Elizabeth Savage: Speaking of Marvels

Elizabeth Savage.


I became aware of the website Speaking of Marvels only recently, when poet Elizabeth Savage shared it with me. The site features interviews with writers of recent chapbooks. Elizabeth was recently in Philadelphia reading from her work. She edits the journal Kestrel out of Fairmont State College in West Virginia. http://chapbookinterviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/elizabeth-savage/

Other writers featured on the site include Allison Joseph, Lynelle Edwards, and many more.


New poem, “Monkey Orchid”, in A&U Magazine

The October issue of A&U Magazine (Art & Understanding) ran my poem “Monkey Orchid” in their print edition, a pic of which I’ve added here. I’ve been reading a lot lately about how Truvada and PrEP offer new opportunities in the prevention of HIV (a good, personalized account by writer Evan Peterson ran recently in the Seattle indie, The Stranger). These innovations mark a sea change in the navigation of intimacy and desire among gay men. This wasn’t always the case; any gay man who came of age in the 80s, 90s, or 00s, can probably tell you how anxiety-ridden it was to look for love (or sex). Survivors still reel from the body count of lost friends and the uncomfortable memory of an uncaring Reagan administration. “Monkey Orchid” is a depiction of that era and the surreality of the circuit party scene. It finds its motif in a flower, pictured here. I’ve been working on a suite of poems that uses unusual specimens of flora or fauna as a lens to see the world anew. This is one of them. Update: A&U has archived the poem here.





“A Long Walk” (film)

A short film based on my friend Samuel Autman’s essay “A Long Walk” is now available online. I invite you to check it out and share it. The director
shot the film in Camden, NJ, a couple summers ago. Samuel is a friend from UNO who is doing interesting things with memoir, and this new film is a feather in his cap. Be forewarned, the story is tragic.

LINK: https://vimeo.com/99293805


Burlesque Press reviews Velvet Rodeo

My thanks to writer/critic Daniel Wallace and Burlesque Press for sharing with me their new review of my poetry chapbook, Velvet Rodeo. (Burlesque Press, btw, offers a very cool and intimate literary conference in New Orleans over the holidays–it includes a masquerade ball!) My thanks for them taking the time with my little red book.

The review is here:

More on their festival is here:

‪#‎burlesque‬ BLOOM Literary Journal ‪#‎poetry‬ ‪#‎WVpoetry‬ ‪#‎phillypoetry‬


Superheroes Reimagined in Stunning Portraiture

Ever wonder what your favorite superhero or sci-fi characters would look like if they were plopped down into another time period? Sure, true aficionados will realize such reworkings are an occasional trope of the genre, primarily in “what if” or time travel stories. But never have retro superheroes been realized with such painstaking photo-realist detail as in the work of French artist Sacha Goldberger. Goldberger recontextualizes these American icons alongside fairy tale characters in a manner that invokes the techniques of 17th century Flemish painters. His work has been shown at the School Gallery Paris in a show called “Super Flemish”, where he uncannily channels the likes of Christopher Reeve’s Superman and Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman. Sacha’s good. Just ask his mom, who calls him the “best photographer in the neighborhood”(!).

Take a look here at Sacha’s droll website here:



Mead: The Magazine of Literature & Libations

“At Mead Magazine, read about what is taking the tops of our heads off: reviews of books by Martha Collins, Arthur Sze, Ilyse Kusnetz, Tony Hoagland, Leslie McGrath, Tom Holmes, Kelly McQuain, and Lynette Reini-Grandell.” –Michael Broek, Editor, Mead Magazine.

So happy to be in such good company in the new issue of Mead, a literary magazine in which I had the good fortune of publishing a poem called “Lent” a while back. You can read the review of my chapbook Velvet Rodeo by poet Suzanne Parker at this link. http://www.meadmagazine.org/velvet-rodeo.html. Mead is definitely worth checking out. I was especially pleased to see Valerie Fox’s poetry in the new issue. She is also doing excellent things at Poems for the Writing. Another treat was a new poem by San Francisco poet Melissa Stein. “Hive” would have found a good home in her first collection, Rough Honey, and I bet it will end up in an equally good second collection of her work soon. Lisa Sewell, a Villanova professor, also has a fine poem in the issue.

