10 December 2017

That's a wrap, fall 2017 edition.

The universe is telling me to go back to sleep today. This doesn't happen often, and I can't do it. But there's something about all the edges being softer for once, or things feeling way less urgent, or the sound of a dog snoring in a chair becoming the exact metronome needed to gather the nerve to drink a little more coffee. Right now my hair looks like it belongs on a witch doll, and maybe the witch doll is me. I'm totally cool with that.

Every semester I'm like wow, what a semester filled with surprises, but this year has changed the calibration on the wow scale, because I certainly was not expecting to cancel a week of class and jet to NYC and celebrate at the National Book Awards. But everything came together as I hoped it would, and though at present my to-do list looks like a gigantic novelty to-do list to be bestowed upon some unlucky sweepstakes winner, I'm going to make it through, even if this particular Sunday is cough and yawn and witch hair and stepping away from the inbox and listening to a dog snore.

28 November 2017


It's a big news day here in Akron, OH, as Black Lawrence Press announced that it has acquired my first collection of prose poems, Partial Genius. This is my seventh full-length book of poems, and my sixth book with BLP, and I am absolutely thrilled. Here's what I had to say about writing this book, which is due out in summer of 2019. A million thanks to BLP, to my friends and students, and to the editors who have published these poems in journals. 

On writing Partial Genius

When writing the chapbook Saint Monica, which became my first collection with Black Lawrence Press, I stumbled upon a form that felt both compelling and expansive. The prose poem in five stanzagraphs made its first appearance with “Saint Monica Composes a Five Paragraph Essay on Girard’s Theory of Triangular Desire.” I wrote this piece with the well-worn essay format in mind as a gimmick, but ultimately felt that each discrete prose chunk forged its own identity while striving to, as they say in composition class, provide support for the thesis. I decided to return to this form with Partial Genius and to create a series of these poems that align and overlap to illustrate the experiences of one central speaker.
The poems of Partial Genius build upon the form in a collective narrative arc, working in unison to craft a larger story where plot points shift via juxtaposition and association. Thematically, this book is post-youth, post-love, mid-epiphany. What do you do when you finally realize that you are really good, but only at unremarkable things? What value does memory hold when weighed against other heavier commodities such as money and time and conventional beauty? Partial Genius ponders the years spent waiting for reconciliation of past wrongs, the ownership of former selves, and the desire to truly fit into one landscape or another.

25 November 2017

Either // Or

I love it when long weekends or holiday breaks are when I become possessed with reading and can do nothing but. I love it more when long weekends or holiday breaks are when I become possessed with writing poems and can do nothing but. Sometimes the body seems to know what it needs, such as stillness and words on a page that aren't asking for suggestions. Other times it's like hitting a buried water line but that line is filled with words and you invite them to seep up into the grass, to break the pavement open, to saturate the floorboards. Right now, I'm reading. Pretty soon, writing. One, or the other, but for me it's never both. 

21 November 2017

National Book Awards recap

What an honor to accompany University of Akron Press author Leslie Harrison at the National Book Awards, in recognition of her NBA finalist poetry collection The Book of Endings. This was definitely a highlight of my career as editor of the Akron Series in Poetry for the past ten years.

A million thanks to all our readers, and to everyone who cheered us on!

10 May 2016

Cover reveal for THE CZAR!

Biddinger & Robinson cover5

This book is not a book, it’s treatise on empire, a manifest destiny, a pack of wild peasants outside the gate, a mesmerizing tour d’effluvia in its Czar not Czar, throne not throne, overthrown mistresses, Lady Czar is no Czarina, cappuccino foam isn’t foam, revolution was a hoax, naming and renaming, unlearned cursive, unheard flute solo, empire under construction, not New York, not Sacramento, non-tabloids, non-violent non-women. Biddinger and Robinson rebuild our world and take it away piece by piece to show the conviviality of our destruction. –Elizabeth Colen, author of They Could No Longer Contain Themselves

27 March 2016

AWP 2016 Dance Card: LA

We've packed up the boxes of books and buttons, and look forward to bringing a whole lot of Akron to AWP LA. California is my birth state, and I always find it both strange and welcoming. Below please find this year's dance card.

I'll be spending most of the days representing the University of Akron Press at table #313 in the bookfair. Stop on by to check out our beautiful new books. Also, I'll be reading from Small Enterprise and signing copies, thanks to Black Lawrence Press. And finally, please consider checking out our awesome UA Press offsite event with Cleveland State University Poetry Center and Rescue Press.

I'll be reading from Small Enterprise at the BLP offsite & party
Thursday, March 31st
7:00 pm, CB1 Gallery
Black Lawrence Press offsite reading

Please join us for a reading by authors from the University of Akron Press, Cleveland State University Poetry Center, and Rescue Press
Friday, April 1st
7:00 pm, Seahorse Sound Studios
The Midwest Goes West: A Mixtape for LA

I'll be signing copies of Small Enterprise at the BLP booth (#1526) from 1:00-2:00 on Saturday, April 2nd
Safe travels to California, convention-goers! To the many folks who showed their support for the UA Press during our rather dramatic summer, please stop by table 313 to get your POETRY LIVES button, along with our sincere thanks.  

14 September 2015

This is happening.