“Architect”: A new poem in the journal CODEX

CODEX has a new fall issue out. I have a poem about my father in it. It seems a fitting season for it to come out now that the leaves are starting to change. Loss has haunted me lately, and the rage that goes along with it. I lost my father to cancer a long time ago, and more recently I lost a college friend who leaves behind her husband and two boys. I dream of better days.

You can read “Architect” here if you like: http://codexjournal.com/kelly_mcquain/. 

Maybe I will read this poem at Tattooed Mom’s bar at the reading tonight. I’ll be there with friends, celebrating this journey and what time is allotted to us.


Sept. 28: Celebrating Small Presses: Heston, McQuain, Markovitz

WHAT: Poetry/Prose Reading — Markovitz, McQuain, Heston — celebrating works from The Head & The Hand, Bloom Books, and Finishing Line Press.
WHEN: Sunday, September 28th, 8 PM
WHERE: Tattooed Mom, 530 South Street, Philadelphia, PA

Jeffrey S. Markovitz is a Professor of English and Creative Writing and is the Director of the Creative Writing Certificate Program at the Community College of Philadelphia. His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in a variety of print and online journals. His short-story chapbook, —for Olivia, was published by The Head and the Hand Press (2013) and can be ordered here: http://www.theheadandthehand.com/product/vending-machine-chapbook-collection/. His novel, Into the Everything was published by Punkin Books (2011) and can be ordered here: http://www.thebookpatch.com/BookStore/into-the-everything/042ed1c6-dc95-4add-a772-c1ad89682b3a. He lives in Philadelphia, an incredible place to write.

Kelly McQuain’s chapbook, Velvet Rodeo, was recently chosen by poet C. Dale Young for BLOOM magazine’s poetry prize. McQuain’s writing has appeared in such venues as Painted Bride Quarterly, Kestrel, The Pinch, Assaracus, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, and American Writing, as well as in numerous anthologies, including Best American Erotica, Men on Men, Between: New Gay Poetry, Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books, The Queer South and Skin & Ink. His book reviews and essays on city life appear in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Among his writing awards are two fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Visit him at http://www.kellymcquain.wordpress.com.

Brian Patrick Heston grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His first book, “If You Find Yourself,” won the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and is available for preorder here: http://mainstreetrag.com/bookstore/product/if-you-find-yourself/. His poems have won awards from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation, the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, and the Lanier Library Association. He is the author of the chapbook, “Latchkey Kids,” which is available from Finishing Line Press. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such publications as Many Mountains Moving, West Branch, Lost Coast Review, Rosebud, Harpur Palate, 5AM, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Poet Lore, South Carolina Review, and is upcoming in Tampa Review and Cider Press Review. Presently, he is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at Georgia State University.

The Queer South

An anthology that I have two poems in is out now! THE QUEER SOUTH debuts officially Sept. 17th, and has essays, poems and stories that put a face on queer southernly concerns for the 21st century. I’m happy to be sharing space with the likes of Dorothy Allison, Richard Blanco, Brad Richard, Seth Pennington, D. Gilson, Stephen Mills, Jeff Mann, Matthew Hittinger, Shane Allison, Ed Madden, and the crazy Del Shores. Not to mention a bunch of other wonderful people. My poems are about the problematic reconciliation of queer, Euro and Native American identities. Included are “Spirit Animal Chant” and “Brave”.QS_Cover

Big shout out to editor Douglas Ray and the masterminds at Sibling Rivalry Press for making this book come true.

Velvet Rodeo reviewed by The Philadelphia Review of Books; Tattooed Mom Shenanigans

Very grateful for a recent review of my chapbook Velvet Rodeo on the blog site of The Philadelphia Review of Books. You can check out the review by poet Kris Bigalk at http://phillybooksblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/no-bull-a-review-of-velvet-rodeo-bloom-2014-a-chapbook-by-kelly-mcquain/.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in hearing some of these poems, I’ll be reading in a Night of Literary Shenanigans at Tattooed Mom’s Bar Sept. 28th at 8 pm in Philadelphia (530 South Street). I’ll be reading with fiction writer/poet Jeff Markovitz and Brian Heston, who has a new chapbook out and recently won the Main Street Rag prize for his full-length collection. Details are at https://www.facebook.com/events/341205289380138/342894605877873/?ref=notif&notif_t=plan_mall_activity.