Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

Troubling the line @ Poetry Project, Imaginary Friend Press chapbook contest, pre-orders for Adrienne & Lambda’s 25 for 25

December 11, 2013

Here’s the news on my end … & keeping warm in a snowy time:-)

1) I’ll be heading to NYC tomorrow to help celebrate Troubling the Line @ Poetry Project

Join us for an evening of poems and poetics by writers from Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, edited by TC Tolbert and Tim Trace Peterson. Featuring: Samuel Ace, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Ching-In Chen, Jaime Shearn Coan, Joy Ladin, Dawn Lundy Martin, Tim Trace Peterson, Trish Salah, Zoe Tuck, Emerson Whitney, and Raymond Foye reading poems by John Wieners. Published in Spring 2013 by Nightboat Books, Troubling the Line is the first-ever anthology of poetry by trans and genderqueer writers.

2) 5 more days to submit to Imaginary Friend Presschapbook contest (for those who are not white & male & straight)!

Imaginary Friend Press’s Chapbook Contest

Submissions will be accepted between September 1, 2013 and December 15, 2013.

The winner will be announced in May. This contest is open to anyone who does not identify as a straight, white male. This exclusion is very purposeful. Imaginary Friend Press wants to promote voices that are often ignored and often dismissed.
If you’re curious if you’re being excluded ask yourself these questions:
Are you white?
Are you male?
Are you straight (heteronormative)?
If you answered yes to all three we wish you the best of luck winning another contest with your manuscript. We would also like to remind you that Imaginary Friend Press reads chapbooks all year round, but we’re sticking with our mission to celebrate new and diverse voices here.

The winning book will be published by Imaginary Friend Press. The author will receive an honorarium of $100 and 25 copies of their book. Imaginary Friend Press may also (and hopes to) select other books for publication.

Imaginary Friend Press editors will read all manuscripts and forward the finalists on to our esteemed readers. They will collectively make the final decision.
This year the final readers are:
Shane McCrae, author of Mule and Blood
Ching-In Chen, author of The Heart’s Traffic
Margaret Bashaar, editor of Hyacinth Girl Press
Noel Pabillo Mariano, contributing writer to
Ayshia Stephenson, author of black hands of a morning calm

To submit the entry fee is $5 for entry or $7 dollars for entry and a copy of the winning book (US addresses only. Simultaneous submissions are accepted as long as IFP is informed of publication elsewhere. Multiple submissions are allowed with entry fees for each submission.

Manuscripts must be between 12-20 pages in length. Manuscripts must be paginated, have a table of contents and an acknowledgements section (if poems have been published individually). Manuscripts may have individual poems published, but they should not be published as a whole elsewhere.

Style and theme are open. There should not be any art, photographs, images included in the manuscript.

This is not a first book contest, but authors seeking their first book publication are encouraged to submit. Multi-authored collections are acceptable, but IFP can still only award one honorarium.

Questions? Please email us at Submit to Imaginary Friend Press

3) Sibling Rivalry Press is now taking pre-orders for the debut issue of Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women edited by Valerie Wetlaufer.  Very happy my poems found a home in this inaugural issue alongside poet-friends Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Elizabeth Bradfield, Meg Day & Franciszka Voeltz, amongst others.  Support the poets & Sibling Rivalry Press!

4) 25 for 25: An Anthology of Works by 25 Outstanding Contemporary LGBT Authors And Those They Inspired (Lambda Literary Foundation’s 25th Anniversary collection E-book) is now on sale!

25 for 25 is an anthology of works by some of our community’s leading authors, including Dorothy Allison, Ellen Bass, Alison Bechdel, Ivan E Coyote, Jewelle Gomez, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Alex Sanchez, Sarah Schulman, David Trinidad, Edmund White and many others, with original introductions by emerging writers they’ve influenced, many of whom the Lambda Literary Foundation has had the opportunity to support and nurture during one or more of our annual Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Voices Retreats.  Thanks to Ames Hawkins for including my piece written for Achy Obejas in this anthology.
Happy reading, writing & making fun in the snow!

partly blaze in Shepherd Express, Hidden Culture Tap (w/Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara & Susan Firer), Echolocations launch party @ Madison Public Library

November 21, 2013

Thanks to Susan Firer for including my poem, partly blaze, in her Shepherd Express poetry column this week! I’ll be reading with Susan & Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara this Thursday night @ HIDDEN CULTURE TAP: November Edition!


This Thursday (Nov. 21) at Downtown Books – Official (624 N. Broadway Ave, Milwaukee) we have a VERY SPECIAL Hidden Culture Tap, 7-9pm! This month’s readers are:

CHING-IN CHEN is the author of The Heart’s Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. They are a Kundiman, Lambda and Norman Mailer Poetry Fellow and a member of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation and Macondo writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review’s editor-in-chief.

