MuralLab Live- Open Source

What a great night at FringeArts! I was asked to open the event with a performance lecture on PACE, Neighbor Ballads and Write Your Block. The night included presentations from Ricardo Rivera of Klip Collective, the amazing Michelle Angela Ortiz, a dance performance choreographed from Kate Watson-Wallace, and a panel discussion with Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Paul Farber and Jane Golden. Check out all of the projects from Open Source Philly here.

Ideas We Should Steal- The Philadelphia Citizen

I talked with Emma Eisenberg of The Philadelphia Citizen about how Detroit's Write A House model might be possible here.

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera

I was honored to have the opportunity to introduce Juan Felipe Herrea at the Free Library of Philadelphia during his inaugural tour as the nation's new poet laureate. You can listen to the program in its entirety here.

Learn about Juan's nationwide project Casa de Colores here.

What All the Dark Cannot Extinguish

Thanks to Mike Newall for featuring me in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the eve of Pope Francis' historic visit to the city. Below the story, you can read the poem written after St. Francis of Assisi, on the occasion of Pope Francis' visit- and for my mother. Find the story here.

New Addition to the Famous Franks Mural

I'm overjoyed to be joining Pope Francis as the new additions on the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program's Famous Franks mural. The pope & I join Frank Sinatra, Aretha & Ben Franklin, Barney Frank, and others outside Dirty Frank's Bar on 13th & Pine. Thanks so much to artist David McShane for his talent and vision. You can read Philebrity's write-up about the restored mural here.


Gil Ott's "The Forgotten" on PoemTalk

Jenn McCreary, Pattie McCarthy & I give a close-but-not-too-close reading of Gil Ott's piece, entitled "The Forgotten." We discuss the workings of the poem, and, as Al Filreis says- "the lasting effects of Gil Ott's community work in the beyond-academic world of arts organizations; in the local small-press publishing world; in the network of advocacy for people with disabilities- and on the ways in which his interlocking commitments can be read in his poems. 

You can listen here.



LIFE IS TO BLAME FOR EVERYTHING is my new chapbook from Horse Less Press. The piece was composed in/during/through Jeremy Deller's JOY IN PEOPLE exhibition at the Philadelphia ICA. You can order this limited edition here.

Might Writers West Writes Their Block

The Write Your Block workshops wrapped up this week at Mighty Writers West. There were four wonderful sessions with great kids that were anything but predictable. West Philly's kids exceeded my imagination, and I'll miss our meetings from hereon in. Look for their poems soon on the WYB site.


THE CITY REAL & IMAGINED Now Available Through Factory School Books

The City Real & Imagined is a collaborative project with CAConrad that re-writes a City of Otherly Love. It's now available directly from the book's publisher at Factory School Books, as part of the Heretical Texts Series (vol.5.)

You can order the book here.

Erica Kaufman says:

Too often we forget about the "human" in human geography. This book emends us that every city is a peopled space. As Carl Sauer writes in his "Foreword to Historical Geography," "We know that habitat must be referred to habit, that habit is the activated learning common to a group, and that it may be endlessly subject to change." What Conrad and Sherlock really enliven in their book is this sense of "activated" or "active learning" that is (and should be) "endlessly subject to change." Cities change. Places change. "Oh bondage up/ yours. We echo this in different languages."

WHYY Friday Arts

WHYY Friday Arts features Soledad Alfaro-Allah & me as Philadelphia's Poet Laureates. We talk about our relationship to the word, the city & ourselves. Our segment begins at 10:30.


Serhiy Zhadan & Me at Vox Populi

A year ago, I spoke at a Ukrainian rally at Independence Hall protesting the Russian occupation of Crimea.  I was asked to read from Taras Shevchenko's Testament on the occasion of his 200th birthday- an event that was billed as POETRY AGAINST WAR. I was humbled by the people's appreciation and commitment to poetry as a vital art form. While reading at the event, I surprised the crowd with a poem from today's premier counterculture poet in Ukraine- Serhiy Zhadan. When I mentioned his name, there was a buzz of excitement through the crowd.

