Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Admittedly, 2014 started with a whimper and ended with a thud (sick cats, food poisoning in the summer, this damn pinched nerve the last month and a half). But there was lots of goodness in there too.  I went back to my natural haircolor (well a slightly better version of it).  I traveled to Seattle by train and had an amazing time at AWP.  Saw parts of the country too beautiful for words(Montana and oy, The Cascades). Prattled away at a new art zine project each month (well fell behind and am still prattling on with some of them, but it was productive year compared to any before.)

dgp turned 10 this year and published a whole slew of amazing titles (with more to come this next year, plus another trip to AWP/Minneapolis in April)  Black Lawrence released my 4th book, girl show. I co-curated the Aesthetics of Research series at the library (which has even better things in store for 2015). Ate lots of mexican food and margaritas and various other cocktail goodness.  Bid adieu to some romantic loose ends and got some closure. There were lots of shiny pretty things like vintage brooches and paper and dresses and new shoes. New kittens, new friends, watercolors, and a mild, coolish summer that was lovely and not too humid .  And though the year ended with a limp, I also managed to finish up the salvage manuscript and send it off.  Did a handful of readings, had some poems appear in very good places. Am right this minute awaiting the impending release of major characters in minor films. Am very close to also finishing up the poems for the apocalypse mss and working away at the hotel poems, plus another couple of smaller series.

As for resolutions and such nonsense, They are pretty much the same every year, and some years I am more successful than others. I would still like to blog more, read more novels, take more pictures.  Write more, as always.  Go on more walks.  Go to the beach more.

So tonight, celebrating with pizza and raspberry hot chocolate and writing I say clear out 2014, and may the next year be more of the good stuff and far less of the bad...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

now available for pre-order

"In Kristy Bowen’s major characters in minor films, language moves like a camera, cutting from image to image, leaving impressions that form intriguing fragmented narratives of love, intrigue, mystery and damage. Populated with both the familiar and the strange, with rabbits and birds as well as whiskey and fire, the journey through the scenes these poems create is a wild and rich ride."
-Donna Vorreyer, author of A House of Many Windows

"Get ready: Kristy Bowen’s major characters in minor films casts our favorite muse du jour in a ‘white-hot, white dress.’ Through poems that are lyrical, irreverent, and a little bit naughty, we discover the swanky, labyrinthine interior of her straight-to-DVD universe: remember, she tells us in ‘movie of the week,’ ‘Everybody loves a victim, especially the blonde, pretty kind.’ Through scathing missives to James Franco and sensual harangues directed at the moon, our wine-stained diva tempts us through vivacious non sequiturs to the ‘poem within a movie within a girl-shaped world’ in all of us."
-Sara Henning, author of A Sweeter Water

"I want to be best friends with the ‘I’ of this book. She’s hilarious. She’s heartbreaking. She’s more than a little bit dangerous. Whether she’s writing about crying on the bus or hiding a knife under the sink, she deals out her words like a card shark—fast, sure, sly. What’s not to love about such a deft performance of wit, skill, and heart?"
-Sara Biggs Chaney, author of Ann Coulter’s Letter to the Young Poets 

"In this stunning full-length collection, Kristy Bowen speaks to us of love and desperate longing, of loss of mothers and lovers, of health and identity, of the disguises we don, the structures we enforce, the strategies we adopt for putting ourselves back together after being torn apart. With fresh, inventive language, both lush and compact, every line with a new surprise, but never forced, never false, Bowen leads us on a sensually arousing of the psyche. These poems beg to be read and re-read, burning white hot, always singeing, always singing."
-Michael Albright

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

So, first there was November and poetry business and readings at the Poetry Center and awesome features as part of the American Acad. of Poets Poem-of-the-Day series.  There were chapbook orders and releases and all sorts of general good busy-ness. But then there was cold weather and pushing on through to Thanksgiving and this weird bad-boot-wearing (not the boots in my earlier "awesome boots" post , but alas) sort of related pain and then suddenly I was bedridden for a couple weeks with pinched nerve issues. I've spent the past two weeks in survival mode and catch-up mode, and omg..just hang on til Christmas break mode, at which I arrive today, moving pretty slowly and only able to walk short distances, but WALKING, which is the important thing. I don't handle pain well.  I don't handle immobility well.  For the two weeks I basically couldn't leave the house (first my parents, then my own) I had to fight the creeping sense of panic and depression that threatened to overturn me.  And I'm still not moving as swiftly or productively as I would like, but I guess I'm moving, which I should be grateful for.  I will have almost an entire week after the holiday to right the ship that was once my rather ordered life, so there's that to look forward to.  There is also the impending release of major characters in minor films, which I've gotten a look at the cover design for and looks to be a beautiful thing.  December was a lost month and has royally kicked my ass, but January I'm a-comin' for you...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

three fall obsessions

Despite my dislike of pending winter, there is one aspect of fall I do occasionally (okay rabidly) enjoy. There's something I love about the textures of fall--sweaters, corduroy, flannel.   And of course, boots, which while they're bound to wear out their welcome come March, are still rather novel right now.

Corduroy coats & jackets. 

While there's only a brief window in which they are appropriate (ie after I've cast off cardigans  but before I've gotten out the winter wools,) I love these and have several of various cuts and colors. My fave is probably a teal 3/4 length one, but I recently procured one not unlike the one above.

mossy green and teal.

I'm usually a girl who pairs colors with only neutrals, but I love this combo, especially in knits.  I'm currently searching for something similar to this outfit, or at least something like that sweater.

FALL 2014: Plaid Dresses

plaid dresses & skirts.