Poet, playwright, and actor MAURICE KILWEIN-GUEVARA was born in Belencito, Colombia, and raised in Pittsburgh. He has published several collections of poetry, including POEMA (2009); Autobiography of So-and-so: Poems in Prose (2001), nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize; and Postmortem (1994), nominated for the National Book Award. Kilwein Guevara co-wrote, with John Trevellini and Mike Sell, and acted in the film To Box Clouds (2002). His play, The Last Bridge/El Ultimo Puente (1999), received a staged reading Off-Broadway. Kilwein Guevara’s honors include a Fulbright Scholarship in Colombia and awards from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. His poetry has been included in numerous anthologies, such as Touching the Fire: Fifteen Poets of Today’s Latino Renaissance (1998, ed. Ray Gonzalez), The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology (2000, ed. Michael Collier), No Boundaries: Prose Poems by 24 American Poets (2003, ed. Ray Gonzalez), and The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (2005, ed. Sue Ellen Thompson).

SUSAN FIRER’s most recent book is Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People: New & Selected Poems 1979–2007. Her previous books have been awarded the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize, the Posner Award, and the Backwaters Prize. She is a recipient of a Milwaukee County Artist Fellowship, a Wisconsin Board Fellowship, the Lorine Niedecker Award, and in 2009 she was given the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Distinguished Alumnus Award. She has poems in over 35 anthologies, including Best American Poetry; Visting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams (University of Iowa Press); The Cento: A collection of Collage Poems (Red Hen Press); and The Book of Irish American Poetry: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present (University of Notre Dame Press). Her poems have appeared in over 100 journals, such as Chicago Review, jubilat, Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, New American Writing, and others. She edits the Shepherd Express online poetry column, available at From 2008–2010 she was Poet Laureate of the City of Milwaukee. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.


I’m also excited to have my piece, “Confessional: Hijacked,” included in Echolocations, Poets Map Madison, edited by Verse Wisconsin editors Wendy Vardaman & Sarah Busse as well as Shoshauna Shy

  • Cover Photo

     (201 W Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703, Community Room, 3rd floor).
    Join us to celebrate the publication of Echolocations, Poets Map Madison, a literary block party filled with both echoes and locations, as more than 100 poets who have crossed paths with the city, past & present, share poems that refer to specific Madison places. At this free event, we’ll explore Madison through language, maps, poems and more with family-friendly activity centers, food and conversation.About Echolocations: long-time residents live next
    door to writers who passed through for only a while. Local streets intersect with myth, history, personal narrative and ecology. More than geography, more than chronology, what emerges is something akin to the shifting psyche of a city. Poem by poem, a new map evolves, folds back upon its own stories, and rewrites itself over and over through its sounds and its silences, taking into account a variety of perspectives, a multitude of voices.

    Hope to see you!

Poetry & Pints (Grand Rapids); First Wave @ WI Book Festival (Madison); Red Rover Trans & Genderqueer (Chicago); Verse WI conversation & 1st Amendment chapbook

October 13, 2013

Dear all,

A conversation about Sentiment & Sentimentality with Sarah Busse, Cathryn Cofell, Fabu & Chuck Rybak & organized by Wendy Vardaman has been published in the latest issue of Verse Wisconsin.  Also, an excerpt of a poem I wrote about the Wisconsin uprising is being reprinted in Turn Up the Volume: Poems on the States of Wisconsin, a limited edition, hand-bound chapbook available NOW through October 25 for pre-publication purchase ($15 + $2 for postage).  After Oct. 25, the price will be $20 + postage.  Click on donation, SPECIFY CHAPBOOK ORDER and number of books in comment box and order directly through the First Amendment Protection Fund online.

I’ll also be reading &/or participating in the events below.  Hope to see you there!

1) Poetry & Pints, Harmony Brewing Co, Grand Rapids, MI, 10/13, 8pm EDT

2) PERFORMANCE POETRY:  First Wave @ Wisconsin Book Festival, Madison, WI, 10/18, 5:30pm CST

3) Red Rover Series Experiment #68: Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, Outer Space Studios, Chicago, IL, 10/19, 7pm,



1) Poetry & Pints, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Readings by Ching-In Chen, Zoe Addison, Nikki Wallschlaeger, and Cynthia Spencer

Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506, 8pm EDT, Sun, 10/13

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. They are a Kundiman, Lambda and Norman Mailer Poetry Fellow and a member of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation and Macondo writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review’s editor-in-chief.

