Why Can't It Be Tenderness has won the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

I'm thrilled and honored that my full-length poetry collection, Why Can't It Be Tenderness, has won the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry and will be published by University of Wisconsin Press in Fall 2018. I am so grateful to the contest readers and the blind judge, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, for believing in my work. I'll keep this website updated with any news, including a projected publication date and readings to celebrate the launch later this year.

Congratulations to the other authors who will also be published in the Wisconsin Poetry Series: D. M. Aderibigbe, Betsy Sholl, Rebecca Hazelton, and Melissa Crowe. The full announcement is here!

Video of Writers Resist LA Reading

It was an honor participating in the Writers Resist LA event on January 14, 2018 at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California. The event marked one year since the presidential inauguration, and more importantly, a year of art and resistance. The reading was, for me, a moving reminder of the power of words to illuminate the historical moment in which we're living, to sharpen and raise our voices, and to nourish one another in our shared struggle. If you were unable to attend, you can watch a video of the event on YouTube here. My reading begins at the 1:36 mark.

Reading for Writers Resist LA at Beyond Baroque on 1/14 @ 1pm

I'm honored to be included in a reading for Writers Resist Los Angeles, taking place at Beyond Baroque next Sunday, January 14, from 1-4 p.m. The lineup is stellar, and the cause is urgent and necessary in this current political climate. Hope to see you there!

The full event description:

Last January, just prior to the inauguration of our current president, a monumental Writers Resist reading was staged featuring some of Los Angeles’ most distinguished writers and poets. Presented as part of a national and international day of literary protest, the event attracted an overflow crowd of more than 300 at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice.

The national situation has deteriorated since then. Our country, its policies, environment, and population have been pushed into partisan chaos, making the Writers Resist movement more important than ever. In response, David St. John, Jim Natal, Emily Vizzo—three of the original Writers Resist Los Angeles organizers, along with Lynne Thompson—will be hosting a second Writers Resist event on Sunday, January 14, 2018 from 1:00-4:00 PM. The venue again will be Beyond Baroque, which is beginning its 50th anniversary programming with this reading and presenting it admission free. And, once again, PEN Center USA, will be a contributing sponsor. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California also will have a presence at the event and will be accepting donations.

The year’s list of participating readers features many of southern California’s finest new and established literary voices. Writers scheduled to participate include:

Ralph Angel / Dorothy Barresi / Victoria Chang / Bernard Cooper / Marsha de la O / David Hernandez / Dana Johnson / Douglas Kearney / M.G. Lord / Suzanne Lummis / Viet Thanh Nguyen / Luis Rodriguez / Michelle Brittan Rosado / Danzy Senna / Phil Taggart / Chris L. Terry / Lynne Thompson / David Ulin / Emily Vizzo

Writers Resist is not affiliated with a political party. At Writers Resist events, direct political discourse is bypassed in favor of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy. In order for us to heal and move forward, individually and as a nation, we believe people need something to be for in this anxious climate. The only thing we “resist” is that which attacks or seeks to undermine those most basic principles of freedom and justice for all. 

Please join us to help advance a climate of change!

Chapbook launch & reading details!

Please join me for a public launch of my chapbook, Theory on Falling into a Reef, recently out from Anhinga Press and winner of the 2016 Rick Campbell Prize. I'll give a short reading, and copies will be available for purchase and signing. Light refreshments provided, too. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, June 5 from 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Gatsby Books, 5535 E Spring St, Long Beach CA 90808