At least 70 percent  of the new dresses/skirts  I've been buying this fall have been plaids.  I love them in warmer weather, but they especially seem suited to fall, especially in deep, sort of rustic colors like these.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I started this entry a week ago and then everything tipped sideways and I lost the thread.  Mostly I am muddling through, working on press business, trying to jam too many manuscripts into next year's schedule, and beginning to look at edits for major characters, whose release is aimed for December. ..It's full on fall, now, the last few leaves hanging on straggly trees and I've been indulging horror movie marathons and occasional chocolate binging in preparation for Halloween (for which I will be, in the 1950's theme we agreed upon at work-- dressing as a beatnik, complete with turtleneck and beret and long cigarette holder.)  Halloween makes me all nostalgic for childhood especially, those trick r treat expeditions and the ensuing aftermath of zombie movies and getting to stay up as late as we wanted, no matter if it was a school night (no doubt high from all that sugar.)  Of course, Halloween as a grownup usually means booze and parties, which will be happening again (or on week nights any other year for the last few, working in the library on the actual day.)   But there's something lost in that transition to adulthood, somehow....

I am also knee deep in the hotel poems, as well as maybe toe deep in the text that will accompany the strange machine collages in the next zine project, all about atomic energy and pinup girls and 1950's false nostalgia, which I am hoping to have wrapped up in the next week.  Also, another visually oriented project with the botanical paintings and some found text I'll be finishing in November.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

So another week following another 2-day weekend shift in the library and I really made some progress on my own work, including fine tuning the final adjustments on ghost landscapes and some serious writing progress on the creepy motel project, which is turning out to be sort of novel-like, but in this case collaged together from all sorts of things like letters and postcards and news clipping and journal notes.  It is also a story within a story, or maybe more like a ghost story within a ghost story. Yesterday had me frantically googling things like "grisly hotel murders" and "1950s cigarettes smoke by women" and "route 66 motels", all the sort of research that I very much like doing..

Otherwise, am making my way through a few more chapbook layouts, making a few final decisions for next years chapbook series (we are beginning to unveil next year's authors on the FB page, so keep an eye out there to see what's coming in January...).  I am also plotting how to finish the remaining zine projects for this year, and what might be coming down the pipeline in terms of creative projects for 2015. I am hoping to have the apocalypse book in the bag by the end of the year, so that leaves the motel book and some strange fragmentary beast that may be the beginnings of another book.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

So long time no update and I am a bad, bad blogger, but much has been afoot in the sea beneath the blog, the current under the silence.  First there are dgp manuscripts--so many pages of poetry, that I am just beginning to get a handle on.  I've been doing second read-throughs on the maybe manuscripts and releasing other back in the wild as I go.  I've been trying to get back on schedule for this year, which I am about a month behind on, but it's slower going, with a bunch of stuff still in the layout process and others just about ready to go.  There is also much afoot in the general poetry arena..upcoming readings, features, book plans, manuscripts.   But still I get antsy about other things I want to get done, mostly in the arena of paper goods and zines, including a good restocking of things for fall.

In more frivolous pursuits, I am salving my hatred of cold weather with pumpkin donuts and new dresses, most notably this modcloth lovely, which I fell in love with immediately and bought (even though it necessitated some ramen eating at the end of the pay period, along with this skirt.)  After payday, I also procured some  new boots and tights (which I figured since I will probably wear them for the next 6 months, I might as well indulge myself.)

I am definitely ready for sweater weather, having revamped my built-in drawers and moved my soap supplies to the kitchen. Which of course, since I had more room for sweaters in the drawers, meant I had more room for boots on the closet shelves, which of course meant I had to buy some more.  I did manage to find & replace my fave black pair that I wore the soles off of last winter, and managed to get an identical pair in brown.. 

Outside of impulse control issues when it comes to retail, and some weird romantic re-emergences that will be, by necessity, shortlived, I am just trudging on through...

Monday, September 08, 2014

With my return to my regular evening library schedule and my slightly more ample hours in the studio, I have been much more organized and productive the past week than the entirety of summer.  I don't dare say I am caught up, but the state of "caught up" is a little brighter a chimerae on the horizon than the past few months.  As such, with book stuff more on the orderly side of disorderly, I can turn back to both my own projects (laying out ghost landscapes, getting salvage ready for submission,  preliminary designs on the next zine project dreams about houses and bees.) Also, all those new crafty things I continually mean to get to, but that keep getting piled under the deluge of book and other business.

There are also library/curatorial things afoot that bring some of our CC alumni/dgp authors into the spotlight, which will have us be throwing up some work by Abigail Zimmer, M Forajter, and Jessi Lee Narducci for the impending manifestation of the Aesthetics of Research Series, along with an ample list of their inspirations, research materials, and the general muck from which creation springs.  (We'll be doing more of this in the future, as well as featuring some other alumni, faculty & other CC community folks with various writing projects, both in the arts series and as part of a future blog interview series.)

The weather is turning, and promising a cooler weekend (during which I will be catching some paternal family reunion action in Rockford complete with cookouts and fire pits and s'mores aplenty..(this is the local-bound version of the usual Wisconsin trip, which didn't quite happen this year, so we're staying close to home.) I've already done the wardrobe switch from sundress to sweater dresses (and corduroy!  corduroy!) and am actually looking forward to some autumnalness.

Monday, September 01, 2014

September already, and I am ready for the dive back into the real world.  I am trying to stave off the inevitable panic, which should have me all aflutter for at least a few days.  To sort of just relax into things rather than too much fretting and futter.  In the studio, there are still some new author copies to get out and a bunch of orders to get packed up.  There are manuscripts to read and things to submit and plans for new paper goods to get underway (including the above postcard from my unusual creatures series and a bunch of new notecard designs .) In the library, there are no doubt stacks of new textbook orders and reserve requests and general new semester busyness.  At home, grocery orders and fall cleaning and putting away summer clothes (there will be another major switchout in early October, but I like to get the really summer stuff put away after I stop wearing them--September is usually still warm enough for a lot of summery dresses to get one last wear...)

