My friend Emily Rose took some snazzy videos of me reading at my book release. :)
I'm teaming up with my good friend singer/songwriter John Vournakis to flood the southlands with good (slightly depressing) music and poems. If anybody wants to see our super rad duo in the South/South East region (I don't think we're planning on going farther west than Texas this time, unless you ask us really nicely) from May 15-June 15 send me an email!
I miss your face and think you should come to my book release party on Friday night, so I can hug you. The first party for my first book, Good Grief, will be at Elastic Arts in Logan Square, Chicago (2830 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor) on Friday, March 23rd. Doors open at 8, show at 8:30. The event is FREE and BYOB (for those of drinking age).
The night includes readings from a gaggle of my esteemed and pretty poetry friends: Laura Yes Yes (host), J.W. Basilo, Emily Rose, Benjamin Clark, Shanny Jean Maney, and probably one or two mysterious others. It will also include me reading some of the poems from the book.
On a more sentimental note, although I am now officially a resident of Central New York, I still consider Chicago my poetry home. A good chunk of this book is comprised of poems that were workshopped and/or drafted at Vox Ferus After Dark (a workshop series run by the fabulous Marty McConnell). In many ways, this book is the story of me trying to figure out how I fit into the beautiful and complicated cityscape of Chicago as a young adult.
I think this is going to be a really fantastic and celebratory night: good poems, good people, etc. I am so, so delighted that the first event for this book gets to be in Chicago, amongst so many wonderful friends and poets.
I should probably also mention that copies of Good Grief will be available for $15. Chapbooks for $5. FREE HUGS. If you bring baked goods, you get extra free hugs.
A friend of mine who is a singer/songwriter recently asked me to recommend a few poets to him because he was struggling with some writer's block. This is what I came up with:
1) Erika Meitner. Here's a couple poems by her:
2) Jericho Brown
3) Marcus Wicker
4) Lynda Hull
5) Li-Young Lee
6) Nick Flynn
7) Richard Siken
8) Aracelis Girmay
9) Philip Levine
10) Terrance Hayes
Also, along these lines, I'm going to try to post a link to a poem a day that has inspired me to write. I will be doing this for an indefinite period of time. Maybe I'll turn it into a full-fledged project wit
I just added three poems from Good Grief into the archives at poemhunter.com. They are three of my favorites from the manuscript, but they were completed too late in the game to really get them published in lit mags. I hope you enjoy "Because I Cannot Belly Death," "A Photographer with a BA Joins the Army," and "How We Failed Sixth Period Child Development." Sorry they're kind of depressing. I might add more if it seems like people are reading them/ if there's any use to doing so.
Three fellow Cornellian poets and I have recently come together to found 4th & Verse Books.
4th & Verse Books is a publishing collaborative that prioritizes the creative process. By working closely with our authors we seek to create and champion poetry books of the highest quality. We believe that innovation is the tradition in poetry. As an outlet for poets at the beginning of their careers, we encourage artistic exploration and support clarity and confidence in new voices.
4th & Verse is launching itself with a poetry chapbook competition.
Submission Dates: April 1st – June 1st, 2012 by online submission manager (preferred) or regular mail ( Postmark deadline June 1st )
Awarding publication of a poetry chapbook, in print and e-book format; 75% royalties (after cost), and 50 author
copies, to a writer who has not yet published a book of poetry.
THE DEAL: Fourth and Verse is a pro-poet, not-for-profit publishing venture. We can’t offer an ‘advance’ or an honorarium, but our authors earn a radically high cut of the royalties from the chapbooks they sell. We’ll be promoting and marketing our chapbooks online and in bookstores, and so will our authors. There’s a $10 submission fee, and we provide a one paragraph response, detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the chapbook manuscript as we see it, for every single submission, even (all) the ones we can’t select to publish. With a $15 submission fee we’ll provide feedback and a copy of the winning chapbook.
I have 4 new poems in Radius: From the Center to the Edge. Radius is edited by Write Bloody Author, Victor Infante, who is pretty awesome. Victor used to run The November 3rd Club, which was home to some very fine politically inspired poetry. He also was also the second editor to ever publish my work (back in 2009 - when I was a wide-eyed college senior), and he gave me a long email of really helpful advice about the publishing industry.
Anyways, you should read the poems. And then you should write poems. And then you should send them to Victor.
I have three new poems up at kill author. These three poems will also appear in my book, Good Grief, which is coming out this spring! Also, check out work from fellow Write Bloody family member, Sierra DeMulder. :)
1) I highly recommend freerice.com. They have a pretty challenging English vocabulary game that gets progressively harder as you go. Lately, I keep getting stuck in the upper 40's, but before Cornell I would get stuck in the upper 30's. That an Ivy League education at work. Also, for each question you get right they donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme, so you can feel slightly less guilty sitting on your ass in front of the computer when you could be out saving the world or something.
2) From the Fishouse is an audio archive of emerging writers. They have a very diverse range of youngish poets. A few of my favs that I suggest checking out are: Aracelis Girmay, Erika Meitner, Adrian Matejka, Jericho Brown, John Murillo, Patrick Rosal, Gregory Pardlo, and Terrance Hayes. They even have several live recordings of full-length readings at colleges and conferences, which I think are quite lovely to listen to while cleaning my apartment.
3) Indiefeed has a great archive of performance poetry, including work from some of my favorite poets from the scene, like Marty McConnell, Roger Bonair-Agard, JW Basilo, Rachel McKibbens, Sierra DeMulder, Jon Sands, Emily Kagan Trenchard, and Lynne Procope (just to name a few).
PSA: Do not, under any circumstances go to Web MD.
Poet Stephanie Lane Sutton of the West Side School for the Desperate wrote a beautiful and glowing review of my forthcoming book, Good Grief. Check it out!
A couple highlights.
About Write Bloody
"Stevie Edwards was one of a handful to win the Write Bloody Manuscript Contest this past summer, which in the poetry world, is the equivalent to being signed to Matador or Kill Rock Stars circa 1990. For those of you who aren’t nerdy enough to understand my indie music reference: basically, your career is set, because Write Bloody not only has an emphasis on publishing some of the best living poets today, but also on touring, requiring its artists to do 20 shows a year, which usually includes a round or two of well-paying colleges dying to get a WB Artist in its auditorium. "
About my writing
"Good Grief is a rarity among poetry books today. It doesn’t read like anything else I’ve read recently, from Pinsky to Wakefield–Edwards transcends that fueling debate that “spoken” or “page” poetry are genres at all, and what remains is an explosion of language that both defies academic standards while remaining consistently strong; each line and image, when isolated, remains flawless, obviously obsessed over to perfection, with an unmatched ability to penetrate readers and hit them in that poetry muscle that only flexes when in awe."
But go read the full article! Do it! It makes me blush all over.