by Tiana Clark winner of the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition
Welcome to the latest edition of 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
If you are a woman and you are curious, grief is not far behind. Your thirst will be quenched for a moment, yes, but then consequences will limp-lope toward you like an injured man (and isn’t that the world’s most dangerous creature, an injured man?) and you will regret all of your choices. –from “Morals of the Story” by Carmen Maria Machado
Dilruba Ahmed, contributor to Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series, with “Personal Effects” & “In the Longest Hour” up at Diode Poetry Journal.
I remember the falls, myself falling
to the floor or sidewalk, or against the brick wall
my head met after a push. There were many pushes.
Girls pushed. I didn’t push. I punched. Pulled one
down by the hair and kneed her as my head bled.
Girls didn’t punch until high school. I had always
punched. What kind of girl are you?
The kind who wants to live, I said, and I did want to
until I didn’t anymore. –from “Taking It” by Vievee Francis
Faith Holsaert, participant in the Grind Daily Writing Series, with the poem, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Bed Bugs” at Red Paint Hill.
Often I sit down, unsure what I’m going to write. I like writing just for the process of writing. I like the way it makes me slow down and think something through. Sometimes it’s just writing out thoughts, writing a scene, writing a sentence, and then if something sparks or seems promising when I return to it, then that’s when the real work often begins: revising and developing the idea. I think C. Dale Youngonce said that drafting a poem is like an artist gathering materials, but revising a poem is an artist shaping the materials. So the poem truly begins in revision, when I have something that I want to try to expand and develop. –from Matthew Olzmann interview
Matthew Olzmann, BCP editor and good friend of the press, interviewed at Panhandler Magazine.
🎙ALL UP IN YOUR EARS is a monthly podcast discussing, extolling, deviating from and disagreeing about recent poems. This month, they discuss poems by Max Ritvo and Brenda Shaughnessy, then chat with Jaswinder Bolina about Trump and the AWP Industrial Complex