First up in our new video reading series is CRYSTAL STONE! Crystal’s new book Knock-Out Monarch was recently published. (You can order from her directly. DM the shipping address and Venmo her @Crystal-Stone-1 for $12.75 which includes the shipping cost.) You can learn more about her here: https://www.crystalbstone.com/
Laura Donnelly is the author of two award-winning collections of poetry, Midwest Gothic (Ashland Poetry Press 2020) and Watershed (Cider Press Review 2013), and her recent poems have appeared in Colorado Review, The Journal, EcoTheo Review and elsewhere. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in Upstate New York where she teaches and is director of the creative writing program at Oswego State University.
About the video: This reading is an ode, of sorts, to fall, with some poems from my book Midwest Gothic and some newer works (mostly) related to the season. I recorded this the day before the fall equinox, and I love the liminal space of this time. Here in Upstate New York, the hummingbirds have been bulking up for migration, the roadsides are full of goldenrod, and the weather is careening between rain and sun. Thanks for joining me as I take a moment to mark these in-between days.
Yamini Pathak is the author of the chapbooks, Atlas of Lost Places (Milk and Cake Press, 2020) and Breath Fire Water Song (Ghost City Press, 2021). Her words are forthcoming or have appeared in Poetry Northwest, About Place Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, Vida Review, Waxwing, and elsewhere. She is a Poet in Schools for the Geraldine Dodge Foundation, serves as poetry editor for Inch micro-chapbooks (Bull City Press), reads translations for Lunch Ticket, and is a production assistant for Tupelo Quarterly journal. Yamini has received her MFA in poetry from Antioch University, Los Angeles and is an alumnus of VONA/Voices and Community of Writers. It brings her much joy to belong to the Duniya Collective, an inter-disciplinary group of BIPOC artists. Born in India, she lives with her family in New Jersey.
The poems in this installment of Bad Mouth come from my chapbook, Atlas of Lost Places (Milk and Cake Press, 2020) and from the manuscript I’m currently developing. I have shared 8 poems, most of which are written towards the women in my lineage. It is these women who have rooted and shaped me, and I turn to them when living and longing in diaspora. I take inspiration from the landscape and heritage of my birth country, India. Much of this work is also memory-work, a record keeping of sorts for my own children who are growing up away from the cultural landscape of their origins. The poems are an interplay between memory and the moment, a way to find home and locate myself at the cusp of tradition and my own daily practice.
Amy Baskin’s work is currently featured in Kai Coggin’s Wednesday Night Poetry, Pilgrimage, and The Timberline Review. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, an Oregon Literary Arts Fellow, and an Oregon Poetry Association prize winner. When not writing, she helps run literary arts programs including Fir Acres Writing Workshop at Lewis & Clark College. HYSTERICAL CAKE (Dancing Girl Press, 2022) is her first chapbook. NIGHT HAG (Unsolicited Press, 2023), her first full-length collection, will be available in April.
Amy’s in-house artist and spouse who’s doing cover art for NIGHT HAG is Jason Baskin. Jason has work up on Instagram at @jasonbaskin.
About the reading:
“The work I’m sharing with the Bad Mouth community deals primarily with the ascendance of the divine feminine. HYSTERICAL CAKE, my first chapbook, thematically examines womanhood, cycles of creation, preservation, and destruction, the dissolution of notions of self, and the concept of radical kinship. NIGHT HAG, my upcoming first collection, is an exploration of submission versus agency, of questioning versus acceptance, interspersed with reflections on and by Lilith. Lilith, in Jewish folklore, was Adam’s first wife, before Eve. Lilith saw herself as Adam’s equal and refused to submit to him. In Hebrew myths, she is depicted as a demon who left Adam for a new lover, the fallen angel Samael. She has been cast as a thief in the night who steals babies. A demon of abortion. A sex glutton. A woman guilty of the crime of choosing when and if she becomes a mother. Lilith’s ‘heresy,’ like all heresy, comes from the Greek ecclesiastical term for ‘choice.'”
Chrissy Martin recently received her PhD from Oklahoma State University and has an MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. She is the Poetry Editor and a founding editor for Arcturus. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Cherry Tree, Crab Creek Review, and Carve Magazine. Find her at chrissymartinpoetry.com.