September and I still get excited about back to school and treated myself to new nailpolish and legal pads and scented gel pens in the spirit. (also some new clothes--plaids and fall florals and sweater dresses, oh my!)   A couple days back,  also hit up my favorite apple orchard for cider donuts and raspberry salsa and spotting some adorable baby goats.  Though it was still technically summer and not many apple varieties yet picked, it was rainy, clouded over, and autumn-like.  Yesterday, the annual family Labor Day fish fry , and while I don't really eat fish, there were burgers and taco dip and the giant pitcher of hurricanes.  (hurricanes I may have sampled a little much of and that left me rum-drunk and a little drowsy.) But while we say goodbye to summer, sometimes I have to wonder where it went.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

poetry odds & ends

*   We're reaching the final couple days in dgp's open submission period and already there is so much goodness in my inbox, but there is always room for more (particulary for strange little books).  I've already made it into June and accepted a few things for early next year, but I plan to dig in as soon as I am back in the city to flesh out the rest of the year.  I'm hoping to have all responses out by the end of the month.

*  A piece from girl show was featured over at Verse Daily earlier in the week--actually the title poem and the first piece I wrote for the collection, so it seems especially fitting. It was the piece that set the tone and the intention, and while it took a bit for the book in it's entirety to reach it's fruition, it's sort of the core of it.

*In other book news, just last week I sent a finalized version of major characters in minor films off to Sundress to work their magic on..the book is due out in December, which I realize will be here before we know it.  This books release feels a bit different than the others, mostly because perhaps it's a little more autobiographical, a little uncomfortably close to home (which is odd since it's my fifth full-length, and you would think by now that I'd already have written that sort of book, but really, I haven't.) the fever almanac maybe comes closest, but still, that was more about creating stories, which is what I have done with every book since.  I've eagerly put all my books in everyone I knows hands without batting an eyelash, but MCMF makes me feel a bit more vulnerable and a little more reluctant to have people I know in real life knowing that much about me.  But then "Everyone has a secret life, even you James Franco.." so really I should just get over it.

*In other, still miasmic and less formed book news, salvage is almost ready to go out into submission to couple places.  There is a lot more me in this book in places, but also a fair bit of storytelling depending on which section you happen to wander into, but there are mermaids and towns at the bottoms of lakes and surreal rural landscapes and strange illnesses. This is perhaps my most "midwestern" book, moreso than even the fever almanac, or maybe more that this book goes deeper into the things that surface in that first book, draws them out and digs around in them. The other nearly formed mss...good girls guide to the end of the world is whole other beastie of a different persuasion, but I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the year.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I find myself in the midst of a vacation that has so far included much weekend boozy revelry in Iowa, some bargain cheese & dessert shopping in Wisconsin, and some napping and used book procuring in Rockford (mostly trashy mysteries I intend on reading during the rest of my week off.)  I left the city in a swirl of paper and staples and will return there Tuesday (and also to the first day of classes and no doubt a mile high stack of new ordered titles for reserves, but I am taking it easy while I can.  The week still promises some more napping, a trip to the apple orchard, some lunch/shopping plans with my aunts, and some cookout action for Labor Day.  I am trying to hold onto this last bit of summer, even if it has been rather gross and humid.  I've already noticed the increasing yellowness at the tops of trees, the change in light, my overwhelming urge for fall clothing aquisitions and new shiny pens and notebooks.

Monday, August 18, 2014

This week will be all about finishing up a boatload of work, shipping off chaps & orders & various library-related minutiae.  Also, preparing the final version of major characters in minor films for Sundress. Also vet visits for Ezra and packing for a week away and saying farewell to summer (I won't be back in the city til after Labor Day when classes begin.)   I've been fighting off feelings of anxiety, mostly just general ARGH! feelings, so am happy to be getting away just a little bit.  Once I am back, I'll be plunged back into a busy library and my blissful evening schedule and hopefully that serious, productive fall attitude toward my writing. I've been submitting a little, but there's still the new full-length I want to send off, the other full-length to finish up.  Also, a couple of zine projects that are basically ready to go in terms of text and image, but I just need to design the actual format of them (one is a book of postcards, the other more just a regular stapled zine.) Plus the usual plans for paintings and new crafty things.

Monday, August 11, 2014

So the moon is big, big tonight and so are my ambitions for the week, including making a huge batch of books for one of our authors, finishing a couple of layout and cover designs and assembling a substantial number of orders.  But it's rather serendipitous that I also, finally, finished the moon project, which is available here if you're not a subscriber to the zine series and would like to snag one.  There are only 25 of these lovelies, so they may go pretty fast.

In the shop, we also have our new sale option, handpicked selections from our list available for a limited time and comprised of books that complement each other in some way--thematically, voice, writer commonalities.  This month we're all about mermaids...It's a perfect chance to sample a wide span of what we publish and have published in previous years.  I have all sorts of ideas for further bundles, including vispo and sci-fi and fairytales and so much more...

I am still making my way through the submissions for next year and excitedly taking on a few more mss. for early next year.  We still have many more to read and a couple more weeks left in the open reading period.  As a teaser, I will tell you that we have at least a couple of new issues from past dgp-ers, including a collab manuscript by Kristina Marie Darling and Carol Guess (plus Kelly Magee) and a new offering from Melissa Eleftherion, so that alone should tell you the awesomeness coming your way.

