2022 turned out to be a year of new experiences–the most major for me came in the form of leaving teaching and moving into the role of program manager. This was another challenging year and reading continued to be a way to ground myself, to travel beyond my house, and and to feed my mind. Looking forward to a calmer, taking care year for 2023. 

In 2021, I thought often about what sustains us, how we can take care of ourselves even within the eye of this pandemic–personally, how I might both maintain my footing and also grow. Reading has always been a joyful activity and a way to expand my thinking beyond whatever might be tugging me under in the present. In 2021, my sister (we pass books back and forth) noted that I kept handing over “sad” books–but they were really great! As in they made me think deeply and move beyond myself–so while I read several “sad” books this year, I appreciate the ideas that continue to spin in my head long after the reading was finished. Here’s to a bright 2022! 

Goodbye 2020. While fumes from the dumpster fire still linger, it is a new year and I’m happy to look back on the books I read last year. Each of these worked to make a new branch, a new bough to hold onto in the storm. I’m still reading several books at once (savoring The Books of Delights–so that’ll show up next time.) In 2020, I read poetry, essays, memoir, novels, some incredible nonfiction, and a poem as children’s picture book (Under the Ocelot Sun)–which you all should read! 


And here we are in 2020!

In 2019, I read to escape and to understand this world. I read more essays than in previous years and more sci-fi, with the constant heart beat of poetry.  Although I’m sure there are more, here are the books that made it into my notes (I think you should also read these!):


No one knows what happened to 2018. Or what I read in 2017.


O, 2017.

As we begin this Year One of the Alternative Universe, books, especially poetry, feel ever vital. Looking back at what I read in 2016, my heart is glad for all these thoughty (my grandpa Fritz’s term) folks, who braved the blank page to build the worlds of these books. I am thankful for the presses/publishers, editors, book designers, publicists, and writers who are working to make written language available and stunning. We are provoked in so many ways, let us be provoked toward contemplation and empathy, as we are by books. Please: seek, read widely, and be awake.


Hello 2016!

This past year I managed to read more than double my goal of one book a month; this may be thanks to kids sleeping through the night. I have also been focusing on getting my book, The Spoons in the Grass are There to Dig a Moat fine tuned in collaboration with the awesome folks at Sarabande Books–so that it is all ready for you in April 2016! You can pre-order the book now by visiting Sarabande Books.   As usual, the books I read this year have tremendously helped my writing and my being a better human. Please check them out, buy a copy, give a copy to someone else–and support the presses/publishers who makes these books possible:

Bonus Reads:

Poetry Chapbooks



Welcome to 2015!

2014 was a fantastic year for reading poetry (and for publishing poetry…in 2016 my debut collection of prose poems will be published by Sarabande Books!). This year I managed to read, and keep track of reading, at least one collection a month. I also read a powerful chapbook (Then Gone) and a great anthology of prose poems. While I don’t have the notes I’d hoped to share with you, I will put in links so you can easily locate more information about each of these books. I am thankful for these books as they informed my own thinking and writing in 2014; please check them out or return to them.

Bonus Reads:


Happy New Year!

To welcome in 2014, here are the books of poetry that I read in 2013; it was one of my new year’s resolutions for 2013 to read at least one volume of poetry each month. Some months I didn’t complete a single book and  some weeks I could read two books. This year I read other single poems, groups of poems, etc., but the books on this list I read “as collections”. It may seems like a small accomplishment, but with two young children on hand, I am happy to have come through on this resolution. Each of these books inspired, illuminated, and guided my own writing and I appreciate their influence. In 2014, I hope to add a note about the books I read; for now, here are the titles and wonderful authors:

Home Burial  by Michael McGriff

Cooling Board  by Mitchell L. H. Douglas

The Farmer’s Daughter  by Lynnell Edwards

Unmentionables  by Beth Ann Fennelly

Here, Bullet  by Brian Turner

The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands  by Nick Flynn

The Narrow Road to the Interior  by Kimiko Hahn

/blak/  /al-fe bet/  by Mitchell L. H. Douglas

Boneshepherds  by Patrick Rosal

Radio Crackling, Radio Gone by Lisa Olstein

The Big Smoke   by Adrian Matejka

Incarnadine   by Mary Szybist

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