Welcome To My Bed

Death is Funny

There is a set list for every hurt under heaven. I just found mine from smack in the middle of my first few months as a person with a book & it's wild to hear how sure/unsure I am of myself. Now that Pelican is over a year old, it feels easy to forget that my bird even exists. I want to keep reminding myself that I made a thing that helped me to laugh & live & grieve through one of the hardest losses I've ever dealt with. It's been five years since I lost my dad. I'm having dinner with his best friend tonight & toasting to how he taught me to tell our story.

Set List

1. remember the fun we had when you poisoned me
2. You Bring Out My Worst Side**
3. Everybody Knows That I'm a Mess
4. I Didn't Mean to Swear in Your Church
5. Stitches* 
6. Roadkill*
7. Conditional*
8. Rappelling
9. the internet doesn't know
10. The Right Words*
11. Out of Control
12. On The Day You Decide You are Quitting*
13. She Drives The Honda to Wisconsin
14. Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em

* these poems appear in Pelican, published by YesYes Books
** these poems appear in Celeris, published by Fog Machine

Pelican Season

Pelican Emily O'Neill

I've returned (albeit reluctantly) to a semi-thawed New England from the Yes Yes West Coast tour, armed with loads of copies of my bird and more tour dates where you can hear poems & celebrate this huge milestone with me. The officially official release party is 3/28, & will feature performances by Cassandra de Alba, Jess Riz, & Sean Patrick Mulroy, as well as selections from Pelican & copious joyous tears on my part. If you can't make it to Cambridge, you can find me shouting wings onto things in a few other New England cities this month.

Monday, 3/16, 9 PM

The Dirty Gerund

Ralph's Diner, 148 Grove St

Worcester, MA 


Thursday, 3/19

Slam Free or Die

Milly's Tavern, 500 N Commercial St

Manchester, NH


Thursday, 3/26, 9 PM

Negative Burn, also featuring:

Wes Hazad, Nonye Brown, Sarah Blodgett,

plus Jake McKelvie & The Countertops! 

Ralph's Diner, 148 Grove St

Worcester, MA


Saturday, 3/28, 5 PM

Pelican Release Party

with special guest readers

Cassandra de Alba, Jess Riz, & Sean Patrick Mulroy

Voltage Coffee & Art, 295 Third St

Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA



Laid Off (Set Free)

Last week, I got laid off from my job.  Thankfully, the news I have to share is not all that grim color.

cantab show 2013.jpg

The day after I lost my job, I was blessed to read to a sold out room at my poetry home, the Cantab.  When I started attending the Boston Poetry Slam's readings 7 years ago, I didn't call myself a poet.  The Cantab is the place where it all began for me, and it was hard not to cry through my set; I was so overwhelmed by the show of support and attention to my work.   So many people I love were in the audience, and since I didn't get to personally thank everybody who came (though I did hug quite a few of you), I wanted to make sure I did so here.  THANK YOU.  I am so grateful that there are those who would give me a slice of their time and a stage from which to speak.  Being on stage gives me the courage to tell stories that are scary, and to heal by exorcising them, but performing is also just plain fun.

Wednesday was a big day--just before the show, I found out that my poem, "de Los Muertos," was selected by Jericho Brown as the winner of the 2013 Gigantic Sequins Poetry Contest.  It is a short love letter to the language of grief, and also a love letter to my roommate Cassandra.  Look for it in the January 2014 issue of Gigantic Sequins, and stay tuned to their website for a forthcoming profile of my weird poetry brain.

Roger Mindfucker models my new chapbook,  where to begin

Roger Mindfucker models my new chapbook, where to begin

In the meantime, you can hear the poem on my EP Feed The Dead  or read it in the limited chapbook, where to begin, I've made for the string of New England shows coming up this fall.  The EP is mostly ghost stories and was recorded during a thunderstorm.  where to begin is a bit different--many of the poems came from my road trip to Tacoma this summer.  Have you driven cross-country?  It is the most gritty and glorious of experiences.  True, sometimes the sheer amount of corn in the Midwest is overwhelming, but the big sky is worth it.  I saw a whole herd of elk in the middle of the night and squealed out loud about it and that is the honest truth.  The poem the book lands on is called "Witchcraft" and was written from shredded fairytale pages I collected from a pinata at Rachel McKibbens' Pink Door writers' retreat.  The Summer of Yes is well-represented, and I'm proud to say I've even penned a few things that lean in the general direction of happiness.  Or at least mischief.  Mischief I can definitely handle.

It was kind of an accident, but I suppose this all means I'm on tour for the next few months, albeit a leisurely tour.  Check below to see when I'll be in your city, and if you're a slammaster or poetry organizer and have an upcoming show you'd like to bring me to click over to the contact section of the website and let me know!

September 17th -- Brandeis University, TBD, Waltham, MA, 7 PM

October 3rd -- Slam Free or Die, Milly's Tavern, Manchester, NH, 7 PM

October 6th --  Worcester Poets' Asylum, WCUW, Worcester, MA, 6 PM

November 18th -- Northampton Poetry, Hinge, Northampton, MA, 8 PM