Zoe Addison explores mysticism, power, and subjectivity in her poems. Her poem “Apocalysm” was published on Everyday Genius. She co-authored and co-produced the interactive hypertext document &c.&c.&c.&c.&c.&c.&c.&c.&c. with Cynthia Spencer (

Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work has been featured in DecomP, Esque, Word Riot, Spork, Great Lakes Review and others. A chapbook is forthcoming from Strange Cage. She lives in Milwaukee, WI and considers the Midwest one of the bestplaygrounds to live in, where all the worst bullies and the best lovers live, all at once, arguing on themonkey bars over the wet cement. You can reach her at

Cynthia Spencer is the author of three solo chapbooks: in what sequence will my parts exit (Plumberries Press, 2011), MERCY (Pity Milk Press, 2012) and 3/THREE/III (Strange Cage, 2013). She has worked collaboratively on just about everything else she has ever done with Chelsea Tadeyeske, Zoe Addison, Edwin R. Perry and others. These things include the Cloudburst and Empty Room reading series, a chapbook of math-inspired poems called THERE EXISTS… and a hypertext called etcetcetcetcetcetcetcetcetc available at She lives in Milwaukee and recently starting playing the ukulele.

2) PERFORMANCE POETRY:  First Wave @ Wisconsin Book Festival
10/18/2013 – 5:30pm
Overture Center for the Arts – Promenade Hall
Poetry and Performance were once a united art, going back to common ancient roots. In the last few centuries, this connection has largely been lost. This event will point to some of the ways back, bring “page” poets and “stage” poets together across multiple divides:page/stage/class/race/gender/age. OMAI presenters, Lemon Andersen and Gia Scott-Heron, will provide feedback alongside Verse Wisconsin responders, Margaret Rozga, Ching-In Chin, Amaud Jamaul Johnson, and Andy Gricevich

3) Red Rover Series Experiment #68: Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics 


Oliver Bendorf
Ching-In Chen
Meg Day
TT Jax
Stacey Waite
& guest curated by Jen (Jay) Besemer

at Outer Space Studio
1474 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL
suggested donation $4

Saturday, Oct. 19, 7pm / doors lock 7:30pm

logistics —
near CTA Damen blue line
third floor walk up
not wheelchair accessible

About the new anthology published by Nightboat Books:
The first of its kind, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics edited by TC Tolbert and Tim Trace Peterson, gathers together a diverse range of 55 poets with varying aesthetics and backgrounds. In addition to generous samples of poetry by each trans writer, the book also includes “poetics statements”—reflections by each poet that provide context for their work covering a range of issues from identification and embodiment to language and activism.

OLIVER BENDORF’s book, The Spectral Wilderness, was chosen by Mark Doty for the 2013 Wick Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Kent State University Press. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where he recently earned his MFA and now teaches creativity, comics, and composition.

JEN JAY BESEMER is the author of several poetry books and chapbooks, including Telephone, Object with Man’s Face, Quiet Vertical Movements, Ten Word Problems, and What Is Born. A new chapbook, Aster to Daylily, is forthcoming in 2014 from Damask Press. Jay’s recombinant poetry projects are also found in Monsters & Dust, Aufgabe, Drunken Boat, BlazeVOX, e-ratio, Sentence and other delicious publications. Jay also writes feature essays and reviews, and teaches art and poetry workshops in and beyond Chicago. To find out more, visit

CHING-IN CHEN is author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). They are a Kundiman, Lambda and Norman Mailer Poetry Fellow and a member of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation and Macondo writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review’s editor-in-chief. See

MEG DAY, recently selected for Best New Poets of 2013, is a 2013 recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry and the author of When All You Have Is a Hammer (winner of the 2012 Gertrude Press Chapbook Contest) and We Can’t Read This (winner of the 2013 Gazing Grain Chapbook Contest). A 2012 AWP Intro Journals Award Winner, Meg has also received awards and fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Hedgebrook, Squaw Valley Writers, and the International Queer Arts Festival. Meg is currently a PhD fellow in Poetry & Disability Poetics at the University of Utah.

TT JAX is a parent, poet, mixed media artist, and writer living in the Pacific Northwest by way of 28 years in the Deep South.

STACEY WAITE is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and has published four collections of poems: Choke (winner of the 2004 Frank O’Hara Prize), Love Poem to Androgyny, the lake has no saint (winner of the 2008 Snowbound Prize from Tupelo Press), and Butch Geography (also from Tupelo Press in 2013). Waite is the co-host of Prairie Schooner’s podcast “Air Schooner” and has individual poems appearing most recently in Bloom, The Indiana Review, and Heart Quarterly. One of Waite’s poems from Troubling the Line was selected by Denise Duhamel and David Lehman for Best American Poetry 2013.

