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

Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado, contributor to INCH 20, has an amazing essay, “The Morals of the Story,” up at Tiny Donkey the short-form journal off-shoot from Fairy Tale Review.

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

Elisa Gabbert, contributor to INCH 16, provides wisdom on “Should You Write Towards Trends?” in the Dear Blunt Instrument column at Electric Literature.


“I’ve heard it said that you can feel it coming in the tremor of the tracks” –from DYNAMITE by Anders Carlson-Wee winner of the 2015 Frost Place Chapbook Competition.

Vievee Francis

Vievee Francis

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

Vievee Francis, contributor to INCH 26, with “Taking It” at Muzzle Magazine.

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.

MatthewOlzmann_NewBioImage2015Often 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.


Emilia Phillips, author of Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alikean editors’ selection from the 2014 Frost Place Chapbook Competition.


🎙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