Mead is the Magazine of Literature and Libations. All the poems and prose are divided into varieties of cocktails. Whether your poison is a saintly Shirley Temple or a devilish High Ball, pour yourself a tall one and check them out.


“Freedom is notoriously unpunctual, apparently, even in Germany…”


Friends, if you are looking for a good travel blog to follow, might I suggest this one by poet Eric Thomas Norris? He’s abandoned the US for a year-long sojourn across Europe and Asia, and right now he’s in Germany celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall. Eric is wry, witty, and exceedingly well-read. I made his acquaintance a few years ago when he accepted my poem, “Torn”, for his online journal Kin. I got to meet him in person this past winter in New York, where he lived until recently. This year, I’ll be living vicariously through Eric’s eyes as he couch surfs his way across the globe. You can, too. –Kelly


About Eric:

I am an American writer.

I am living out of my backpack for the next year as I circumnavigate the globe. This blog will tell the story of that journey. I have no particular destination in mind. I have no idea what kind of joys and hardships I will encounter. But the wind seems fair, and you are there, and my memory is packed with pistols, poems and puns, in case I am captured by pirates.

I do not travel alone. (From the blog at www.ericthomasnorris.com)

Two New Poems Published this Week…


Two new poems appear this week in the fall issue of The Fox Chase Review, “Ritual” and “Two Street, After the Parade”. The first is set in West Virginia and based on a true incident concerning a bat. The second is offered up as a love letter to Philadelphia and the annual Mummer’s Parade on New Year’s Day. Read them if you like at the link.


Cebula, Suzor and McQuain: A Rare Chance Reading – Sunday, Nov. 9th, 2014

Nov. 9th at 5 pm at Head House Books, 19 S. 2nd Street in Philadelphia. Join the Jubilant Thicket Reading Series this Sunday for a rare chance to hear two stellar out-of-town poets, Travis Cebula and Sarah Suzor, and one local yokel (me). Travis has published many collections and spends his summers in Paris! Sarah’s won the Hudson Prize and publishes in amazing journals! Collectively, the two are connected to Naropa, the Left Bank Writers Retreat, Black Lawrence Press, Highway 101 Press, and so much more! I’m so happy to be reading with them. Come and help me give them a warm Philly welcome, and special thanks to Anne-Adele Wright for hosting the series and inviting us.



Travis Cebula lives with his wife and trusty dogs in Colorado, where he writes, edits and teaches creative writing. He graduated from the MFA program at Naropa University in 2009—the same year he founded Shadow Mountain Press, a small press that focuses on handmade editions of poetry chapbooks. His poetry, stories, essays, reviews, and photography have appeared internationally. He is the author of four full-length collections of poetry, including Ithaca, One Year in a Paper Cinema, and After the Fox with Sarah Suzor. You can find him in Paris every summer teaching with the Left Bank Writers Retreat.

Sarah Suzor’s full-length collection of poetry, The Principle Agent, won the 2010 Hudson Prize and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2011. She also has a collaboration After the Fox, which is co-authored with Travis Cebula (Black Lawrence Press, 2014). Her reviews and interviews can be found in Tarpaulin Sky and Rain Taxi, and she has recently guest blogged for the Best American Poetry series. She lives in Venice, California, where she is a founding editor for Highway 101 Press, a correspondent for Omnidawn’s online magazine OmniVerse, and a guest lecturer for the Left Bank Writers Retreat in Paris.

Kelly McQuain’s newest poems appear in the anthologies The Queer South and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems and Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed. His chapbook Velvet Rodeo was chosen by poet C. Dale Young for the annual BLOOM prize. McQuain’s other awards include fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in fiction and nonfiction, and writing contest wins from The Philadelphia City Paper and Redivider magazine. His poetry and prose have appeared in The Pinch, Painted Bride Quarterly, Cleaver, Codex, Weave, Stone Highway Review, Paper Nautilus, Assaracus, Mead, and Kestrel, which nominated the lead poem in Velvet Rodeo for a Pushcart Prize last year. He helped create the creative writing program at Community College of Philadelphia, where he serves as an Associate Professor.


Travis and Sarah at one of their readings.