EDNA, Exquisite Uterus & Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books

September 20, 2013

Dear lovelies,

My poem, “Composition/Sitting Still,” was made at Millay Colony for the Arts & is in EDNA, alongside work by fellow Millay alumni I was in residence with — Cristián Flores García, Claire Donato, Carl J. Ferrero and Fiona Templeton — as well as friends Sarah Gambito, Evie Shockley, Ronaldo Wilson & more!


Other news:

1) I’ll be reading at the opening reception of the Exquisite Uterus exhibit at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Union Art Gallery, 5-8pm.

The Exquisite Uterus Project: Finding Equal Ground  is a collection of 200+ fiber and mixed-media artworks from across the nation to give voice to the pressing issues of our time relating to reproductive healthcare for all women. This collaborative art project was started in early 2012 by feminist artists and curators Helen Klebesadel and Alison Gates in response to what is being called the ‘War on Women’.  This iteration of The Exquisite Uterus Project will also feature a print collection regarding reproductive rights entitled“This is an Emergency!” curated by Justseeds Artist Collective artist Meredith Stern.

2) I’ll be appearing on a panel on Southeast Wisconsin Literary Magazine Publishing with J. Rod Clark at the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books on Sunday, September 22, 3-4pm at the Library at the University of Wisconsin at Waukesha.

More soon!

zuihitsu in Mead Magazine

May 9, 2013

Thanks to Nicholas Wong & Laura McCullough for including my zuihitsu, Various Various, in the spring issue of Mead Magazine!


Lantern Review poetry giveaway, cream city review & Ninth Letter reading in Champaign + UWM library reading for National Poetry Month!

April 11, 2013

Dear lovelies,

In honor of poetry month, Lantern Review is running a poetry giveaway on the blog where you’ll be entered to win a 1-year subscription to Asian American Literary Review and copies of Nicky Schildkraut’s collection Magnetic Refrain and Henry’s chapbook, Paradise Hunger, when you leave a comment with the name of at least one Asian American poet you love or think others should know about & you’ll be enter to The first 10 people to enter each also get a gift (a bundle of “poetry starter packs” containing prompts and snippets of ekphrastic/found inspiration). I’ve also contributed my own two picks for Asian American poet to read.

Also, catch Jewel Marie Bush’s National Poetry Month blog post for Uptown Messenger! A great list of Gil Scott-Heron’s work and shoutouts to Kundiman alumni Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, Tarfia Faizullah & me, among others!

In other recent news, I’ll be doing these upcoming readings here:

1) cream city review & Ninth Letter reading

Saturday, April 13, 5:30-7:30pm

Mike ‘n Molly’s, 105 N Market, Champaign, Illinois 61820

As part of the annual 
Boneyard Arts Festival, the University of Illinois will hold its first Visiting Writers Reading, featuring students from the PhD in Creative Writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and special guest Frank Montesonti, as well as students from UIUC’s MFA in Creative Writing program.

Please join us on April 13th at 5:30PM for this special event, to be held at Mike ‘n Molly’s in downtown Champaign. Learn more about our readers here:

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor ofThe Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). A Kundiman and Lambda Fellow, Ching-In is part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and has been a participant in Sharon Bridgforth’s Theatrical Jazz Institute. Ching-In attends the PhD program in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and is Cream City Review’s editor-in-chief.

Loretta McCormick is a native Angelino and creative writing PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she studies and writes about freakery, disability and death. She is a fiction editor for Cream City Review, and her work has appeared in The Northridge Review. 

Khaleel Gheba is an MFA candidate in Poetry, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He grew up in Maryland. He once used a poem to lift a burning car off of a baby. He’s very tired. Please don’t wake him.

Natalie Mesnard is a student in the Creative Writing program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work is forthcoming in Copper Nickel and Kenyon Review Online.

Greg Rodgers is an author and Choctaw storyteller who appears at schools, libraries, universities, museums, and tribal events throughout the country. He has written two books, The Ghost of Mingo Creek and One Dark Night in Oklahoma. Additionally, he is a contributing writer for the graphic-anthology, Trickster, an ALA Children’s Notable Book for 2011. Greg is listed as an official Smithsonian Associate and is currently a Graduate Assistant in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kara Van de Graaf is a doctoral student in creative writing at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a miniature silverware enthusiast. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the anthology Best New Poets, Ninth Letter, Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Third Coast, Alaska Quarterly Review and other journals. She is a poetry editor for Cream City Review.  Her favorite animal is the goat.

