick on his Essay Press book, A Quiet Book; That’s My Tattoo: a poetics conversation with Elisa Gabbert and Chris Tonelli, and Vernacular Visions: Brandon Freels with Justin Clifford Rhody.

August’s issue features conversations & interviews with Grace Shuyi Liew with Ginger Ko on feminist poetics, the poetry community’s sexism & Coconut Book’s recent hiatus; Laynie Browne & Julie Carr on their Essay Press chapbooks; The People’s Mathew Timmons & Ben White with Tom Comitta & Suzanne Stein; Rosebud Ben-Oni with JP Howard as part of Intersecting Lineages; Open House presents Madison Davis with Brittany Bill-Meyer Finn; Brandon Som with KAYA Press author Nicholas Wong; Jim Goar with Andre Baggoo; Andy Fitch with Nightboat author Daniel Borzutzky; Philip Metres with Stepan Brand; & Maria Anderson with Jennifer Kwon Dobbs on her Essay Press book.


Failure to Identify Poetry Patio Party: María Miranda Maloney & Ching-In Chen

Saturday September 5, 2015
Back Patio of Jorge and JP’s House, Houston TX (since this is a private residence, I’m not going to publicly post their home address — but send an e-mail to chinginchen [at], if you’re interested in coming and don’t know the address)

María Miranda Maloney & Ching-In Chen have just moved to our beloved alligator-infested, petrochemical-infused, swampy Texas Gulf Coast bayoulands. The days are a little shorter, but the summer sun is still burning the banana leaves. Come out and meet María and Ching-In, welcome them to the area and hear their amazing poetry.

We’ll be with the philodendrons, the castor bean tree, and the aloe veras on the back patio of our home for this event. It’s BYOB. Feel free to bring a drink or a snack or an extra chair. Feel free to bring friends and invite other people, but it’s our house so make sure they’re sweet.

And we’d love if you’d stick around and chat and hang out afterward. Let’s have some fun together. Not another Houston art-and-run event. Pull up a chair and stick around a while.

More info on the poets:

Maria Miranda Maloney is the founder of Mouthfeel Press and author of The Lost Letters of Mileva. She is the educational outreach organizer for the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum. She is the current poetry editor for BorderSenses. Maloney has an MFA in Bilingual Creative Writing from UT El Paso.

Ching-In Chen ( is author of The Heart’s Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and have been a participant in Sharon Bridgforth’s Theatrical Jazz Institute. They are senior editor of The Conversant and have served on the Woodland Pattern board, Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and as editor-in-chief of cream city review.

More info on the Failure to Identify Series (from JP):

This is the ninth event of an Occasional, Itinerant, Sporadic, Vagabond, Versatile, Irregular, Incidental, Intermittent, Roundabout, Accidental, Stray, Raro, Combustible series of arts & writing events. For the moment, the series is called Failure to Identify.

Since May 2012, I’ve been experimenting with creating spaces for innovative, interdisciplinary & risk-taking writers & artists to perform for Houston publics. Usually these events feature writers from out-of-town, though sometimes with local folks too. Sometimes the work pushes at the boundaries of the “reading” format. Since there is no institutional or academic funding (and I have no desire to institutionalize or non-profitize anything), the series has no fixed schedule and is super-occasional and super-dependent on happy coincidences and friendly, willing participants. Events have been held on the back patio of Kaboom Books or at other times in conjunction with local organizations like Art League, Project Row Houses, Fotofest and more. This will be the first time we have the party at home. Previous events have included:

May 2012: Let the Ponies Have Plenty of Room
June 2012: Jen Hofer & Javier Huerta
August 2012: Janice Lee & Anna Joy Springer
September 2012: TC Tolbert & Boston Davis Bostian
November 2012: Douglas Kearney
January 2013: Marco Antonio Huerta, Minerva Reynosa, Sara Uribe, and Lupe Méndez
March 2013: Rosebud Ben-Oni and Stalina Villarreal
March 2014: The Gender Book, Madsen Minax & CA Conrad

(Note to the note: As mentioned above, this series is now called Failure to Identify. It’s a crime in the U.S. to not identify yourself and it seems like somehow the work featured in this series has navigated the treacherous waters of (dis)identification, refusal and failure. The series was unnamed for a long time, but now I am liking this name more and more. It seems big and spacious and un-identifiable. In the past, I have given priority to just organizing the events, rather than naming what these events are. However, I have contemplated numerous names: Unzoned, Unnamed, As-Yet-Unnamed-But-Really-Quite-Lovely, before tentatively settling on this one: Failure to Identify.)

