At Home in the Middle of Nowhere: Insights from an Ecopoetry Practice

a bare tree white with snow against a background of snowy, wooded mountains

I’m grateful for an invitation to present a slideshow-reading for the Juniata Valley Audubon Society at the Bellwood-Antis Public Library in November, as it will force me to actually go back over all the stuff I’ve been writing for the past two years, see what works, and maybe think about putting out some kind of collection (possibly illustrated, if that doesn’t make the book horribly expensive).

Poet and photographer Dave Bonta has made a practice of writing as he walks, producing what he calls walking poems, and in the process cultivating a mindset that might be closer to pilgrimage than science. Re-visit familiar places through his serendipitous photos and the ideas they spark, from Plummer’s Hollow, where he’s lived since the age of five, to the Little Juniata Natural Area, Mt. Etna, Tytoona Cave, Bell’s Gap, and more. Along the way, we’ll be asked to consider how a simple walk in the woods can lead to new insights about the universe.

All JVAS meetings are also shared over ZOOM these days, for any folks from out of the area who might want to listen in (in addition to those who simply wish to avoid infection, etc.). See the instructions on the Programs page. I’m not sure how accessible their website is to people outside the US, though.

Upcoming readings: November 20 and February 4

head shots of Hedy Habra, Neil Aitken, and Dave Bonta
I’ve been invited to participate in the monthly online reading for the Verse-Virtual community. I’ll be appearing on screens everywhere (I assume) through the magic of Zoom alongside Hedy Habra and Neil Aitken on Sunday, November 20, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 PM EST. Register here.

I plan on reading a few new poems, warts and all. Also

If you are a member of the Verse-Virtual Facebook Group or have published in the journal, you may sign up for the limited open mic here:

as they say on Facebook.

I’ve also been invited to an in-person event for the first time in a year! I’ll be reading (and probably screening videopoems) in a suburb of Trenton, New Jersey on February 4 — Lord willing and the creek don’t rise — as part of the Frenchtown Bookshop reading series organized by Vasiliki Katsarou. More about that later.

Reading poems on “A Brief Chat” podcast

I was honored to be the inaugural weekly poet on my friend Jason Crane’s mercifully brief podcast. (Seriously, who the hell has time for hours of podcast listening a day?) I chose some older pieces that I thought might play well with a general audience: poems about religion, science, sex, war, and news consumption. If you have hearing issues, or just like to read along, here’s the text of the poems [PDF].

If you’re interested in contributing poems for a future episode of A Brief Chat, Jason says you can simply send an email to – and include a sample of your work, obviously.

Listen here (or wherever you get your podcasts). For archival purposes, I’ve also downloaded and embedded the audio below. (Please note that all my poetry is released under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons license, meaning that anyone is free to remix as long as I’m acknowledged as the original author and the resulting remix isn’t placed under a more restrictive license. Contact me if you’d like a higher quality, WAV version of any of these poems.)

Thanks, Jason!

Reading with videos

poetry reading ina bookstore under a sign that reads "foreign language"
Because poetry IS a foreign language (photo by Jason Crane)

I gave my first fully video-accompanied poetry reading last Wednesday at Webster’s Bookstore Cafe in State College, PA. Though I’ve given four readings in recent years with audiovisual components of some sort, this was the first where I experimented with reading along to “karaoke” versions of videopoems. I had a blast! It was organized and very engagingly emceed by Jason Crane, as part of a new monthly reading series.

I have a full report up at Voice Alpha, a site devoted to the art of reading poems for an audience: “Reading poetry with video: some first impressions.”