It is still summer, and this week looks to be a tumultuous, but mildish week, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking a little forward to fall..

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

In a recent interview I was doing, I was asked about the benefits of editing/running a press when it came to my own writing, and as I've been hitting the dgp submission pile and choosing the things I like, passing on the things I don't, I've been thinking how much working in a curatorial capacity has helped me articulate exactly what it is that a) I am looking to read and b) what I am looking to write. There are definitely certain sort of manuscripts, certain voices, certain tones of voice and authority that appeal to me as a reader.  They are other things that just don't do it for me.  Probably if you ask me HOW these things succeed with me and how they do not, I might not be able to tell you, but maybe moreso show you.

It's been  a busy week, though yesterday, many things seemed to thwart me in terms of poetry life (in this case my reading at Powell's, that I wasn't able to make) and the friction between poet things and  work/everyday life.  I was pissed all yesterday afternoon at certain circumstances, but I've been medicating with peach cobbler and raspberry salsa procured at the downtown farmers market yesterday. Also, with some cover designs that are under way for upcoming books.  We're in that downslide part of August now, especially with the milder, cooler, weather, where my mind start to turn to fall and back to schoolness.   I'll be taking some more time off work and making some days trips around and about and grasping that last bit of warmth before we hit labor day. 

Meanwhile, though, I am also up to my ears in library course reserves and general related busywork (pulling books and ordering things and coding my little colored coded spreadsheets) so I may be a little more silent here than usual since blog time is usually library downtime (and late August/early September is woefully bereft of downtime. )  This weekend, I am determined to get to the beach perhaps at least for a little while...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

another peek at lunarium...

Over the weekend I will be finishing up assembly of these lovelies...subscription copies will be on their way shortly and I'll be making some individual copies available in the shop...stay tuned...

Friday, July 25, 2014

This weekend, there will be napping.  There will be painting. There will be reading more manuscripts and writing more poems and getting to spend some more time with this little guy (and his sister) before they are off to their permanent home in a couple weeks (Ezra is all mine, but Nimbus & Moxie will be settling in with a friend once she has her apartment by the end of August.) 

Today I was working on some layouts and it occurred to me how, of the manuscripts we publish, that A). they are so ridiculously awesome, and B) that their authors somehow send them to ME of all the amazing presses where they surely could find a home, many more fancified and high profile than dgp will ever be. But send they do, and I'm enormously pleased and grateful that it somehow happens.  that books like these get written and that of all people, I get to bring them into the world.   This week's layouts are some of our more quirky & humorous books for some reason and they are pleasing me to no end, including books by Jeanine Deibel, Irene Mathieu, Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow, Kassy Lee, and AM Ringwalt.  And this is not even counting the new submissions that I am making my way though, of the accepted books that are still coming down the pipeline in the fall and winter. It's amazing to think that 10 years ago, we were just starting and how much has come about since then.

The week has been longish, and busy, but with good poetry and good sandwiches (it's poor week, so no restaurant lunches this week for me.) I leave you with Miss Moxie and her favorite spot among the fabric shelves.  I leave you with fair weather and hopes that my writing energies are as strong as my editorial ones this week...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

some watercolor experiments....

Monday, July 21, 2014

Am finally settled back in and getting down to business, most notably, starting to comb through the hefty amount of submissions for next year's chapbook series, which have already topped 300 with over a month to go.  I've already read through about 20 and found a good ten or so worthy of a second reading, and another couple that I accepted immediately. I plan to keep reading and responding in smaller batches throughout the remainder of the reading period. Already, there is so much goodness in there I can tell final decisions will be as tough as they always are. 

Remarkably, we are on schedule (well, moreso than usual) on this years books, so there is still a lot of goodness to come throughout the fall.  I have a couple layouts I am working on this week, and a couple new books ready to hatch.  I am also hoping to catch up on orders and then finish printing lunarium, which is stuck in limbo with no real time to actually finish it up.  I will be mailing that and a couple of other little projects I will soon be unveiling soon out to the zine subscribers as well as making some available in the shop individually. 

With salvage pretty much under wraps, I've started on a new segment of the newer book (#7), which also likely be manifesting as a small zine before the end of the year, and hopefully by the end of the year, I will have the entirely completed and all the p's and q's in place.  These are the apocalypse themed poems, the heart of which is apocalypse theory: a reader, but which branches out into some other things of a similar nature.

Friday, July 11, 2014

So it is nearing the end of my very much needed week off and amidst the leisurely things like picnics, country weddings, thrifting, and trashy tv viewing, I've made some good headway in getting the new manucript organized and the final poem in the can for ghost landscapes.  I also found new mixing bowls, three cardigans, and a wicker beach bag.  Raided the Swiss Colony outlet for discount cheese and desserts. Swam in too-chilly pool.  Drank two bottles of peach moscato.  Sat outside near a fire pit under the stars.

It's good to get away from daily life and it's demands, even if I'm really not really going anywhere.  I'll have some time off in August for a Wisconsin trip, but this sort of silence is nice, too. A break in the whirlingness. Right now, I'm staving off thoughts of all I need to do when I get back, the book orders to go out, new layouts,  finally printing lunarium, which keeps getting pushed back.  I need some solid time in the studio, which I haven't been able to get in the way I need, and am sort of missing my free mornings (I'm working 11-7 these days at the library, which leaves me only a couple of functioning hours at night unless I go in super early which I do sometimes..)