Poets Celebrate International Women’s Day + March’s Conversant

March 8, 2015

I’ll be reading at People’s Books Cooperative on Sunday, March 8 to celebrate International Women’s Day!  Thanks Freesia McKee for organizing!

Sunday, March 8, 3pm at People’s Books Cooperative, 804 East Center Street, Milwaukee, WI

International Women’s Day is a holiday celebrated around the world with political roots in the struggle for social and economic determination for people of all genders. As poets, we celebrate.

Ching-In Chen
Freesia McKee
Margaret Rozga
Mikey Cody Apollo
Nikki Wallschlaeger
Suzanne Rosenblatt

Join us! This is a free event.


Also, if you missed it, check out this month’s The Conversant, which features Woodland Pattern  presents Oliver Bendorf & Trish Salah; Housten Donham with Josef Kaplan; That Which Quickens the Pulse: Neelanjana Banerjee, Lisa Chen & Sunyoung Lee on KAYA Press; Flying Object Presents: Trinie Dalton; Rolling Around On Carpets: Danielle Susi with Ocean Vuong; Manifestation 2: Anaïs Duplan & Kione Kochi; Joseph Kalscheur with Seth Abramson; The People‘s Mathew Timmons & Ben White: Jennifer Moon & Lindsay Tunkl (Ep. 18); Negotiating Academic Constraints: Clara S. Lewis with Louis Bury; and Philip Metres with Dmitry Kuzmin. Check it out at

UC Riverside’s Writers Week reading + Feb issue of The Conversant (I interview Gregory Pardlo about Digest)

February 3, 2015

This week, I’m leaving snowy Milwaukee to return to UC Riverside for the 28th annual Writers Week as the alumni reader. I’ll be reading 10406704_1025308504151333_6838358957773050954_nWed, Feb. 4, 1:30pm in the UCR Bookstore Lounge.  Thanks to Tom Lutz, Writers Week director!  

Here’s the full Writers’ Week schedule here:

Also, February’s issue of The Conversant is live.  I was very happy that Gregory Pardlo took some time out to chat with me about Digest.  The issue also features ManifeStation: Anaïs Duplan & Kione Kochi, Caleb Beckwith w/Tom ComittaDanielle Susi w/Leigh Stein, Stephanie Anderson w/Jaime Robles, Zach Savich w/Andy Stallings, Amy Lawless w/Tyler Brewington & Kelly Schirmann, Ivy Johnson w/Robert Grenier, Jeff Alessandrelli w/Trey Moody & Joy Katz w/Sarah Vap.  Happy reading!

Woodland Pattern’s Shift: Guest Curators from the LGBTQ Community featuring Trish Salah & Oliver Bendorf

January 16, 2015

Woodland Pattern Book Center is happy to present Shift: Guest Curators from the LGBTQ Community, a series of readings, performances, and exhibitions curated by local LGBTQ artists and focused on sex and gender diversity in the contemporary arts.

Saturday, January 17, 7:00pm, Woodland Pattern – 720 E Locust St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212

Our first program, curated by Ching-In Chen, will feature readings by Trish Salah & Oliver Bendorf.

Here’s a sample of their work:

“Presents I might give you:
blood urgent with hunger, measured

be longing, the comfort and cut
of teeth, these two bodies (male, female),

graciousness with other lovers, fresh bread,
argument hot with Arak, stories, resilient regard.”
– from Trish Salah’s “Wanting in Arabic.”

“Call me tumblefish, rip-roar, pocket of light, haberdash and milkman, velveteen and silverbreath, your bitch, your little brother, Ponderosa pine, almanac and crabshack and dandelion weed.” – from Oliver Bendorf’s “Split It Open Just to Count the Pieces,” published in //The Spectral Wilderness//, winner of the 2013 Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize.