Find her at Twitter and Instagram @chrissymypoet.
About the reading: “For this installment of Bad Mouth, I read 8 poems from my manuscript, Redshift. Redshift is my PhD dissertation, which I just defended this spring, and is currently being submitted to publishers. These pieces, and the manuscript at large, grapple with femininity, class, chronic illness, mental illness, and violation. The reading includes a mix of form and free verse poems. All of these pieces are previously published and can be found online or in print through my website, chrissymartinpoetry.com. Thanks for listening!”
Tyler Mills is the author of City Scattered (Snowbound Chapbook Award, Tupelo Press 2022), Hawk Parable (Akron Poetry Prize, University of Akron Press 2019), Tongue Lyre (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, Southern Illinois University Press 2013), and co-author with Kendra DeColo of Low Budget Movie (Diode Editions Chapbook Prize, Diode Editions 2021). Her nonfiction manuscript-in-progress, The Bomb Cloud, recently received a Literature Grant from the Café Royal Foundation NYC. A poet and essayist, her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, The New Republic, The Believer, and Poetry, and her essays in AGNI, Brevity, Copper Nickel, River Teeth, and The Rumpus. She lived and taught in New Mexico four years, most recently serving as the Burke Scholar for the Doel Reed Center for the Arts in Taos, NM, and now teaches for Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute. She lives in Brooklyn and can be found at www.tylermills.com.
In this video, Tyler reads poems from City Scattered (Tupelo Press, April 2022), which is a book of persona poems set in Weimar Berlin and with a voice that breaks through the cabaret and comments from the perspective of the present day.
This week’s Online in the Meantime marks the beginning of the third year of Bad Mouth’s online series! This monthly online series will be a continuing feature–with maybe some surprise additions coming–and the hope and intention of bringing back live, in-person events still, as well.
Mary B. Moore’s five poetry books include the full-length collections Dear If, Orison Books; Flicker, winner of the Dogfish Head Award; and The Book Of Snow, Cleveland State University Poetry Center; the chapbooks are Amanda and the Man Soul (Emrys Prize, 2017) and Eating the Light (Sable Books Contest 2016). Her poems have won awards from NELLE, Terrain, Asheville Poetry Review and Nimrod and have appeared lately in Calyx, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Gettysburg Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, The Nasty Women Poets Anthology, and Fire &Rain, Eco-Poetry of California. She also wrote a critical study of women sonneteers and Petrarch, Desiring Voices, Women Sonneteers and Petrarchism, SIU Press, 2000. A native Californian, she lives in Huntington, WV with a philosopher and a cat. She retired from Marshall University where she taught Renaissance literature and writing, and has a brilliant daughter, an attorney in Northern California.
About this reading:
“As you’ll know from my reading and the book, Dear If—because surely you must have found it already at Orisonbooks.com––my voice is both reverent and irreverent, and the poems’ speaker both believes and disbelieves. As to me, obsessed with Mary of Nazareth as a child growing up Roman Catholic, I hadn’t been able to write about her in a way that felt genuine and that gave me the sense of discovery and surprise I value in my own (and others’) poetry until I learned to place her in my world, as I first did in a sonnet called “Litany” now in the wonderful anthology Wild Gods, The Ecstatic in Contemporary Poetry and Prose edited by Joel Peckham and Robert Vivian. When Dear If began to seem like a thing, much of it written in April 2018, I missed the presence of my childhood icon, Mary. Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine showed me how the events of Mary’s life could be contemporized, and how sharing Mary’s name could make an amazing poetic conceit. The first Mary poem, “Then She Is Rain,” came in a rush over a week; the writing of it was surprising, entrancing. I felt the need, though, for a counter-voice on Mary, and my four-woman writing group––S Diane Wellmen, Marie Manilla, and Rachael Peckham––provided the lead element—“The Aviatrix.” Ess Diane made the lavender cocktail to honor Rachael Peckham’s manuscript, The Aviatrix, and to honor our shared belief in writing’s way of flying us to unexpected places. Its color obsessed me and tied in with other motifs in the ms, “The God of Lilacs,” the colors associated with my father’s hair in “Variations on Gray,” and the dawn mist of the now final poem, “Dear Blur and Dispersal. I wrote my way into the imagined amethyst rosary, the memory of “the fey Rieki practitioner” and “holycard Michael.” I hope it speaks to you. “
2.14 (episode 67) featuring Jennifer Jordán Schaller
Jennifer Jordán Schaller is a Latinx writer and English teacher from New Mexico. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction; Hayden’s Ferry Review; Cutbank; NPR’s This American Life; Sonora Review; Brain, Child; New Mexico English Journal; Ascent (this essay was nominated for a Pushcart Prize); and elsewhere. You can find more of her work at jenniferjordanschaller.com and follow her on Twitter @jenniferjschall.
