Category Archives: Writing

The Ethics of Bearing Witness in Poetry to Violence and Trauma

The issues raised when one chooses to make literary art out of trauma are complex and, as have issues surrounding trauma in general, they have been getting more and more attention. Over at the Ploughshares blog, for example, Tracy Strauss has … Continue reading

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The Pleasure and Pain of Starting Over

One of the things I decided to do when I signed with Guernica Editions to publish my second full-length book of poetry was totally revamp my website, not just its look, but its organization and content as well. I’ve been … Continue reading

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What I Tell My Introduction-to-Creative-Writing Students on The First Day of Class

“The first duty of the writer is the rectification of names—to name things properly, for, as Kung-fu Tze [Confucius] said, ‘All wisdom is rooted in learning to call things by the right name.’” —Sam Hamill, “The Necessity to Speak” To … Continue reading

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Articulating Why You Think Your Work Matters

I wish I could remember who gave me the advice that you should never submit poems with a cover letter explaining what you thought the poems were about and/or what you wanted them to accomplish. To explain, this person said, was … Continue reading

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Contract Signed! Words for What Those Men Have Done Will Be Out Later This Year

Please forgive the back-to-back self-promotional postings, but I am excited! My second book of poems, Words for What Those Men Have Done, has (finally!) found a home with Guernica Editions. The book should be out later this year. Here are the lines from which the book’s title … Continue reading

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Two of My Poems Are Up at Flatbush Review

I am very happy that Flatbush Review, a new and exciting online literary magazine, has published two of my poems, “Clean,” and “Not Yet The Women They Would Grow Up To Be.” Interestingly, they both take place in the rain. Hence, the image … Continue reading

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Everyone Who Reads Rumi in English Should Read This New Yorker Article

Written by Rozina Ali, the article is called “The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi,” and it says something that Iranians I know have been saying for a very long time—something that I learned from them, in fact. … Continue reading

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A Launch Party, Some Other Upcoming Events, and Publication News

Upcoming Events It’s been a while since I’ve posted here—I’m hoping to get back to more regular blogging soon—but June is coming and I have a lot to tell you about, starting with Ghostbird Press’ 2016 launch party, which will be … Continue reading

Posted in Rape, intimate violence, & related issues, Writing | Comments Off  

A Video of the First US Launch Reading for Veils, Halos & Shackles

Note: the poems in this video deal with sexual violence. This reading, which took place at the Long Island Writers House on April 17th, was truly powerful. It was a privilege to be the first reader among such fine poets. I hope you’ll take a … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Rape Culture, Rape, intimate violence, & related issues, sexual assault, Writing | Comments Off  

For My Son, A Kind of Prayer Is Out! And Other Publication Announcements

April 2016 has definitly not been cruel to me. I have three publication announcements I’d like to share with you. Announcement One: For My Son, A Kind of Prayer I am very happy to announce that my new chapbook For My Son, … Continue reading

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