Bios: Trish Salah is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Her current research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Insight Grant, investigates the emergence of Transgender and Transsexual Minority Literatures. In 2014 she co-organized and hosted, Writing Trans Genres: Emergent Literatures and Criticism, a 3-day conference on Trans and Two Spirit Literatures and co-edited the fourth issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, focused on Trans Cultural Production. She is the author of the Lambda award winning poetry book, Wanting In Arabic (TSAR 2002, 2nd edition 2013) and of Lyric Sexology: Volume I (Roof Books 2014). Currently she is working on a book of essays on trans literatures, and a novel.

Facebook link to invite:

Oliver Bendorf is a teaching artist and writer. His book of poems, The Spectral Wilderness (Kent State UP), won the 2013 Wick Poetry Prize. His poetry, comics, and essays can be found in Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, Buzzfeed, Indiana Review, Original Plumbing, The Rumpus, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere, and he has received fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where he teaches, reads about, and makes animation, poetry, color, comics, gender, ghosts, and zines.

Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart’s Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and was a participant in Sharon Bridgforth’s Theatrical Jazz Institute. They have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Soul Mountain Retreat, Ragdale Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony, and the Norman Mailer Center. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review‘s editor-in-chief, senior editor of The Conversant, and serve on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission.

Many thanks to our community co-sponsors at FORGE! & Genderqueer Milwaukee!
$8 General / $7 Students & Seniors / $6 WPBC Members; $25 for a series pass

Future SHIFT series events: Guest curator Freesia McKee will present poet Danez Smith – Saturday, February 28th at 7 pm. Guest curator Josie Osborne will present David Trinidad & Marilyn Annucci – Saturday, April 25, 7pm. Guest curator Carl Bogner will present a program with dates and times to be decided. For series updates, please visit us at This reading was supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Our Favorite APIA Writing at Hyphen!

January 7, 2015

Thanks to Hyphen magazine editor Karissa Chen for asking Tina Bartolome, Matthew Olzmann, myself, Kirstin Chen, Michelle Peñaloza, Cathy Linh Che, Chang-Rae Lee, Eugenia Leigh, Ed Lin,Janine Joseph, Kimarlee Nguyen, Celeste Ng & Denis Wong for our favorite APIA writing. Glad I got to recommend the work of Mg Roberts & Monica Ong Reed & to see Joseph O. Legaspi, Sejal Shah,Vanessa Hua, Todd Kaneko, Cathy Hong, Chiwan Choi, Nicholas Wong & more on this list! Happy APIA reading!

Check out the list here:

Our Featured APIA Poets and Writers Recommend Their Favorite APIA Writing

local ground(s) Midwest Poetics anthology

November 19, 2014
local ground(s) Midwest Poetics, edited by Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman

local ground(s) Midwest Poetics, edited by Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman

Thanks to Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman for co-editing Local Ground(s)–Midwest Poetics: Selected Prose Verse Wisconsin 2009-2014 (Cowfeather Press) & including my zuihitsu on the Kundiman community as part of it! ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

Here are some snippets from the anthology which I posted during the digital launch party to celebrate the publication earlier tonight:

“… I have always been drawn to the spaces between languages, cultures, countries, emotional and mental states (like waking and sleeping, for example)–the interstitial spaces, and the hybrid or syncretic ones that result when the two merge. For me, this is to embrace the transformation, flux, and becoming that is life.” – Brenda Cardenas in “local ground(s) Midwest Poetics,” edited by Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

“‘I am writing,’ I explain, ‘a poem.’ ‘ Would it help?’ Would it hurt? There are all kinds of arts unfolding spontaneously–not sloppily–here at the Capitol. In the signs by protesters, in the posters. In the display of signage on the walls and hanging from the balconies. In the drumming of the student groups that have loudly led days of chanting. In the costumes of, for instance, a man who dresses up as an Imperial Walker. In the chants. In the bagpipes played by the firefighters who joined the protesters early on, who themselves slept over a few days ago. In the musicians who came with their guitars and cellos and saxophones. In the musicians who come with only their voices when instruments are banned around Day 19. In the knitting and crafting circles that meet at specific times. In the chalkboard at Ian’s, amended daily with a new color for the names of more countries from which donations have come. In the pictures and videos that people create and share on web sites, blogs and Facebook pages. In the little campsites of those who have been here many days, with their home-made quilts and arrangements of stuff to create a place. In the Post-Its that will cover the Capitol doors when they close to Wisconsin’s citizens on Day 28 ….” – Wendy Vardaman, from “The Essay That I Begin Writing While Walking to the Wisconsin Capitol Trying to Discern the Right Question 2/24/11” #‎MidwestPoetics‬