But summer, inevitably feels like it's slipping away, which means I have only a mere six or seven weeks to cram in as much patio eating, icy drink imbibing, beach romping, outdoorsiness as I can before fall.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

So my weekend has been a little hectic, but today, a bit slower and more my pace.  First there was apartment hunting for a friend in the neighborhood (an endeavor that made me happy that my finding this apartment 14 years ago pretty serendipitously), then yesterday amazing waffles downtown and entire afternoon in the studio.  Today, sleeping in, the much elusive almond croissant and some time to devote to putting the final touches on the new full-length manuscript.  I am finally feeling better and more in control of things and trying not to let summer get bogged down in the details and slip by too quickly.  This week I have a some more work to do and some boring things like vet trips, but then I am off work for an entire week of summer festivities and perhaps a bit of reading and writing.  With salvage in the can, I can turn my attention to the creepy motel manuscript.

Monday, June 23, 2014

the day after the longest day

The latter half of yesterday was stormy and cloudy and punctuated by a huge fog bank that moved over the city, so the day seemed much shorter than it should have been. But I am still surprised by the earliness of mornings, how soon I wake up at sunrise, even if I just roll back over and burrow under the covers for another few hours.  Most of the weekend has been either making books or napping, but there was also some painting this afternoon, some botanicals I'd been thinking of trying out.  It was foggy again today and a weird diffused light that reminded me more of winter than summer, but I am grateful for the mild weather even still.  A couple more weeks of work and I will be headed away to Rockford for a week that will be filled with 4th of July festivities, a wedding, and hopefully just some quietness.   I've been burning straight through since January without a real break (AWP was a trip, but that was exhausting than my usual routine. )  In the  meantime, there are projects to print and books to release and orders to get out the door.  I have been moving a bit slower since I am not 100 percent on the health front just there is so much to do..

Sunday, June 15, 2014

So it's been an uneven week, full of  awesome things like tiny kittens and new dresses and not so awesome things like a brutal bout of food poisoning.  But I am on the mend and back at work after a couple of bad days, the worst of which, outside of the intestinal distress, was the tiredness that seemed to sweep over me and knock me out at weird times.  I am working on getting caught up in the studio since I only have about an hour of good solid work in me before the legarthy slides into me like mercury.

But it's been rather mild and temperate in terms of weather, no blistering heat or humidity, which is nice.  The beginning of summer always makes me want to be a child again.  Those camping trips where we slept in tents and told ghost stories around the fire.  The long days in the boat where me and my sister spent our time occupied by coloring books and Archie comics and cap guns and decks of cards.  When the winds off the water, the smell in the neighborhood immediately snaps me back to our all of those Wisconsin weekends. My mother said recently that when we lived in town, they would be out the door on Friday and gone every weekend til Sunday night, either to my grandmother's RV slip at Lake Wisconsin or up to Black River Falls.  There were other places, other camp grounds, many of which I forget the names of.  Even later, we did a lot of camping 45 minutes away or so in Rock Cut State Park, both with a camper and without.

All of those trips seemed like the closest to real vacations, to any sort of letting go of real like drudgery.  Even my mother, who rarely indulged in leisure time would spend hours reading True Story magazines on a trifold chair.   I would hole up in the top bunk of the truck camper with trashy teen novels and a notebook and try to write things.  Despite the work of "roughing"it, it was rather peaceful.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Another week. another dolla. Well, not so much dollas, though I did have a little bit extra after payday last week and bought a couple dresses, a cardigan, and have finally am venturing into the 21st century and getting a touchscreen phone (to replace my Samsung Blackberry knock-off).  Otherwise, the weather has been vascillating from hot & muggy to rainy and cool.  I am, however, on the verge of finishing up another full-length project as well as ghost landscapes (which finally has found its footing.).  I'm still uncertain on he the final title, and uncomfortable with the working title, so we'll see what happens before I start sending it out. I need to spend some quality time with ordering with that project this weekend, as well as doing the printing on lunarium, which is ready to go and  which keep getting pushed back because of book orders (a good problem to have, but I am swamped with new books and author copies and paper from one end of the studio to the other .)  I've been trying to take more photos, though (see above) as well as scanning in some old faves...(and the amazing cute coat action therein..)

Monday, May 26, 2014

So today, I celebrated Memorial Day by eating chocolate cake for breakfast and sneaking in some extra studio time, wherein I worked on author copies, listened to the Rolling Stones and ate a lot of strawberries. It's  beautiful day, the beaches, of not actual water, full of people and making me feel like I should be playing hooky there instead of toiling away inside.  I've been napping a bit too much, but yesterday morning, let go of something I really need to let go of.  Years ago.  Sort of an emotional purging of sorts that resulted in the aforementioned  napping, but by the time I woke up last night, I was in a good mood and over all of it.    But closure is good.   New promising romantic entanglements are good. (very good).  And I feel a bit like a weight has been lifted or a shadow has been vanquished or whatever euphemism you would like to use. 

In other news, the mockup for lunarium has been completed, fine tuned, and will be available soon.  I'll be shipping to subscribers hopefully by the end of the week. The ghost landscape poems are also humming along and will be ready by the time June rolls around, so I will making a little postcard zine from them.  It's interesting, because they've taken an interesting slightly surreal turn I never intended but it works.  You could pretty much say that about life in general lately.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Another semester put to bed, another spate of glorious perfect temperatures, and I'm running a tremendously good mood the past day or so (though I'm pretty much running on fumes because of my altered sleep schedule.)  I'm working slowly, however, on getting a mockup of the lunarium project finished off, as well as plugging away on the landscape poems (finally..)  I'm indulging in ice cream and after-work margaritas and clinging rather uneasily to the warm weather as if it will go away again as stubbornly as it came.  The library is quiet and tomblike and good for brainstorming and dreaming and thinking up new projects (flip books, collage series, new paintings, oh my.)  I also finally got my hands on a copy of Codex Seraphinianus that we ordered for the collection, so it's sitting on my desk in the back as we speak awaiting some more perusal...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

carnival season

in progress---my little zine/broadside featuring one of the poems in GIRL SHOW. It will soon be available as part of the subscription series and a little art vending machine project we are cooking up in the library as part of the Aesthetics of Research exhibit...