Special guest Frank Montesonti is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Blight, Blight, Blight, Ray of Hope, winner of the 2011 Barrow Street Book Prize chosen by D.A. Powell, and the book of erasure, Hope Tree (How To Prune Fruit Trees) by Black Lawrence Press. He is also author of the chapbook, A Civic Pageant, also from Black Lawrence Press. His poems have appeared in journals such as Tin House, AQR, Black Warrior Review, Poet Lore, and Poems and Plays, among many others. A longtime resident of Indiana, he now lives in Los Angeles and teaches creative writing at National University.


2) UWM Poets Read at Library in Celebration of National Library Week

In celebration of National Library Week (April 14-20) and National Poetry Month, the UWM Libraries are hosting a poetry reading by UWM creative writing professor Susan Firer, graduate students Ching-In Chen and Elisa Karbin, and undergraduate Skyer Osborne in the Golda Meir Library’s Grind area on Tuesday, April 16 at noon.

The reading, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the UWM Libraries, Department of English, and School of Information Studies.


Podcast @ One World Cafe, Niedecker Poetry Festival, Rev @ Home Milwaukee, Verse WI & WI Book Festival, Dirtcakes

November 3, 2012

Dear friendlies,

I’m writing this from the busiest fall yet since I’ve moved to Milwaukee. I’m writing this from a night which included facepainting, music-making, hot chocolate and singing to the dead. I’m writing you from a warm house set up to receive visitors for a housemate’s 49th mix-tape birthday party tomorrow night. I’m writing this from a place of gratitude for being connected with me on this journey and more to come …

Some news!

1) in Podcast form! 1st Skype reading & interview w/Claire Hart of One World Cafe up!


2) Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival, Saturday, Nov 3

Dwight Foster Public Library, 209 Merchants Ave, Fort Atkinson, WI

11am-12:30pm Nature of Wisconsin Poetry panel (Community Room)

Culture, storytelling, personal experience, how they relate to physical place, community and relationships, create layers for potential poetry. This panel will highlight Wisconsin voices of diversity and the importance of diverse voices in mainstream writing. Each year this conversation gets everyone thinking about poetry, their own and the state of poetry in Wisconsin. This conversation element of the Wisconsin Poetry Festival never disappoints.

Moderators: Kim Blaeser

Panel: Jim Stevens, Ching-In Chen, Kate Sontag

3-5pm Poetry Round Table (Reference Area)

Invited poets will read and discuss their work in small groups. There will be two 40 minute sessions with a 10 minute break.

Group A Kim Blaeser and Robin Chapman – Community Room

Group B Jim Stevens and Anjie Kokan – Wisconsin Room

Group C Ching-In Chen and Sandy Stark – Reference area

Group D Kate Sontag and Fabu Jones – Gallery

3) Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities anthology book launch + 1st Milwaukee Community Accountability/Transformative Justice learn-to-action group gathering, Saturday, Nov 10, 7-10pm

Eight Limbs Housing Co-op, 601 E. Wright St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212

Inspired by other study-to-action Community Accountability/Transformative Justice groups (in Toronto, NY & elsewhere!), this is a call out for folks interested in coming together to learn about strategies to develop knowledge, skills and capacities of our communities to intervene in and end violence (including child abuse, sexual violence and intimate partner violence) without policing and prisons.

At this first gathering, Ching-In Chen — co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities — and others will read/share stories and strategies from the book and lead a discussion around how to support Community Accountability/Transformative Justice work in Milwaukee communities

4) Verse Wisconsin:

my poems, “A Town Where There Are No People” and “In the Beaten Rice Factory” in Verse Wisconsin’s Issue 110 in print & a review of my book in a mash-up review of recent books by twelve women by Wendy Vardman

5) The Creative Side of Publishing panel @ Wisconsin Book Festival, Sunday, Nov 11, 4-5:30pm, Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St, Madison WI

This panel will be a guided conversation between publishers to explore and discuss the risks and responsibilities that go with that role. With opportunities for collaboration and partnership, how do we break down barriers and build relations across communities? How do the choices we make help to create community? What are the ethical questions and issues a publisher might keep in mind? How does the literary community intersect and interact with broader communities? What are the political implications, both narrowly and broadly defined, of publishing poems, stories, and essays? Are there advantages to being a mission-driven publication, and if so, what are our missions, and to what extent do we engage in larger social issues? How do we seek out the writers we would like to publish? And how do we find balance between our work as publishers and our own writing lives? Books, broadsides, and magazines from a wide array of Wisconsin poetry publishers will be available for audience perusal. With VW editors and other panelists Oliver Bendorf & Nancy Reddy—Devil’s Lake; Ching-In Chen—Cream City Review; CX Dillhunt—Hummingbird; Frank X Walker—Pluck!, Nov 11, 4PM, Rotunda Studio/Overture.

6) dirtcakes: my collaborative poems, “three seeds” and “six seeds” found a home in the print journal. One of them also is featured online here.


