14 July 2014

CutBank Literary Journal Features Two New Poems!




I've been reading CutBank Literary Magazine for years. It is the journal put out by the University of Montana, in Missoula so very close to where I grew up. I am thrilled to have two poems featured on their blog today! 

You can read them HERE!


02 July 2014

Superstition Review Podcast









Hello friends, back in April Superstition Review featured my poem "Dear Federico" on it's site. Today, they are featuring me reading my poem.

This poem originally came from struggling with the images in Lorca's Poet in New York. I am thrilled to have this poem featured in such a fine magazine. A special thanks to Eduardo Corral for suggesting I use poetry to work through my struggle of other poets' work.

Take a listen HERE

13 June 2014

Keeping Up! Sundog Lit, Superstition Review and More!

You can see new poems of mine in several places:
Most recently Sundog Lit published two of my poems, "Welcome to the Hi-Line," and "Lange & O'Keeffe, 1933." You can read them both for free  HERE

Superstition Review also published a poem, "Dear Federico." Go HERE to read it.

Strangely, many of the poems coming to print now are conversations with visual artists and writers. Federico Garcia Lorca, Dorthea Lange, Georgia O'Keeffe, Tristan Tzara."

There will be some more poems headed your way this summer. I am gearing up to get the new issues of 5x5 Literary Magazine and Codex Journal out. We will be featuring some fantastic poets therein. With audio files! Codex is getting a face lift at the moment so keep checking back.

Stay tuned for good news and great summer reading!

24 March 2014

The Blog Tour!

My fellow 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow S J Sindu asked me to take part in this writing meme-blog tour hybrid. It’s a way for readers of other blogs to find new writers and for us writers to meet new readers. Welcome!

I am primarily a poet and also write the occasional essay. I also am the poetry editor of two literary magazines: 5x5 Literary Magazine and Codex Journal! I would love to see your poems and if you happen to write in another genre, our other editors would love to see your work as well!

So, on with the blog tour questions:

What am I working on?

I’ve just started sending out my first manuscript of poems called Who Am I to Tell You This? so I am in a bit of a post-project slump. I’ve been cobbling poems together here and there, but nothing definitive has come together yet.

I’ve also begun research on a prominent figure in Pacific Northwest history. I intend to write an essay using some of this person’s writing in tandem with my own. No doubt, this will launch a whole series of poems that branch off in new directions like ivy across brick. I don’t want to say too much about it at this point, but the essay will focus on growing up in Montana, being queer, and my struggle to come to terms with the impact this historical figure had on my childhood.


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I have always hated artist statements; they feel a bit like preening. The main thing that makes my work different from others in its genre is that I am the only one writing my poems. That's an easy out.

What I mean to say is that few writers are producing poems about the queer experience from nonurban centers. I don’t know a great many queer poets who are writing about landscape and environment.

My work’s strengths are image and sound. Think Ziggy Stardust on an episode of Nova meets the musical Oklahoma.

Why do I write what I do?

I write because I have to. I am compelled to put words on paper and then obsessively arrange them and rearrange them. I don’t know what started this. I’ve always written for myself, but didn’t think that one could write poetry to share with others until about seven years ago. I was reading some poems and felt the need to try my hand at it. I haven’t looked back. 

I also write because I want my work to live somewhere outside of my head. I dream about finding my book in a bookstore some day and then in a used bookstore after that--maybe a used inscribed copy to someone whom I remember. I want my work to find someone who wants it as much as I do.

How does your writing process work?

I put a lot of scraps and lines down on paper . Usually I jot a part of a poem or several ideas about a poem…lines, images, groupings of words and let them accumulate on the page. When I think there is enough there to work with, I begin building poems out of the pieces--sort of a lean-to from the branches I collected if you will allow the metaphor.

From there, I shut the poem away and then come back to it again in a few days or weeks depending on how urgent my need to look at it again is. Sometimes I know exactly what it needs next. Sometimes I need to back away slowly and leave it rest.

Poems take a good while for me after the drafting stage. There are revisions, and rebreaking lines, and deciding what isn’t essential. And of course, this all happens more than once.

Oh, and I compose longhand first 99% of the time. I feel like if I type a poem out on the page it loses some of its organic ability to change shape for me. Typing gives words/lines/space a kind of codification that can set a poem too quickly into a shape that may not be the best for it.

Thus concludes a bit about my writing. If you would like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so @poetryphone 


Please check out the following writers, who are also participating in this great blog tour…

Sara Galactica is a tattoo pusher. Big hair believer. Whiskey drinker. Microhistorian. Business lady by day, introvert by night. A little bit nerdy, a little bit rock and roll. 


Joshua Barton is a writer, journalist, and photographer documenting queer life and love in St. Louis, Missouri. He blogs at: www.newamuricangospels.tumblr.com (#nsfw)

17 March 2014

Are You Going to Sign Up?




So, like 8,500 other folks, I applied for the Amtrak Writer's Residency program. The chances of me actually getting one of the 24 Golden Ticket spots are slim to none, but like all things residency and contest based, I treat them like the lottery. If I win, fantastic. If not, it has given me a little space to dream.

You can read a great summary of the current state of the residency HERE.

Similarly, you can read how it all came to be OVER HERE.

13 March 2014

What Are You Reading?

This week I am deep into the biography of John Horne Burns, the gay writer most known for his post-WWII novel The Gallery

The biography Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns by David Margolick paints a picture of a talented gay writer who finds himself unable to his own hardships and disappointments to the world about him.

It is wonderful to read about a queer writer during WWII and after.

Also this week, I am savoring the article by Edward Mendelson in The New York Review of Books about the secret life of W. H. Auden. I won't give any more away, but it is definitely a great read. You can get your hands on it HERE for free!

What are you reading in print and online this week? I'd love to know!

10 March 2014

Return of the Blog Beast


I circled back wondering how long it's been since I've posted on this blog and it was much much longer than I thought.

This isn't to say there aren't exciting things happening in my writing world, just that I have been forgetting to tell you about them. Since sigh October, my work has appeared in a few more journals, AWP has come and gone from Seattle, and I have a few other interviews in the works.

5x5 Magazine has come back in a new and improved digital form and I've also become the 2014 Poetry Editor for Codex Journal.

So please stay tuned and you will hear from me soon, or rather please tune in for the first time. I have some great things to share with you soon.

Also, in the next week, I will be part of a roving blog tour where I answer some questions about my writing process.

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