News

Poem Featured on Verse Daily

My sonnet crown, “Burial of a Woman with the Blackened Shells of 86 Tortoises,” was featured on Verse Daily on March 26, 2022

“What’s to Be Is Already Written” Reception Video

Video of my prize-winning ekphrastic poem, “What’s to Be Is Already Written,” inspired by the photo “Fading Memories” by Suzette Dushi, at the closing reception of the Griffin Museum of Photography’s exhibit entitled “Once Upon a Time: Photographs that Inspire Tall Tales,” which was held at the museum’s satellite gallery at Lafayette City Center, Boston, March 6, 2022.

New Poem Featured in Harvard Coop Window: And I Say Yes to the Way the Grass

My poem “And I Say Yes to the Way the Grass” is featured in the window of the Harvard Coop as part of the Harvard Square Poetry Stroll, sponsored by Longfellow House, the Harvard Square Business Association, and Mass Poetry.

Mass Poetry Student Day of Poetry Festival

I’ll be one of a number of poets teaching online poetry classes over the next two weeks.

Mass Poetry put together this video featuring all the poets. Each of us reads a poem and responds to a question about poetry. The video is 30 minutes long but if you want to see me, scroll to 4 minutes to hear my poems and to 23:14 to hear me talk about the kinds of poems I like to read.

If you want to see the video in a larger format, click Watch on Youtube on the lower left.

Note: I was not told the question beforehand.

Enjoy!

Banned Blackout Poetry Now Live on Soofa Kiosks around Boston

My blackout poem “To Raid the Necessary” (designed in collaboration with fiber artist Jodi Colella), is based on Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and is one of six winning posters chosen by Mass Poetry. All six poems are now on display at Soofa Kiosks. The posters were initially to be displayed on the MBTA but this agency determined the poems were too political. Altering historical documents by blacking out parts of the text creates a resonance between the original document and newfound material that reflects on poetry and democracy.

Check out the link to view my poem and more about this project

Honorable Mention for My Poem “Epoch,” at Art on the Trails, Beals Preserve, September 2018

This summer I took part in “Art on the Trails: Unexpected Gestures” at the Beals Preserve in Southborough, MA. Poets were invited to respond to one or more sculptures installed along the trail that meanders through the preserve’s woods, meadows, and pond. My poem “Epoch” was one of two to receive an honorable mention. When I first glimpsed Robert Shanahan’s powerful sculpture “Entelodant” in the woods, adrenalin surged through my body along with the impulse to run from what looked like a giant, very lifelike warthog (on closer examination, artfully made from reeds and brush)! (Entelodant went extinct 65 million years ago.) Here’s a photo from the closing ceremony and poetry walk, followed by my poem and a better photo of the amazing sculpture.


EPOCH

The earth collects on all its debts

                                    —Michael Crummey

 

Beast, with your bronzed fur of reeds and twigs,

your stone teeth, your hooves, stone-cloven,

the stripe of sumac threaded through

 

your flank. Whorl of your woven ear.

The snarl of you, moving through

the gape of your snout. Bristling

 

comma of tail where the spider has knit its web.

Entelodont, you are the dark other who makes

the small mammal in me shudder.

 

You, swept through the Oligocene’s long wake,

peering back, late and strange. We, too,

wear ourselves thin.

 

When we are as you have become,

who will know us, who will call us

by the hard-washed light of our name?


For a link to all the sculptures and more about the program, click here:

“Breath and Matter” LIVE Reading

CLICK HERE to watch me reading my persona poem, ‘”Moss Muse,” at the opening reception of the Breath and Matter exhibit at Boston Sculptors Gallery, July 18, 2018.

With Jodi Collela and “Underfoot” at Breath and Matter Exhibit

With Jodi Collela and “Underfoot” at Breath and Matter Exhibit

Boston Sculptors Gallery Opening

Photo from Boston Sculptors Gallery Opening

Coming in July, Breath & Matter, a poet-visual artist collaboration at the Boston Sculptors Gallery

I’m very excited to be collaborating with fiber sculptor Jodi Colella, whose work is amazing. See more of it at http://jodi-colella-39mb.squarespace.com/

We’ve chosen to explore moss from visual and poetic perspectives. Click this link to learn more about the exhibit and to check out the other artist-poet pairs. The opening reception will be Wednesday, July 18. Stay tuned for details:

Fiber sculptor Jodi Colella and poet Wendy Drexler met by chance and discovered a shared interest in what’s waiting to be discovered in a consignment-store bin or right under their feet. They both like to launch their artistic explorations with careful observation as a way to explore deeper meanings. And so they turned to moss, first responding visually to its beautiful and minute microscopic structures, then researching how this ancient life form grows, propagates—surviving, in times of drought, on a single drop of water! They’ve discovered that moss, like our own species, is resilient, collaborative, and opportunistic, and that the smallness of moss, with its

genius
for filling
the emptiness—
snatching
a scant gap,
spreading
between cracks

encompasses the dynamic splendor and complexity of the world.