November 2010

Birds of Wisconsin released!

On November 5th, New Rivers Press released my first full-length book of poetry, Birds of WisconsinThe manuscript won the Many Voices Project (MVP) competition, and considers the loves, prayers, fears, and regrets of the many species of birds who, either permanently or migratorally, call Wisconsin home.  Check out my page about the book for much more, including ordering information and sample poems.

* * *

Pushcart Prize nomination

The kind editors at The Briar Cliff Review nominated "sandhill cranes" for a Puschart Prize, so I've posted it online.  It's one of my favorite poems, and I'm honored to be recognized for it.

* * *

August 2010

Podcast interview by Third Coast Digest

At the end of summer, I was interviewed as part of a podcast series on Milwaukee poets.  The interview was published at Third Coast Digest, Milwaukee's premier arts and culture webzine.  I talked about State Sonnets, Birds of Wisconsin, and Drag:  Twenty Short Poems about Smoking.  Give it a listen, and you too can learn how much the field of actuarial science still rules the kingdom of my heart!

* * *

March 2010

The true story of my grandfather and his Nintendo ...

... can be found at the gorgeously-designed Cavalier Literary Couture.  The poem,"Kid Icarus," and is from my manuscript of prose poetry inspired by videogames, But Our Princess Is in Another Castle.

* * *

And a little psalm for the acrobats ...

... in the form of "sudden prayer for the squirrel on the powerline" in Euphony.

* * *

February 2010

A little wintry poetry

My poem "self-portrait with snow shovel" was recently published by Flurry*, an online journal dedicated to publishing "wintry poetry, intermittently, from Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin."  The site is only updated throughout the official season of winter (late December - late March), and is run by Yellowrocket author, Wisconsin native, and all-around good guy Todd Boss.

* * *

November 2009

State Sonnets gets some press!

My new paperback, State Sonnets, has gotten some attention locally and beyond.  The Midwest Book Review has reviewed the book, and then decided it was so good it merited a second reviewThe New Perspective, Carroll University's student newspaper, also featured an article about me and book.  See page 6.

* * *

October 2009

State Sonnets released!

On October 15th, sunnyoutside released my first paperback:  State SonnetsThe book is fifty-six pages of traveling sonnety goodness.  It looks beautiful, and I hope you'll find the poems of equal merit.  You can check out the official State Sonnets pages for more, and you can order from sunnyoutside,, Small Press Distribution, and Powell's (among other places).  For the inside scoop, check out my own page that describes the book in detail.

* * *

September 2009

State Sonnets available for pre-order!

sunnyoutside has set up the web pages for State Sonnets, my book of 14-line postcard-poems that travel through the U.S. and beyond.  We've been working together to get the book in its final form, with a release date of October 15th.  We're nearly done, and I think it looks fantastic.  Check out the cover, read a sample poem, and, of course, pre-order today!  In conjunction with the release, I'll be reading in Madison and Milwaukee shortly thereafter.  Check out the Readings page for more.

* * *

An all-sonnet interview!

On September 14th, Marilyn Taylor (Wisconsin's Poet Laureate) and I were interviewed about our work with sonnets on "Lake Effect," a local show on Milwaukee's NPR affiliate WUWM 89.7 FM.  You can listen to or download it here by scrolling down to "The Modern Sonnet."  It was a wonderful experience, and hopefully it will convince you (if you do not yet believe) that sonnets aren't just for dead people anymore.

* * *

July 2009

An evening of sonnets!

Recently, Marilyn Taylor, Wisconsin's Poet Laureate, asked me to join her for a reading in September.  I agreed immediately.  We spent a while talking about some possible themes or variations on the traditional (read:  "boring") poetry reading.  Soon, we settled on an all-sonnet evening titled:  "The Sonnet:  Not Just for Dead People Anymore."  We hope we can convince you that, indeed, sonnets remain relevant in our fascinating, technologically-advanced age.  Come see for yourself on Tuesday evening, September 15th, 7 p.m., at Boswell Books, 2559 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee. 

* * *

June 2009

Birds of Wisconsin wins national contest!

In late May, I learned that my first book-length manuscript, Birds of Wisconsin, won the Many Voices Project (MVP) competition sponsored by New Rivers Press in Moorhead, Minnesota.  They'll begin work on the book in Fall 2009 for a Fall 2010 release.  Some of the poems in Birds were originally written while I was in grad school at Wash U, so I've been working on this project off and on for nine years now.  There's something to be said here, I think, for tenacity.

The book explores the various aspects of birds in our state—their flight, their songs, their prayers—and how they inform our own lives.  It also features several poems spoken in the voice of Owen Gromme, a prominent Wisconsin wildlife artist and environmentalist who gained national acclaim with his book of bird portraits—also titled Birds of Wisconsin—published in 1963.

"canadian geese" from the Sierra Nevada Review is one of the poems in the book.  "creation," posted at, is another.

I'm thrilled to have my first full-length book accepted and forthcoming.  I'll provide updates as they come along.

* * *

State Sonnets accepted by sunnyoutside!

In April, David McNamara, publisher and editor of sunnyoutside (Buffalo, NY), wrote to let me know that he'd like to publish my chapbook of sonnets written about U.S. states (and beyond).  I don't often write in fixed forms, but sonnets with their fourteen lines seemed to be the perfect postcard size to explore ideas of love, longing, and (wander)lust.  I originally began this project in grad school, too, although many of my sonnets from that time were pretty awful (I had never written one before).  They got better over the years.

David has told me the chapbook should be out this fall, and I'll be participating in part of a sunnyoutside reading tour in October—see the Readings page for more info.

* * *

Centennial Press at work on Drag:  Twenty Short Poems about Smoking!

Undaunted by recent legislation ensuring a smoke-free Wisconsin by July 2010, Centennial Press has been stockpiling cigarettes and diligently planning for my third chapbook.  Drag more or less announces its form in the title, although it's worth pointing out that the poems are prose poems.  The collection was published in its entirety in Sentence #6.  Now that it's been published in lit mag form, CenPress is ready to print each poem on special nicotine-soaked paper so you can partake of each poem after you read it.  The chap's release is slated for fall.  But do you need just a quick hit between now and then?  The first step is admitting it to yourself.  The second is to check out short poem #11.