Keep warm, keep writing!

Persona Poetry anthology, LGBTQ in LA Review, Sententia, Rev @ Home in Edmonton & Split This Rock!

March 15, 2012

Lots of news & sunshine these days make me a busy, but satisfied poet.

At awp, was excited to pick up contributor copies of:

1) A Face to Meet the Faces: an Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, edited by Stacey Lynn Brown & Oliver de la Paz, which has my poem, “Chin’s Monologue in the Bucket,” a pre-decessor to the choreopoem, “2 Rumors in a Bucket,” co-written with Serena W. Lin. Excited to be in the good company of 200 other personas written by friends such as R.A. Villanueva, Randall Horton, Blas Falconer, Evie Shockley, Iris A. Law, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Kazim Ali, Maureen Alsop, Kristine Uyeda, L. Lamar Wilson, John Olivares Espinoza, Cynthia Arrieu-King, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Jericho Brown, Khadijah Queen, Cornelius Eady, Tamiko Beyer, Rigoberto González, Francisco Aragón, Matthew Shenoda, Vievee Francis, Barbara Jane Reyes, Nina Corwin, Jee Leong Koh, Rachelle Cruz, Derrick Harriell & Tara Betts.

2) Spring 2012 issue of The Los Angeles Review, with a LGBTQ Poets’ Roundtable that I participated in (with a little help from fellow Macondista John Pluecker) along with Angelo Nikolopoulos, D. Gilson and Tory Adkisson, curated by Tanya Chernov.

3) The All Women Writers Issue (What She Says) of Sententia: the Journal, where my poems, “Eleven Seeds” and “Confessional 5B: A Zuihitsu” found a home alongside work by folks such as Khadijah Queen and Metta Sama, curated by Amy King.

Upcoming readings, talks & workshops:

1) This week in Milwaukee, I’ll be reading as part of a faculty/student reading series my department organizes called United We Read at local independent bookstore, Boswell Books2559 N. Downer Ave, Milwaukee WI, Thursday, March 15, 7pm with Lane Hall, Joe Rein & Ann Stewart McBee

2) & over spring break, I’ll be headed to Canada for The Revolution Starts A Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Our Communities talk and workshop at the University of Alberta Monday, March 19 & Tuesday, March 20 nights (details below)

3) & then landing in Washington DC for the 2012 Split This Rock Poetry Festival. I’ll be reading as part of the Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion, & Spirituality Anthology Reading on Thursday, March 22, 4-5:30pm (organized by anthology editor Kevin Simmonds) as well as Intersecting Lineages: a Solidarity Showcase of African American and Asian American poets on Saturday, March 24, 9:30am-11am (details below)

*** The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Talk & Workshop!


When: Monday, March 19th @ 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Where: Telus Building room 217-219, University of Alberta

The extent of the violence affecting our communities is staggering. Nearly one in three women will experience intimate violence in her lifetime. And while intimate violence affects relationships across the sexuality and gender spectrums, the likelihood of isolation and irreparable harm, including death, is even greater within LGBTQI communities. To effectively resist violence out there-in the prison system, on militarized borders, or during other clear encounters with “the system”-we must challenge how it is reproduced right where we live. It’s one thing when the perpetrator is the police, the state, or someone we don’t know. It’s quite another when that person is someone we call friend, lover, mentor, trusted ally.

Join co-editors, Ching-In Chen, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha for a presentation and discussion about potentially life-saving alternatives for creating survivor safety while building a movement where no one is left behind.


*Please contact Denise at or (780) 492-0614 to register!

When: Tuesday, March 20th @6:30pm

Where: TBA

Curious about how to create ways of dealing with perpetrators of violence that center survivor needs, but don’t rely on the cops, prisons and courts? What about holding ourselves responsible for maintaining the conditions that allow violence to occur? Especially curious about how to do this without burning out? In this introductory, interactive and participatory workshop, we’ll explore different ways communities are experimenting with transformative justice principles to create safety and address harm. Drawing on the smarts of feminists of colour and Indigenous feminists and the experience of people in the room, we’ll share stories, strategies and roadmaps to creating safer communities, and in particular will focus on common challenges to creating successful interventions. This workshop is suitable for all people–no experience necessary. It will be a participatory space where we share the stories and knowledge we already have, grounded in bodies and emotions as well as history and analysis. The purpose is learning and healing together as a tool for building more liberatory, fierce and free communities and movements for justice in the world.

REGISTRATION: PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS WORKSHOP. We want to acknowledge that the analysis, experience and leadership of Community Accountability strategies comes primarily from Indigenous women, women of colour and gender non conforming people, and communities that experience violence disproportionately, especially from the state. We feel it’s important to prioritize access to this workshop to these communities, and others most affected by violence, including sex workers, poor folks, people of colour, Indigenous people, Black people, trans women and folks living with disabilities.

