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.


My First Puschart Prize Nomination!

I got some  good news this week: one of my poems, “Annabelle”, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize! That’s a first for me, and I want to thank Stone Highway Review for the support. If you are in the Philadelphia area, come help me celebrate at the Jubilant Thicket reading, details below and on Facebook. The news certainly brought an electric gleam to mid-term teaching duties and the increasingly robotic tasks of everyday life.

If you are interested in reading the nominated poem, “Annabelle”, it’s available for free as a PDF in the issue of Stone Highway Review where it appears.

This has been a good year, with several publications and a Best of the Net nomination as well.
And in related reading news…

Jubilant Thicket presents Kelly McQuain, James Arthur and Huey West & his Banjo!

Sunday, November 11, 2012 at Moonstone,  7:00pm
Robin’s Books and Moonstone Arts Center
110-A S. 13th St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
(near 13th & Sansom)

Kelly McQuain’s poems recently appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer and on National Public Radio as part of Poetry Month. In 2012, his work was nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Painted Bride Quarterly, MEAD, Kin, Chelsea Station, Stone Highway Review, BLOOM and Assaracus. His prose has been anthologized in Obsessed, Skin & Ink, Philly Fiction 2, Best American Erotica, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, and elsewhere. He recently debuted a series of occasional columns on city life for The Philadelphia Inquirer. You can find out more at or at Apiary Mixtape, where his video poem is currently featured:

James Arthur’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, and The American Poetry Review. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, and a residency at the Amy Clampitt House. He is currently a Hodder Fellow at the Lewis Center for the Arts in Princeton. His first book, Charms Against Lightning, is available through Copper Canyon Press.

Huey West picked up the banjo about 9 years ago after his mind was blown during his first taste of old-time music. He messed around with “Scruggs style” picking for several years before being introduced to “clawhammer” style picking by a beautiful and mysterious young lady. When Huey moved back north from the bowels of the deep South, he started busking–playing music for tips in and around Philadelphia. Through developing his own unique solo style of playing, Huey creates a sound that is raw and skilled at the same time. Huey is always available for gigs and private parties and can be reached at

I’m reading Nov. 11 at Moonstone Arts with poet James Arthur and Huey the Banjo Player

Dear Poetry Friends: I’ll be reading at Moonstone Arts Nov. 11 at 7 pm. Moonstone is closing their CC location. Help me celebrate the end of the era with Jubilant Thicket and esteemed poet James Arthur and Huey the Banjo player!