My grinding keeps paying dividends. THREE poems which started in the December 2014 Grind (my first Grind ever!) appear in the just-out issue of Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women.  As always, gratitude to you and all the Grind/Bull City Press folks for your work & support.

— Liz Ahl, regular participant in The Daily Grind Writing Series

Thanks, Liz, and congratulations! Welcome, everyone, to the Bull Pen, where each week we round up good news, including links to new poems, essays, and stories from the literary citizens of the larger Bull City!  —Noah Stetzer


Inch #16 contributor, Ron Reikki has two poems, “Clive Staples Lewis” & “Rudolf Otto,” in issue 17 of Torrid Literary Journal.

David Tomas Martinez

David Tomas Martinez

Our good pal, David Tomas Martinez, has a poem, “Footnoting Biggie Lyrics Like Why Christmas Missed Us” up at The Boston Review.

Big congratulations to Michael Schmeltzer, contributor to Inch #22, on being named the Assistant Poetry Editor for Issue 7 of Tahoma Literary Review.

“I think that if you’re a woman, a queer person, a person of color, a non-cisgender person, a non-able-bodied person, etc., writing is inherently a form of activism because you’re staking a claim in a world that is not meant for you.”  Carmen Maria Machado, contributor to Inch #20, interviewed at Solstice Literary Magazine.

Find out the latest and greatest literary news in the Washington DC area here at Beltway Poetry Quarterly.

Garth Greenwell continues to astound readers and reviewers alike with his book, What Belongs to You (FSG). Read an interview with Greenwell here at The Rumpus.

Solmaz Sharif

Solmaz Sharif

“I was wondering why poets nowadays don’t write poems of disdain, or where I can find such poems. Why such emphasis on empathy and compassion always. Why I should talk about torture while maintaining empathy for the perpetrators or the national narrative that creates and excuses them.”  Our amazing friend, Solmaz Sharif (Look forthcoming from Graywolf Press) is in conversation at Kenyon Review.

Nandi Comer

Nandi Comer

Nandi Comer, contributor to Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series, has a new poem, “Ode to Sofia’s Mouth” up now at The Offing.

“Even more than appearing clever, the writer had wanted to be profound.” Read all about it in “The Epigraph” published in The Paris Review.

The PEN Literary Awards Shortlist is stuffed with so many great writers!  Particular congratulations go out to BCP friends and family: Rick Barot (Chord, Sarabande Books); Reginald Dwayne Betts (Bastards of the Reagan Era, Four Way Books); and Vievee Francis (Forest Primeval: PoemsTriquarterly Books/Northwestern).

Jennifer Grotz

Jennifer Grotz

So happy to announce that Jennifer Grotz (citizen of the greater Bull City & 2015 Frost Place Chapbook Competition judge) has a new book of poetry, Window Left Open (Graywolf Press), out now! Check out her poem, “Snowflakes” selected by Natasha Trethewey for the New York Times Magazine.

“Encountering Mackey’s work can feel, indeed, like entering a dream. As in a dream, conventional rules of waking life—rules that might include fixed pronouns, predictable arcs of time, clearly delineated beginnings and endings—seem to lose their power here.”  Another insightful review from our friend, Molly Little, “The Condition of Dream: Nathaniel Mackey’s Blue Fasa” is up at Kenyon Review Online.

From the Fishouse: an audio archive of emerging poets has begun to include some BCP friends and family members!  Go listen to Reginald Dwayne Betts (contributor to Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series) & Kerrin McCadden (participant in the Daily Grind Writing Series); and look in the future for recordings by: Tarfia Faizullah; Jamaal May (contributor to Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series); and Matthew Olzmann (Bull City Press alum).

Big congratulations go out to the finalists for the second annual New England Review Award for Emerging Writers.

C. Dale Young

C. Dale Young

“Today, so many are told, either directly or by example, that to write means to become a teacher of writing. I say: do what you love. Do what feeds you.”  Read more from C. Dale Young at the exciting new website Lightbox Poetry.


2010 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize winner & Inch #26 contributor, Glenn Shaheen at the GVSU’s Writers Series.

“The more poetry I read and write, the more sound has been metamorphed by synesthesia (something I experience more since the surgeries) into something that appeals to two senses almost equally: hearing and touch. Sound is just as visual and tactile as image.”  Our stunning writer, Emilia Phillips (Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike) interviewed at Lightbox Poetry.

Two writers we often look to for directions and advice, Peter Turchi (A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic,
Trinity University Press) and Christopher Castellani (The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story, Graywolf Press) are in conversation at The Brooklyn Rail.

I think the most important thing for anyone who wants to be a writer is to read a lot. And probably for several reasons, the more poems you read, the more approaches you become exposed to. The more strategies for developing a poem you will witness. Training yourself to read as a writer. To look at a poem and say and see what it is about that particular poem of what is it that produces those effects and how can you apply it to your own writing.

–Q&A with Kenan Visiting Writer and Bull City alum, Matthew Olzmann at The Daily Tar Heel.


NOW: 2016 Breathing Chapbook Prize, named after Nathan Breitling (1986 – 2014), a native Chicagoan, dear friend and colleague to the masthead of Phantom Books, this series awards publication to one author for a chapbook-length collection of poems. Deadline February 15. SUBMIT.

NOW: The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference is accepting applications for this summer’s conference scheduled to run August 10 until August 20. APPLY. Deadline March 1.

NOW: The Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry Vievee Francis, judge. For a book-length collection of poetry written in English by a poet who has not previously published a full-length collection. Previous publication of a chapbook is fine and those poems may be in the collection submitted. $1000.00 honorarium and participation in a Four Way Books reading in NYC. $30.00 processing fee. Online or paper submissions accepted. We will respond by Labor Day. Deadline March 31.  SUBMIT.

NOW: The Sewanee Writers’s Conference begins to accept applications on January 15 for this summer’s conference scheduled to run from July 19 until July 31. APPLY.