*Please contact Denise at or (780) 492-0614 to register!

ACCESS IS LOVE: The workshop space and bathrooms are wheelchair accessible. We’re reserving seats for folks who need to sit due to disability and chronic illness/pain. We are prioritizing making space for chair users to be present comfortably and with room. Fragrance free is hella love! So that beloved community members including the facilitators can be present without throwing up or having to leave, please come to this event fragrance free! This means no cologne, perfume, essential oil and also switching to unscented products. We know folks have a learning curve around this, but if you can ditch the scented (yup, even with ‘natural’ scents) detergent and fabric softener, it’ll go a long way. Awesome scent-free list here:

About Ching-In: Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). She is a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow, part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and has been a participant in the Theatrical Jazz Institute. She has worked in the San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston Asian American communities. Ching-In currently lives in Milwaukee and is involved in union organizing and direct action.

About Leah: Pushcart Prize nominee Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled Sri Lankan writer, teacher and cultural worker. The author of Consensual Genocide and Love Cake and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities (South End, 2011), her work has appeared in the anthologies Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World. She co-founded Mangos With Chili, the national queer and trans people of color performance organization, is a lead artist with Sins Invalid and teaches with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. In 2010 she was named one of the Feminist Press’ “40 Feminists Under 40 Who Are Shaping the Future.” Her one woman show, Grown Woman Show, has toured nationally, including performances at the National Queer Arts Festival, Swarthmore College, Yale University, Reed College and McGill University. She has taught, performed and lectured across the country, including appearances at Columbia, Oberlin, Texas A&M, Sarah Lawrence, Swarthmore, UC Berkeley, USC, and the University of Toronto. She co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, focusing on creative nonfiction and community-based teaching by writers of color.

* There will be volunteers trained in survivor support present for anyone who needs it during these events.

For you!! A free PDF of the ZINE!:

And the RSAH Tumblr:

If you would like your resources to be made available, please contact Denise.

Proudly brought to you by: APIRG Edmonton rebELLEs Invaluable community members!


2012 Split This Rock Poetry Festival

These are Split This Rock Poetry Festival events. You must be registered to attend.

Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion, & Spirituality Anthology Reading

Thursday, March 22, 4-5:30pm

Kazim Ali, Ching-In Chen, Blas Falconer, Gregg Shapiro, Kamilah Aisha Moon, Joseph Ross, Kevin Simmonds, Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, and Daniel Nathan Terry

True Reformer, Auditorium, 1200 U Street NW, Washington, DC

Collective Brightness is the first-ever LGBTIQ poetry anthology that exclusively features contemporary poets—more than 100 of them from all over the world—as they consider faith, religion, and spirituality from widely varied perspectives including Christianity, witchcraft, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Two Spirit, Agnosticism, Apophasis and Yoruba among others. Together, th poets assembled for the Split This Rock reading—poets from all over America and from various racial, ethnic and religious communities—will read a wide array of these poems.

Intersecting Lineages: a Solidarity Showcase of African American and Asian American Poets, Saturday, March 24th, 9:30 – 11 am

Featuring: Kazim Ali, Ching-In Chen, Rio Cortez, Rachelle Cruz, Monica A. Hand, Alan King, Natasha Marin, Soham Patel, Kevin Simmonds True Reformer Building, Auditorium, 1200 U Street NW, Washington, DC,

Inspired by the collaboration and mentorship between Cave Canem (an organization which promotes African American poetry) and Kundiman (an organization which promotes Asian American poetry), this reading features poets hailing from these communities which will showcase the history of solidarity amongst diverse communities.

Kazim Ali, Ching-In Chen, Rio Cortez, Rachelle Cruz, Monica A. Hand, Alan King, Natasha Marin, Soham Patel, and Kevin Simmonds will begin by reading work by ancestor poets who are considered outside of their self-identified community/-ities. Following this, they will share their own work which highlights this kind of productive hybrid fertilization, including inspiration taken from various literary and other creative arts forms such as the zuihitsu, neo-benshi and the theatrical jazz aesthetic. This reading highlights the cultivation and growth which arises from the exchange between African American and Asian American poets.

2012 AWP Chicago: I’ll be …

February 26, 2012

If you’re going to be at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in Chicago this week, here’s where you can find me!

All Conference:

I’ll be helping out at the Cream City Review table at the Bookfair, Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue. We will have a new issue to promote, some subscription specials & other fun goodies! Come say hi!

