Readings Schedule

Announcing My New Collection

See Books for ordering information on my latest!

I’m so thrilled that my second collection, The List of Last Tries, is approaching its completion. I’ve signed off on final edits and the book is headed to the printer at Sable Books.


May 5, 2:30 pm: Reading from The List of Last Tries, with John McCarthy, author of the new collection Scared Violent Like Horses, at Book Stall in Winnetka

New Year’s Eve Poems, 12/31/17

More details to follow, but I’ll be part of the RHINO reading at Evanston’s New Year’s Eve celebration!

Readings in Fall 2016

Hello out there in radio land–

A few readings coming up! Please come if you’re able. I’d be so happy, for real–

Friday, September 23, 7-9 pm with Tupelo 30/30 Poets: Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL), 2021 Winnebago St, Madison, WI

Saturday, September 24, 5-8 pm with Tupelo 30/30 Poets: Danny’s Tavern, 1951 W. Dickens, Chicago, IL

Thursday, October 13, 7:30 pm at book launch for Amy Strauss Friedman’s Gathered Bones are Known to Wander: Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark, Chicago, IL

Saturday, October 15, 2-3 pm: Vachel Lindsay House, 603 S. 5th St., Springfield, IL


And thus ends April with its march of poems

Against Karma



You were dishonest, say—

you did something wrong,

were grumpy or even bad to



Say your wrongs took place millions of years ago

and you are now a teenage girl.


Can it be real

that you are the cause

of a needless fall

millions of years from now?

Can you believe that how you rebel—

you, a teenage girl—

will someday need to be forgiven

by the granddaughter

of another time?


Your family believes

you make your own luck

and it’s wonderful, your family

and what they believe.


But you are apart from them

and their fantastic hopes.


You say Forgive me every day.



(Source: Conscience Letter 322 and unnumbered letter from 13 January 2014)



Day 29, ELJ 30/30 Write Now Challenge

Get Rid of the Moon



We lived


and regretful


Airplanes crashed

not far from us


The moon rocked in turmoil


On our honeymoon

we lived to be killed


(Source: Conscience Letter 466)

Day 28, ELJ 30/30 Write Now


Why I Do This I Do Not Know


It may be perfect.

I have never unwrapped the color I craved,

never taken the crystal from my pocket.

What if I looked and was satisfied?

What if I saw and was afraid?


What I have, I keep.


(Source: Conscience Letter 228)


Day 27, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

Against Saving


My husband,

being a true Christian,

forgives me constantly

for my wrong doing.


I am not the same as my husband.


I am against

doing better

lessons learned the hard way

burdened conscience.


I replace guilt

with a better thing

and keep it hidden

in my bra.


(Source: Conscience Letter 83)


Day 26, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

Since Then, the Ghost



Each week worse,

a piece of wood

for burning hope.


My life frightens me



Years ago I had children

and a car and possessions.


Now I know not much of anything.


It’s overwhelming to look at

what I had.  What I felt destined to have.


I claimed I had children, right?


Don’t I ever change for the better?



(Source: Conscience Letter 352)

Day 25, ELJ 30/30 Write Now




When I burglarized my business,

I stole my briefcase

and embezzled my own story.


I have insurance on my own loss,

for it will be



I paid fully for my grave


and a curse to top it off.


History attests the obvious:

I own the lost.



(Source: Conscience Letter 285)

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