Welcome To My Bed

Scream Queen Sequel

You Can't Pick Your Genre cover Big Lucks
Final Girl cover Big Lucks

I’m so happy I can finally announce that my out-of-print Scream chapbook has survived to see her sequel as part of a chapbook do-si-do arriving this summer, alongside Lauren Milici’s Final Girl, from Big Lucks. You Can’t Pick Your Genre got treated very poorly by her first publisher, and it means so much to me to see this project get a second chance at the life it deserves. Mark Cugini did such an excellent job designing these covers, and also helping me revise some of my favorite poems I’ve ever written into their best possible forms. I can’t wait to share them with you. I’ll be posting a link when pre-orders go live.

Perversely, I spent National Poetry Month completing an initial draft on my first-ever full length prose project. Though most of my writing time has been generative lately, I do still have a few publications to share.

+ Lauren R. Korn recently interviewed me for The Adroit Journal. We talked about a falling knife has no handle, but also wandered into conversations about class, cocktails, comfort food, synaesthesia, disappointment, and how to do AWP right (for me, at least). I had a lot of fun discussing the book and hope you’ll have fun reading about the way the poems still hook into my everyday life, long after they’ve been written.

+ I have two Warhol letters in the spring issue of Sixth Finch: the first is about a Super Bowl party and Andy’s unexpected appearance in one of the commercials; the second sings the praise of worker bees and tells him he needs to watch The Crown. I’m very happy that these poems just keep getting weirder the more I write them.

+ Another Warhol letter found a home at Glass Poetry. This one is owed to Liz Taylor, horse races, and semi-precious stones. It includes a little description of the project, and how I started writing the letter series last summer in Arkansas, in case you’re hungry for an origin story. There’s also an audio recording of me reading the poem from my couch, in case you need a bedtime story.

Speaking of Arkansas, I’ll be returning to Fayetteville later this summer to lead a workshop and give a reading with my friends at Open Mouth. I’ve used the trip as an excuse for a little southern tour. I’ll be visiting several cities I’ve never met before and I’m really looking forward to bringing my poems to places I don’t see on nearly enough book promotion itineraries. Stay tuned for a list of dates!

You Can't Pick Your Genre

you can't pick your genre chapbook cover

I'm happy to announce my second chapbook of 2016 is available for pre-order now from Jellyfish Highway. The poems are all about and in response to the Scream movie franchise, but they reach beyond that to critiquing the suburbs, dismantling how the female body is destroyed by the male gaze, and functioning as little lyric essay about the nature of fear. The chap will be officially released Tuesday, April 12th, and for now are available via Jellyfish Highway's website and our Kickstarter, where my editors are gathering funds to finance expanding our catalog and start an urban writing residency in Atlanta, GA.

My press wants you to think of my little monster like this:

The poems in Emily O'Neill's You Can't Pick Your Genre endure. They riot. These poems are shining echoes from the Scream film series, but they are also warnings, testimonials, declarations. Emily O'Neill tells us, "Watch how practiced / you are, letting him practice desire on your disinterest." O'Neill re-renders the split-open bodies of women in horror films as testimonials of survival. Each poem is a reclamation, a rebirth, pulling the audience through the horror of how it feels to be acted upon as an object at a story's center. Each howling voice tells the reader, I am still here and I can never be killed.

Carrie Lorig, one of my favorite poetry brains, wrote a little more about the book for us:

I have walked in the cemetery with Emily O'Neill. I have walked in the cemetery with You Can't Pick Your Genre. To mourn the bleeding girl. To party with her bold heart / to deeply listen to it. "Climb to the roof. Look down / on what we're losing. / What we never dead- / bolted. The safety we can't / keep permanently safe." The intricate lace or speaking of the bleeding girl insists on a complexity the world refuses to give her, that you refuse to give her. She, unimaginable, / She, an entertainment, / She, a perfection, / She, a pity, / She, indestructible, faces the killer / the men who congratulate themselves for hiding it so well, the bodies they follow and tug on and hurl and bruise. "There's power here. Look away." The bleeding girl. We mourn her / We share our blood with her / We celebrate her as she faces the killer / the men as she exposes their ugly / fear, as she refuses to be a plot point, as she lives unignored / and various. 

Don't Know How Not to Beg

If it's not already clear from reading my work, I'm a bit of a sensualist. Is there anything better than eating food that is exactly what you didn't know you needed? Or drinking a drink that roots down into your chest with warmth? Maybe it's the temperature drop, but all I've been thinking of lately is how to get as much of those warm moments as possible. I'm working on a series of poems about that warmth, and I want to share them with you directly. From now through December 24th, if you purchase Pelican directly from me via PayPal, I'll send along a handwritten version of one of these comfort food poems and a tiny collage as a thank you. The book is $16 including shipping in the US, and $20 for international orders. Use my contact form to get in touch.

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+ Atrocity Exhibition recently gave shelter to two little fireballs of mine: "even the alphabet betrays me," a lament for a damaging love that's died, and "one room city," a drinking poem that's most likely the equivalent of poking someone in the chest with your index finger to emphasize a point after too much wine.

+ I have two poems featured in the latest issue of Split Lip: "don't know how not to beg" is about making out with the wrong ones in Allston (AKA "Rat City"), while "dry iron & wax paper" is a love note to my editor and friend, Stevie Edwards.

+ One of the poems I'm most proud of from my forthcoming Scream chapbook "You Can't Pick Your Genre" is nestled into the 9th issue of Pinwheel among work by so many who make me squirm with delight every time I encounter their words: Fatimah Ashgar, Paige Taggart, Sarah June Woods, Caroline Cabrera, and Niina Pollari, just to name a few. "WHEN MOTHER WAKES UP IN THE GARDEN" is in the very best of company.

+ And speaking of Scream, three more of my riffs on the franchise are living over at Maudlin House. "NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH" is a three act play about what we erase to keep up appearances. "SUPERBITCH" is love letter to Rose McGowan's eternal bad-assery. "THESE KIDS TODAY" talks teenage brain development and what fame means as an endgame.

+ OSU's The Journal was kind enough to excerpt my poem "Everybody Knows That I'm a Mess" on their website. If you want a copy of the scariest poem I've ever written to hug, it's published in issue 39.3.

+ Horse Less Press published two poems of mine (with audio of me reading them): "BB Gun" and "self-portrait with sudden thickness." But more importantly, their subscription Kickstarter ends in 9 days, so don't miss your opportunity to pre-order a glut of astonishing titles, including the chapbook "Habitat" by my beloved Cassandra de Alba.

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This year has been such magic. I've met so many incredible writers and shared my work in so many places I'd never expected to visit. My bird is in the hands of so many people, many who've told me how necessary it was for them. What luck it is to feel useful, to feel like your words make some small difference in a stranger's day. Next year promises you two chapbooks from me, and hopefully endless other poems and successes. Thank you for being here for the meal. I hope you'll stay to finish the wine.