About this reading:
In this installment of Bad Mouth, I read a chapter of my memoir manuscript, a manuscript that I will start shopping around this summer. The chapter doubles as a standalone memoir essay, and it was first published in Hayden’s Ferry Reviewa couple of years back. This is the first time I read “The Performance” out loud. What I realized after reading this essay is that it’s easier to write the word pussy instead of saying the word pussy out loud. I almost cracked up a couple of times while reading this. I hope you enjoy my memoir essay.
Alicia Elkort (she/her) has been nominated thrice for the Pushcart, twice for Best of the Net and once for the Orisons Anthology. Her first book of poetry will be published in the fall of 2022 by Stillhouse Press. She was the finalist in the 2019 Two Sylvias Press Book Prize and has been published in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Santa Fe, NM, and works as a Life Coach. For more info or to watch her two video poems: http://aliciaelkort.mystrikingly.com/
About the reading:
The poems included in the reading are from my first book which will be published in November by Stillhouse Press. A Map of Every Undoing centers on my experiences of trauma and living as a girl/woman in a culture that diminishes the feminine. In every poem, I work through what it means to heal the heart and psyche, in relation to trauma but also in relationship to others in the world, especially family—mothers, fathers, siblings. Part of healing is crafting a voice in the world, and to this effect, I also deconstruct mythology and fairytale and re-construct well known storylines in a progressive paradigm that praises the feminine. Ultimately, I am telling a story through my poems, and the story is one grace, reconciliation, and sometimes surrender. But it’s also a map of a way through—to living fiercely and courageously.
Wayne Miller is the author of five poetry collections, most recently We the Jury (Milkweed, 2021) and Post- (2016), which won the UNT Rilke Prize and the Colorado Book Award in Poetry. He has also co-translated two books, most recently Moikom Zeqo’s Zodiac (Zephyr, 2015), which was shortlisted for the PEN Center USA Award in Translation. Wayne has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation; six awards from the Poetry Society of America; the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry; and Fulbright Distinguished Scholarship to Northern Ireland. He co-directs the Unsung Masters Series, teaches at the University of Colorado Denver, and edits Copper Nickel.
“These poems are from my fifth collection We the Jury, which is about middle age, contemporary America, and the wrangle of humanism. It’s a book that tries to complicate or think past the sort of knee-jerk reactions I often find myself making in today’s sociopolitical environment, and it also tries to juxtapose “personal,” domestic poems with “public,” sociohistorical poems to consider how our domestic spaces are partially built by—and inside of—socio-politics, economics, and history. Finally, it’s an elegiac book, mourning the deaths of friends as well as the recent expansion of authoritarianism around the world.”
Taylor Byas is a Black Chicago native currently living in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she is now a third year PhD student and Yates scholar at the University of Cincinnati, and an Assistant Features Editor for The Rumpus. She is the 1st place winner of the 2020 Poetry Super Highway, the 2020 Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets Contests, the 2021 Adrienne Rich Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the 2020 Frontier OPEN Prize. She is the author of the chapbook Bloodwarm from Variant Lit, a second chapbook, Shutter, forthcoming from Madhouse Press, and her debut full-length, I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times, forthcoming from Soft Skull Press in Spring of 2023. She is represented by Rena Rossner of the Deborah Harris Agency.
About the reading: “The poems I’m reading are from my current poetry work-in-progress, which considers how the male gaze influences constructions of womanhood and identity. This project pulls from multiple genres for inspiration: critical theory, visual art, photography, and cinematography to more fully explore this society’s ways of seeing. How does the woman form an authentic self when her own self-construction has been shaped through the lens of her oppressor? Is the “I” that we all know really who we are, or an idealized double? These are the questions that his project seek to probe.”