Poetry Against War with Taras Shevchenko

I was honored to help celebrate the 200th birthday of poet  Taras Shevchenko during this critical time for the people of Ukraine.

I was also happy to read Lukoil from Serhei Zhadan, a modern -day Shevchenko & a badass of his time.

You can find the Philadelphia Inquirer's article "Ukranians Use Poetry as a Rallying Cry" here.

Pew Center's Fellows Friday

Here's a little Q&A with the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for Fellows Friday. Photo taken between two spirit guides.

Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane

I had a great time spending the hour with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY's Radio Times. We talk about writing your block, Yevtushenko, psychogeography, writing through illness, New Orleans & more.

The hour is archived at Jacket2  for your listening pleasure.

Neighbor Ballads at Kelly Writers House

The Neighbor Ballads reading at UPenn from this fall is now available on PennSound.

Michelle Taransky's intro is here.

I discuss the project here.

And… the Ballads themselves are here.

Much thanks to Michelle & Whenever We Feel Like It!


Neighbor Ballads from Albion Books

I'm very excited to announce the Albion Books release of Neighbor Ballads. More than a year of archival research and oral history interviews inform this series of poems celebrating immigrant narratives of seven South Philadelphians. Their stories are shared through ballad form, paying homage to the impact each has made on the character of their neighborhood.

You can check it out here.

Poet Laureate of Philadelphia

I'm humbled by having the great honor to serve as the new Poet Laureate of Philadelphia 2014-15. Thanks much to Mayor Nutter, the Selection Committee, & the people of this city for being you.

There's some video from the press conference here.

* photo by Heather Raquel Phillips


Very Different Animals in NYT Arts Beat

Who knew I'd be mentioned in the New York Times Arts Beat with John Ashberry, Adrienne Rich, James Dickey and Daniil Kharms? I love almost all of those poets! A big shout-out also goes to Nicole Donnelly who painted the incredible covers/canvasses.