“Some of the places I liked to visit in my imagination were from the stories that my mother told me. She was the first person to tell me that the name of her town, Cuicatlán, meant land of the song in the Mazatec indigenous language.” — Moisés Villavicencio Barras, from an interview conducted by Sarah Busse for local ground(s) ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

“One night a poet from Jakarta prefaced his reading of a poem called ‘Going Home’ by explaining that when he wrote it he had returned home after having been away for ten years. What he didn’t say was he had been in exile because of his political activism, his work for democracy in Indonesia. A haunting line in the poem has lived in my memory as image: a faded and tattered sign bearing his name and the message ‘come home whenever.’ The memory of the poem, the image, the circumstances of the reading, the backstory, etc.–all these now always color my own reading or writing of poems about home places.” – Kimberly Blaeser, interviewed by Wendy Vardaman for “local ground(s)” ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

WI Library Association, cream city Friendlies reading, Java Nets writing workshops + November Conversant

November 6, 2014

Dear all,

Here are some upcoming events where you’ll find me:

Thursday, Nov. 6, 4:30-5:15pm:

Thanks to Nick Demske for inviting me, with Dasha Kelly, Marco Jaimez & Evan Maruszewski to represent BONK! Performance Series at the Wisconsin Library Association. We’ll be performing & chatting about “Turning Local Weirdos Into Artistic Powerhouses One Library Program At A Time” on the Collaborations & Innovations track:


Friday, Nov. 7, 7pm:

I’ll be emceeing our 1st cream city Friendlies Reading (UWM vs NMU), hosted by cream city review, Fri, 7pm, Union Art Gallery! Midwestern Friendlies is an initiative to build strong community and networks across writers in graduate creative writing programs in the Midwest. This event matches University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee writers Mollie Boutell, Sherri Hoffman & Soham Patelwith Northern Michigan University writers Cory Ferrer, Robin McCarthy &Becky Pelky. Free and open to the public!


Saturday, Nov. 8, 10:45am-12pm

I’ll be facilitating a writing workshop as part of Java Scripts, a monthly community writing workshop hosted by Still Waters Collective at CityNet Cafe (306 E. Wisconsin Ave):

Join us every second Saturday for a casual, coffee house writing series to stretch your imagination, exercise your pen and connect you with new neighbors. Whether you’re a committed writer or a never scribe, we  invite you to get inspired this year! A new facilitator will lead a writing prompt and circle discussion each month.

There’s no admission cost, but we insist that everyone supports the venue with the purchase of a beverage or food.


Also, in editing news, happy to announce that The Conversant‘s November issue is live, featuringAngela Buck‘s selection of Nada Gordon from Leonard Schwartz’s Cross-Cultural Poetics Archive; Celeste Guzman Mendoza on Ai for our Intersecting Lineages series; Rachel B. Glaser w/ Natalie Lyalin; Philip F. Clark w/Francisco Aragón; Omnidawn Publishing‘s Rusty Morrison withJoshua Corey; Metta Sáma‘s Female Aesthetic(s) Symposium (Part 2) w/Racquel Ima-Writer Goodison, Monica Hand, Patricia Spears Jones, Tracy Chiles McGhee & Arisa White; Caleb Beckwith‘s interviews w/F. Gordon Faylor as well as William V. Spanos, The People‘s Mathew Timmons & Ben White w/Janice Lee & Jared Woodland; rob mclennan w/George Stanley;David Koehn w/Jim Daniels; Radio Free Albion’s Tony Trigilio w/ Peter Davis;Mary Cappello w/ Peter Covino; and Sasha Steensen w/ Martin Corless-Smith! Also, a welcome to our new audio/video editor, Cassie Nicholson

1st Midwestern Friendlies Meet hosted by Indiana Unvirsity & October issue of The Conversant!