Thursday, March 1, 2012:

1) 10:30-11:30am @ Red Hen Press booth at the Bookfair, Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue

2) 7-10pm @ Ancestors: A Queer Writers of Color Reading

sponsored by the Lambda Literary Foundation

Free Center on Halsted, 3rd Floor, Irving Harris Family Foundation Reception Hall, 3656 N. Halsted St. (at Waveland Ave.)

Chicago, IL 60613, (773) 472-6469

Organized by Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán & Tony Valenzuela

Readers: OluSeyi OluToyin Adebanjo, Nancy Agabian, Ryka Aoki, Tamiko Beyer, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Ching-In Chen, Matthew R. K. Haynes-Kekahuna, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, David Keali’i, Janet McAdams, Deborah A. Miranda, Claudia Narváez-Meza, vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu, Emma Pérez, Jai Arun Ravine, Charles Rice-González, Trish Salah, James Thomas Stevens, D. Antwan Stewart, & Jennifer Lisa Vest.

“Ancestors: A Queer Writers of Color Reading” is a literary reading featuring same-gender-loving, multiple-gender-loving, and transgender poets, non/fiction writers, filmmakers, and performance artists of Indigenous Pacific, Native North American, Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian, Latina/o, and African descent. This event is sponsored by the Lambda Literary Foundation, which nurtures, celebrates, and preserves lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility, and encourage development of emerging writers


Friday, March 2, 2012:

3) 12-1pm @ Red Hen Press booth at the Bookfair, Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue

Saturday, March 3, 2012:

4) 9:00-10:15am @ “Queer Poets of Color on Craft: The Art of Decolonization” Panel
Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St. (between Wabash & State St.), Lobby Level, Honoré Ballroom, Chicago, IL 60603, (312) 726-7500

Panelists: Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Samiya Bashir, Deborah A. Miranda, Ching-In Chen, & Tamiko Beyer

There is power in craft. Poets use craft to create possibility, ways of seeing, hearing, and moving the world, re-envisioning it. Queer poets of color use multiple techniques to shape language on the page and stage, the way words flicker across glowing screens and beat against the drums of our ears. From the generation and arrangement of text, to shifts in narrativity and delivery, and the use of multiple registers and media, this panel explores the decolonial power of skillful wor(l)d-weaving.

Too often writers of color are reduced to narrative. There needs to be greater focus on our artistry and poetic craft’s ability to imagine a past, reconceptualize a present, and shape a future. Bringing together poets of African, Arab, Asian, Latina/o, and Native North American descent, this panel delves into intrapoetics and interpoetics, the transfiguring of individual poems and traditions, and interplay between them–queerly decolonizing both texts and communities, and the world they inhabit.


Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán is the author of a poetry collection, _Antes y después del Bronx: Lenapehoking_, and editor of an international queer Indigenous issue of _Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought_. A Wildacres, Paden Institute, and Soul Mountain Resident, he has received scholarships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Lambda Literary Foundation, and Macondo.

Samiya Bashir is the author of _Gospel_, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist, and _Where the Apple Falls_, a Poetry Foundation bestseller, both also Lambda Literary Award Finalists. She is editor of _Best Black Women’s Erotica 2_ and co-editor of _Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art_. A Cave Canem fellow, she is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink.

Deborah A. Miranda is the author of _Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir_ and two poetry books, _Indian Cartography_, winner of the Diane Decorah Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, and _The Zen of La Llorona_, a Lambda Literary Award Nominee. Associate Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, she is co-editor of _Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature_.

Ching-In Chen is the author of a verse novel, _The Heart’s Traffic_, and co-editor of _The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities_. A Kundiman, Macondo, and Lambda Fellow, she has been awarded residencies by the Paden Institute, Soul Mountain, the Vermont Studio Center, the Millay Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Tamiko Beyer is the author of the poetry book, _bough breaks_, and Poetry Editor of _Drunken Boat_. Her work appears in _DIAGRAM_; _The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide_; and _Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation_. A Kundiman Fellow and Hedgebrook Resident, she received a grant from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund. She was also an Olin and Chancellor’s Fellow while completing her MFA at Washington University.

Queer <3 Poems in Glitter Tongue!

February 15, 2012

For those who know me, I’m not a big V-day celebrator & I don’t usually write ❤ poems. But queer friends I ❤ + collaborative writing = my participation in Glitter Tongue, an online collection of love poems by thirty queer and trans poets! I’m so moved by the glittery, beautiful, sexy words of poets like Margaret Rhee, Tamiko Beyer, R. Erica Doyle, Monica Hand, Meg Day, Joseph O. Legaspi, Kevin Simmonds, TC Tolbert & many many more! & fabulously designed by Oliver Bendorf! Enjoy! 🙂