Thursday, May 08, 2014

It's sort of amazing what a little bit of good weather will do to my mood. Today homemade peach cobbler and al pastor tacos from Flacos.  A good span of bookmaking in the studio. A chat over e-mail with someone I've missed rather sorely the past few years. Maybe some poeming later.  And it's Thursday, with the weekend just over horizon, a weekend in which I'll get a few hours in at the studio Saturday, and then on Sunday, some mom time and a possible picnic lakeside and then maybe some painting now that I have watercolor paper.  I am ready to pull out the flip flops and throw all the windows open and sleeping with covers off..  I am ready for Italian ice and bright colored sundresses and not freezing every single place I go..bring it on, summer...

Saturday, May 03, 2014


It would figure that the first warmish, sun-filled day would coincide with a day being stuck all day in the library, but I am trying not to take it personally.  I am tired with the early morning, but I have still been reasonably productive thus far, and have designed a couple of covers, updated some social media things, made plans for an open studio to coincide with Printers Row, and cleared out my dgp inbox for the most part.  I'll be settling in for some layouts on some books and some final edits on others this afternoon, which will hopefully make the remaining hours fly by. Then tonight, it's a few hours in the studio with some orders, then home, then bed, then back to the library again tomorrow at noon.  We are rearing up on the end of the term, so soon I will have many, many more free evenings and weekends.  I'm not sure how this will translate into having more time for things, but here's hoping...

Monday, April 28, 2014

Had an excellent birthday Friday, filled with pie and tiaras and margaritas and enough fun that I really didn't mind getting another year older.  Admittedly I was exhausted and a little hungover Saturday when I took some dgp books on the road (well into my little suitcase and over two blocks) to the Chicago Public Library's Poetry Fest, where they have a little mini book fair set up in the lobby of Harold Washington amidst some other readings and workshops and such.  I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon in the studio finishing up some author copies and playing around with lunarium, which as soon as I have all the materials, will be unveiling in a week or so.  Sunday, I did much of nothing except nap and watch indie movies all afternoon into evening.  But a good weekend, despite the rather chilly weather that has me cold everywhere I go, which is de riguer this time of year, the point where property managers stop cranking the radiators and mother nature has yet to pick up the slack.

This week, I'm finishing up some new chaps by Alison Stone and Jennifer Martin, the cover designs of which are in the works.  I'll be working this weekend, so will no doubt get some concentrated work done on some other upcoming books while I'm chained to the desk.  It's hard to believe it is already May though, the semester ending already and another academic year put to bed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Today ends a couple day's long layout/design marathon, putting finishing touches on books by aimee herman, Krystal Languell, Carrie Hohmann, and a collab by Jill Darling, Laura Wetherington, and Hannah Ensor. The weather has turned colder, so I feel like everything is diving back under cover, back to work, the winter mind that just pushes on through through the snow and distractions.  We are close to actually being on schedule, for once, with releases, so I am hoping to hunker down and make it happen. (It's always easy to get back ahold of the reigns this early in the year, though not so much later on.)

Already, we are getting ready for our open reading period this summer.  Already making some prep for a possible inclusion in a panel on chapbooks for AWP (with the likes of Eireanne Lorsung, Molly Sutton Kiefer, Rachel Moritz & Paige Riehl..) Already estimating how many titles I can conceivably take on for 2015 without killing my printers and having a nervous breakdown.  We already have some books lined up by previous authors and a handful things that have been solicited that will be coming in I know I want, so it may be a tighter squeeze.  I'm hoping to keep up with my reading on a rolling basis so I don't get slammed in the fall.  As long as the submissions pool remains relatively the same size as the past couple of years, I should be able to handle it. Other readers to help with the load are always an option, but it makes my control freak all itchy to think of it.  I'm way too proprietary when it comes to certain things..but I've accepted this.(of course, since it's me who will be laying out, battling the printer, folding, stapling, trimming, and promoting the books we take on, I indulge myself absolutely.

Otherwise, in addition to birthday festivity planning (the usual obsessing over party dresses, margaritas, mexican food)  this week I'm also getting ready for the CPL's Poetry Fest where we'll be hawking some wares at a table in the lobby of Harold Washington Library if you happen to find yourself downtown on Saturday afternoon...

Monday, April 21, 2014


Even though my holiday trip home was a short one and only for the weekend, it's still a bit bumpy of a re-entry (and mostly just avoidance and getting back into routines and ignoring that my phone has not been recharged in three days and IJUSTDON'TCARE..)  the holiday was the usual chocolate-egg filled hamfest, but also warmer weather and blooming daffodils and finally being able to spend a night sleeping with the windows open. 

I am ever so busy this birthday week, so by the end of it, I will hitting the big 4-0, which is only disheartening when I think that about ten minutes ago I was like 26.  I don't mind getting older, but it's just the weird disconnect I feel between the reality of my actual age and the youngish person I feel I still am.  Though if 40 is the new 30, hopefully I'll be good, mostly since my thirties were (outside of a couple rough patches, mostly romance related) pretty freakin awesome.  I think I've learned  that I don't have to fit the mold of the typical "grown-up" (mold being the operative word, the stone turned over, settled in, and grown mossy with disuse.)  The idea of "settled" by this age or that age makes me uneasy.  I want newness, shininess, excitement.  For anything being liable to happen. For all things to be possible.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

writing process blog tour

(Erin Elizabeth Smith tagged me as a brief stop on this cool little blog tour.  Enjoy~)


A writer and visual artist, I am the author of several book, chapbook and art zine projects, including the shared properties of water and stars (Noctuary Press), girl show (Black Lawrence Press, 2014) and the forthcoming major characters in minor films (Sundress Publications, 2015).   I live in Chicago, where I run dancing girl press & studio and spend much of my time writing, making papery things, and curating a chapbook series devoted to women authors.