I read his poem Lukoil, which made sense in that political moment. I got to the lines "Bitches," they all say, "bitches/ he'll need bitches, good bitches/ expensive ones, without bad habits…" and I look up to see a busload of priests and nuns with their arms folded, looking at me with stern disapproval. But the young people loved it. As the poem ended, the crowd chanted "Boycott Lukoil! Boycott Lukoil!

As I moved through the rally, I was approached by Mark Andryczyk. He told me he was a good friend of Serhiy's, and let me know that Zhadan will be happy to hear I shared his work at a rally so far away.

Almost a year to the date, I was overjoyed to discover that Serhiy wanted to visit Philadelphia to read with me. I saw familiar faces from the Ukrainian community at Vox Populi, thanks to the curatorial generosity of Anthony Romero. Zhadan's work was engaging, moving and powerful. Readers of his work in English included Anthony, Mary Kalyna, Alina Pleskova, Jenn McCreary & Ryan Eckes. It was one of those unforgettable nights that reminds us what we knew all along. Poetry matters.

Serhiy Zhadan's poetry has been translated into English, but a book has yet to be published. Let's change that!


Samuel Delany Day

I was honored to give a toast to a polymathic master recently- the great Samuel Delany. Thanks so much to Tracie Morris for including my tribute in Jacket2's The Motion of Light: Celebrating Samuel Delany.

You can read my account of Chip, Wonder Woman, and the trucker cruise here.


City Real & Imagined Remix 2015

Five years after the release of The City Real & Imagined from Factory School Books, CAConrad & I revisited the project, re-shaped by new works that create a new dialogue with the original text. The occasion was an exhibition by visual artists Mat Tomezsko, Roberto Lugo, Amze Emmons, Drew Leshko and Jesse Krimes. The show took our book title & went in its own direction, emerging as The City Real & Imagined: Urbanism, Identity & Identification.

Thanks to the artists, to The Painted Bride, and especially to everyone who came out to share this special night.

Fact-Simile Trading Card

The Fact-Simile final season of poet trading cards is out in the world, and I'm rounding it up in the best possible company- with Fred Moten and Claudia Rankine. My design is a riff on Mike Piazza's Topps 1994 baseball card.

JenMarie and Travis MacDonald continue to traffick poetry through the world in its most interesting and creative forms.

You can see the entire set of cards here.

See the wider magic of Fact-Simile's work here.

Theresa Rose & Wind Challenge

Thanks so much to Theresa Rose for including me in her Wind Challenge performance at Fleisher Art Memorial. Check out her work that focuses on South Philadelphia here.


Write Your Block 2015

Write Your Block kicks into gear for 2015. To learn how to participate, find workshops, or explore activities yourself via the downloadable toolkit, visit the Tumblr site here. You can also see your neighbors' poems posted or share your own.


Black Friday

During his time living in Philadelphia, Carlos Soto-Roman & I collaborated on a number of projects. One of my favorites is a translation of Black Friday, by Chilean poet Jose Angel Cuevas.

ixnay press features the poem here.


Philadelphia Review of Books & Space Between

"Lines? Who writes them? City planners. Poets. Is a poem a city? Who may walk in it and where and how?" John Ebersole writes about Space Between These Lines Not Dedicated here.


It's Time at Academy of American Poets

"A few years ago, I was involved in an accident that impacted my memory in troubling yet interesting ways. It's Time is a project that explores the subjectivity of time, memory, and the wider implications of how the momentary is perceived."

Read an excerpt here.


It's Time in The Brooklyn Rail

Thanks to John Ebersole for including me in the November issue of the Brooklyn Rail. You can also find work from fellow Philadelphians Ryan Eckes, Jenn McCreary, Natalie Lyalin and Carlos Soto-Roman. Check out excerpts from It's Time here.