New poems in Black Fork Review and Sugar House Review

I’m ending the year with a couple of exciting new poetry publications. I have two poems in the 10th anniversary issue of Sugar House Review, and you can find “Terms of Agreement” here, with audio. It’s such a gorgeous and robust print issue, and as someone who often buries her nose in a journal or book, I can say that it also smells divine. Such excellent company in this issue, too.

I am also excited to share two new poems in Black Fork Review, out of Ashland, Ohio. Many thanks to the editors for including these poems.

Finally, I’m counting down to a reading at Literati Bookstore with Matthew Thorburn next month in Ann Arbor, where the two of us were creative writing classmates in undergrad. What a joy to be returning to read from our newest books!

Happiest holiday and New Year wishes to all!

Major Florida Gratitude Post

So much thanks to my hosts at Florida SouthWestern State College, the University of Tampa, and Saint Leo University for the warm welcome!

Though I’m grateful to be home and back with my family and students, the first leg of my Florida Literary Arts Coalition Writer’s Circuit was a memorable trip. What a delight to speak with so many new writers, and to hang out with poetry and fiction colleagues from various institutions. One of my favorite parts of the tour (aside from marveling at the landscape) was getting to feel like a writer among writers again. So much thanks to FLAC, and to all of the organizations and individuals who made this tour a possibility. My heart is as warm as the weather was down there–a sultry 90 degrees with abundant sun.

Introducing PARTIAL GENIUS

Even though this is my sixth book, the feeling of unboxing never becomes less exhilarating and terrifying and awesome. Partial Genius arrived along with a number of back to school parcels, on a rainy day, and I’m glad I didn’t know the package would be arriving (I’m a worrier). My first thought upon unboxing was delight with the color of the cover. It’s cheerful and loud, as well as contemplative. I am grateful for the care that Amy Freels took with the cover design and the interior; I think I’ll be able to perform from this book without reading glasses, which is a plus.

Thanks to all who have offered congratulations and shared my excitement about this new book, my first collection exclusively made up of prose poems. Partial Genius is now in stock at Black Lawrence Press, and at SPD, as well. There’s a peek inside feature if you would like to read a few poems before buying a copy for yourself or your best friend or your secret crush.

Partial Genius at AMRI & The Millions

As we’re excitedly waiting for Partial Genius to drop, I’m happy to share the two items below.

Much gratitude to Tom Simpson for interviewing me about Partial Genius, the writing life, and balancing various hats over at American Microreviews and Interviews.

Here’s a sneak peek:

TS: How do you balance your writing life with your work as an editor and professor? Do you have particular routines and practices that have sustained you?

MB: I have taught college English for over twenty years, and have been an editor for almost as long, and yet I am still struggling with balance. What has helped is learning how I function best, forgiving myself for that, and then finding a way to work with my tendencies instead of against them. I am motivated by deadlines. During the academic year I have little, if any, time for creative writing, so those are fallow spells and I’ve come to terms with them. Over winter and summer breaks I write obsessively. Ideally during the academic year I will revise poems and send them out, but often that task falls to summer.

My work flow is one of constant triage. I jokingly tell friends that I am not a good custodian of my own writing, and it’s true. Helping other people with their poems and manuscripts is often top priority, and more enjoyable than working with my own poems. Perhaps someday I will no longer be scrambling, but for now it’s the scramble that keeps me moving.

I am thrilled that Partial Genius was one of the Must-Read Poetry Books for August 2019 over at The Millions. Thank you to Nick Ripatrazone for thoughts like these:

Biddinger’s prose poems are eccentric, meandering, and surprising. The first poem of the collection, “Historical Achievements,” ends: “One year I wrote ‘mouth’ across my knuckles for Halloween and exited the pep rally before the microphone was switched on, flocks of balloons still humping the plastic bags designated to contain them.” The sentence is pure Biddinger: funny, dizzying yet specific, and grounded in a pleasantly wistful storytelling (her poems don’t often feel melancholy, but they do contain absences—incomplete stories—which offer pauses of sentiment within her play). Partial Genius is unlike any book of poetry that you’ll read this year; a credit to Biddinger’s voice, and the range of her interests.

The countdown to Partial Genius continues!

Cleveland Arts Prize Gratitude

Much thanks, from a poet in Akron, Ohio.

I am tremendously grateful to the Cleveland Arts Prize, which announced today that I am the recipient of a mid-career award in literature, with such excellent company. This kind of recognition is so meaningful, especially to those of us who are mid-career and looking ahead while also reflecting back on previous projects. To those of us who might currently have two almost-completed book manuscripts, and who are in need of a push forward. When I moved to northeast Ohio in 2005 I had no idea that it would become such a welcoming and supportive home. Today I send gratitude to all who have supported me and my work.

If you’ve just found this page, here’s information on my poetry, including my forthcoming prose poem collection Partial Genius, over at Black Lawrence Press.

Partial Genius soundtrack is here

If you know me you know that I love music, and it’s a joy to pass along this Spotify soundtrack that I made to accompany Partial Genius, my new poetry collection that drops next month from Black Lawrence Press. The hope is that this mix transports you to a dance club and frees you from your worries.

The songs are all meaningful ones for me, and connect to the poems in the book in both obvious and subtle ways. Thank you for giving it a listen!

A Partial Genius soundtrack, featuring an abundance of dance hits (and more). Fishnets optional.