Right now, I’m working on a visual/text project involving a series of epistolary poems I wrote last yearcalled lunarium, which will hopefully manifest as a box project involving the letters, envelopes, postcards , and various ephemera.  I am also working on a series of dream poems, a novel-like mss.. in prose fragments about a creepy hotel, and some text pieces to go hand in hand with a series of postcard paintings I’ve been doing.  There are also some projects still in their infancy I occasionally turn over in my head, including things like monsters, pinup girls & the atomic bomb, ransom notes to my former self, and other fun stuff.


Since I tend  to float a bit between genres,  it’s maybe hard to pinpoint.  Most of what I have been writing lately has been more prose-like , but I suppose it still sounds a bit more like poetry than most prose.  I think with every new project , I try to something different, be it with language or with narrative or voice. Lately, a lot of things work in conjunction or in dialogue with visual art—collages, paintings, found objects, so those things influence my work in a way that varies from a lot of writers.


I tend to write toward my passions.  My little pet obsessions.  On the other hand, I sometimes feel like I’m writing around the same sorts of subjects but with different approaches with every new manuscript—the body, language, a particular kind of female danger/transgression, the gothic, transformation, place and locality. Each one is probably an attempt to get a new understanding of the same sorts of things.


Since I work both a full-time job and tend to the press another 30 or so hours a week, my writing happens in bits and spurts rather than any sort of disciplined framework.  I am always reading though—be it novels, poetry collections,  dgp chapbooks I’m working on, so I write down a lot of notes and ideas that eventually go into poems once I can sit down and make something of them.  Over the years its sort developed into a collage-ish process  where I never know for sure what I’m going to end up with at the end, or the direction in which individual pieces will wind up taking.   I also sometimes try to trick myself into writing by pretending what I’m doing is just for fun—my I*HATE*YOU JAMES*FRANCO pieces came from such antics, as did my recent series of apocalypse poems.  It sort of takes the pressure off and helps avoid pesky creative blocks.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The weekend has been full of rain, but also packing book orders, reading poems, coffee.  Also, beginning to migrate the winter things (sweater dresses, tweeds, autumnal colored fabrics) into the trunks and bringing some of the spring/summer stuff out of hiding (at least the sundresses that look good with all those damn cardigans). It's a little early, but I've painted my toes a bright pink and ordered a new pair of sandals (though it'll be a couple months before I'll probably actually get to wear them).

 This week will be much of the same, hopefully with less rain (though they are threatening snow tomorrow, but I'm going to pretend I didn't see that.)  I'll be working on new books this week and releasing a couple more into the wild. The week is also bisected by a copyright workshop for libraries in Wisconsin, and then a trip home for easter at the end of the week.  And there are other unpleasant things like taxes and laundry before it's finished and all no doubt keeping me away from doing other fun, more writing-oriented things I really want to get some traction on.  I've finished edits on the lunarium poems though, and obtained some lovely glassine envelopes, so I'll be posting some peeks at that later in the week..Until then..

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


And so with the night sky the past couple of nights that velvety blue with it's perfect half moon, and with an urge to to make another box project, I've once again turned my attention back to the little moon chap, some of which was gobbled up in the forthcoming major characters in minor films, but most of which I intended to be a zine with something of a visual component (what I wasn't sure of until a couple of days ago.)  Since the poems are, in fact, love letters, I'm amusing myself with thoughts of making them as such and involving all sorts of cool things like moon-related ephemera, diagrams, charts, old stamps, glassine envelopes, stereographs and postcards.  The timing is perfect since I am running a bit slow on the zine I was working on for this month and these things, the letters anyway, are already finished, so I can focus more on the visual aspects while plodding away on those other poems. It will probably be a smaller edition (maybe only 25) since my materials are limited, but I am excited about it. It will be a box thing, sort of cross between what I did with the Cornell project and then later, the Billet Deux missives. All sorts of little pieces to be opened and discovered.  Stay tuned for more details...

Monday, April 07, 2014

of fire eaters and ordinary monsters

And so it is the cruelest month, but it's not all bad.  Warming weather. Tulips in the beds on Michigan Ave. An excellent weekend, that while I was studio bound on Saturday, found me Sunday first at WomanMade Gallery, reading a bit from girl show and the underground house series, and then at a cool sideshow performance in a very-20's era basement jazz club in River North abouts (so very speakeasy--the entrance was actually tucked down the alley in the middle of the block..)  There were, of course,  burlesque dancers, sword swallowers, and firebreathers aplenty, and also an example of very improper use of staple guns.  Mondays are always hard, and today I've been slowly pushing off several tasks til Tuesday/Wednesday and deciding that sometimes I am way too overambitious at the beginning of the week to actually finish the things I plan right out of he gate. 

Friday, as I was musing over some cover ideas for upcoming dgp books, I was struck with a new idea for a series of poems built around Monstrorum Historia, which I've encountered in many vintage image galleries in individual pieces, but hadn't actually seen the whole of it.  They probably would be more modern in focus and just inspired by the drawings, but it's an intriguing idea   Of course, this project has to get in line behind a few others I have in the hopper at the moment, but I'd love to start working on it at least piecemeal later in the month.

Otherwise, I am enjoying tacos and cupcakes and new plaid dresses and all this extra glorious daylight...