October 4, 2014

midw friendliesI — along with poetry reader Franklin KR Cline and fiction reader Michael Larson — will be reading for cream city review/University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at tomorrow’s 1st Midwestern Friendlies Meet, hosted by Indiana University at The Back Door (207 S College Ave, Bloomington, Indiana). The Midwestern Friendlies and Meets are an initiative to build strong community and networks across writers in graduate creative writing programs in the Midwest and readers from Butler University, Indiana University, Ohio State University, Purdue University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will also be reading. Come say hello if you’re in the area!


If you haven’t checked out the new October issue of The Conversant yet, please take a peek! Featuring these conversations — Female Aesthetic(s) Symposium (Part 1): Monica Hand, Patricia Spears Jones, Ruth Ellen Kocher & Tracy Chiles McGhee with Metta Sáma; H.L. Hix with Naomi Ward; our 1st Intersecting Lineages conversation between Rosebud Ben-Oni with Jason Koo; Cathy Wagner with Laura Sims; Tony Trigilio’s Radio Free Albion interview with R. Erica Doyle; Philip Metres with Ivan Zhdanov; J’Lyn Chapman with Rachel Blau DuPlessis; Stephanie Anderson with Joanne Kyger; Rusty Morrison with Ewa Chrusciel; Andrew Wessels with Claire Huot and Robert Majzels; “to make a new whole of the fragments”: A Roundtable Discussion with Poets in Women Write Resistance; Catherine Theis with Nathan Hoks; Elaine Bleakney with Dan Brady; The People: Mathew Timmons & Ben White with John Burtle & Elana Mann (Ep. 14), Kim Calder & Vanessa Place (Ep. 15); Marietta Brill with Michael Ruby & Elisabeth Workman and Sandra Simonds: Poets in Tank Tops Discuss the Universe!

Writing Trans Genres: Emergent Literatures and Criticism, May 22-May 24 (Winnipeg)

May 21, 2014

Excited to be heading to winnipeg for Writing Trans Genres: Emergent Literatures and Criticism, Thursday, May 22 through Saturday, May 24!


Lots of keynotes, plenary panels, readings & other workshops that I’m looking forward to – you can check for the full schedule. Also,


Thanks Trish Salah, Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Owen Campbell and Athena Thiessen for organizing!


Here’s where I’ll be presenting during the conference:


Thursday, May 22:


4:30-6pm Fucking Gender, Fucking Form – Rm 2M70, Eckhardt-Grammate Hall @ University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave, w/Ames Hawkins, Ching-In Chen, Emerson Whitney, K. Bradford


As trans and genderqueer writers, we inhabit our bodies, our communities, and our art forms marked and motivated by the contours and contexts of our gender. Our individual blueprints and proclivities — fluxes in desire, ruptures of trauma, morphings of body, configurations of race & class — infuse and drive our textual inventiveness. What we do to the sentence, what we do to the forms of writing on the page — and how we test the borders of the page itself — are 3 of gender fucking. We fuck the very forms we work in, as a creative and intellectual practice, and as part of what we do as gender variant people inhabiting the world. As we do and re-do our gender, we do and re-do the poetics and forms we step into as writers, carving out cultural space.


This panel will be a lively and layered event. We will engage each other in a series of questions about the acts of troubling form and aesthetics as connected to gender, looking at risks, experiments and failures; we will explore the lineage of writers we have been influenced by, then looking at examples of writing as we discuss the possibilities of language, image systems, voice and form via an aesthetics of gender variance. A lively dialogue with the audience will follow.


Friday, May 23:


3-5:30pm Group Reading at the Millennium Library, 251 Donald St, Winnipeg w/Aiyanna Maracle, Amir Rabiyah, Casey Plett, Ching-In Chen, Imogen Binnie, Joy Ladin, Mirha-Soleil Ross, Nathanaël, Rachel Pollack, Trace Peterson


free and open to the public!



Saturday, May 24:

6:30pm-8pm Plenary Panel: Identity and Poetics Across Genres – Eckhardt-Grammate Hall @ University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave


free and open to the public, w/ASL interpretation


Panelists: Ching-In Chen, Max Wolf Valerio, Micha Cárdenas, Samuel Ace, Trace Peterson


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