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

A brief bloggerly excursion from the trenches of dancing girl press lands me here, but it's been hard hacking a clearing through the overwhelmingly wonderful pace of orders and work on various new releases since getting back at the beginning of the month.  I survived spring break, but much of it was spent in tandem either working, in the studio, or having cocktails with co-workers, sometimes one or two of these things at once.  Much of life is sometimes one or two or possibly three things at once, so thus, I am sleeping well whenever I get the chance to crawl into bed.  We've also been getting a little kinder, though still chilly weather, but warm enough that I can go without boots or scarves, which is a first since early Novemberish.  I noticed the harbors and the lakefront are nearly completely thawed, which means the boats will be soon returning , and once that happens, the leaves are not far behind.

In the realm of writerly news, the dreams about houses and bees zine project and its poems are nearly finished and ready to manifest, hopefully over the weekend.  There is also another series of fun poems for next month underway as we speak (text only).   I have a reading coming up at WomanMade Gallery this weekend, for which I plan to read some girl show poems and maybe a few bits and pieces from other stuff.  There are also, @ Blood Lotus Review, some pieces, an interview, and a review of the shared properties of water and stars, as well as a short review of it at OONA.  I also have interview up with me at MonkeyBicycle, in which I talk about writing, the press, and other artsy endeavors.

Yesterday, I packed up the very last unclaimed copy of at the Hotel Andromeda (besides the single one I am keeping) to send to a buyer and was thinking how much I want to get cracking on the next box project, unusual creatures. (I would love to include it as part of the subscription series later this summer if I can finish it.)  Sadly it's one of a dozen or so things stuck inside the starting gate that I've yet to make much progress in. I did finish a set of collages last year for it, but there are many more, plus most of the written stuff.  I am finding the subscription series is keeping me moving forward, even with only a handful of them going out and keeping me accountable.  (Incidently, there's still a chance if you want to get in on the action.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014


We had the slightest taste of spring late this week, but I awoke to a dusting of snow this morning and an overly chilly apartment.  I've been busy righting the listing ship that AWP left me with, projects behind schedule, a slew of orders to get in the mail.  I have a number of spring season titles that are ready to make their debut, and a couple that already have (books by Min Kang, J Gay, and Amy Wright.)  I am mid way through this month's zine offering, a set of collages and the house poems and hope to have it wrapped by the end of this week.  There are big library orders almost ready to ship to Yale and Buffalo.  Contributor copies ready to go out on [carriage return] --which sold out at the conference and I had to make more.  Mostly I am just plodding along and trading my boots for shoes and watching the magnolia tree near the bus stop for any sign of bloom.  It's technically spring break this week, so my schedule will be off no doubt, wanting sleep when I have to be awake, wanting to eat at all the wrong times.

Friday, March 14, 2014

terrestrial animal

You can now get your very own copy of this weird little prose poem chap filled to the brim with underground houses, dysfunctional housewifery, and cold war anxieties…  I am willing to swap for pretty much anything (chaps, books, lovely paper things, ephemera, postcards, tiny art pieces.) 

Just shoot me a message at dancinggirlpress (at ) yahoo and I will send one your way…

Thursday, March 06, 2014

AWP 2014 Roundup

The journey started Monday in the bustle of Union Station and ended a week and a half later in a quiet, 5am, return to the same place. As expected, I loved the train, though, and slept on an off both day and night, occupying myself on the way out with an mp3 player of seventies tunes stolen from my mother and a trashy novel, but mostly staring out into the dark outside the train windows and taking photos during the day. Five states, two days, and the continuing thread were so many of these odd, impromtu dumps. A vintage car rusted out in the middle of a field. An odd assortment of busted washing machines and other detritus along a fence line. Almost as if the residents of the state just walked into the middle of nowhere and decided to dump all their old belongings. In one field, there were some adorable, slightly largish, white rabbits (snowshoe hares?) playing & frollicking amongst the wreckage. It would be a beautiful trip if it were summer, but now it's been mostly snow, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Seattle was definitely warmer, oddly not too rainy much of the time I was there and filled with all sorts of cool things. I always joked that I may go and never come back, especially after this winter, but I'm still true to Chicago, even if it greeted me with snow and obscene cold upon my return at 5am on Wednesday . Nevertheless, I had an awesome fun time where I was staying with some friends and fellow editors, full of excellent food, a ridiculously comfy bed, and so much fun my sides still hurt a little from laughing so much. The conference itself was amazing, crossing paths with so many dancing girl authors and online aquaintances., Also, really feeling the amazing support that so many people have for what we do with dancing girl press and the supporters/readers of my own work (I am always amazed and delighted to find that I have readers at The panel went off splendidly and the readings were both more wonderful than I could have imagined. As did my book signing for girl show at the BLP table, which at the point I started was nearly sold out already.


Leaving Seattle was sad, but after an excellent brunch on Sunday and some record store perusing, I was ready to get back on the train and surrender to my inner introvert on a nice quiet train ride (which of course, turned out to be less quiet and much longer (17 hours longer) than expected due to an avalanche in Montana, and which involved buses and trains and reroutes oh my..) But I'm excited to get home and get back to work and giving some thought to next years conference, which I do pan on attending at this point, (and which will hopefully be a much, much shorter train ride to Minneapolis.)

All in all, journey-wise, I did get a couple of poems written, read through some of my newest aquisitions from the book fair, including some excellent trades with Sundress Publications and a whole batch of fellow Black Lawrence titles, some Hyacinth Girl Press aquisitions from the neighboring table, and some other swaps. I'm not sure if it makes sense, but I feel both drained and filled at the same time. Drained from the endeavor, but filled with so many thoughts on work and projects and things for the future.