• Kick Assonance Reading Series at KBG Bar:  Award-winning storyteller and Huffington Post blogger Leslie Goshko hosts a curated evening of original poetic works that’s sure to Kick Assonance! Join co-creators Kyle Erickson (“Enduro’s Lament”) and Steven Leyva (“Low Parish”) as they welcome fellow authors Kevin Carter, Miracle Jones, and J. Hope Stein for an evening of original poetry and prose that Time Out New York magazine named a “Critics’ Pick.”

November 21, 2015 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
85 E. 4th Street
2nd Floor


(me&my 7-month old sleeping over my shoulder at KGB Bar)
  • Ping Pong: some pieces in the fab-as-usual Ping Pong Literary Magazine published out of Big Sur & the Henry Miller Library (includes must-read interview of Anne Waldman by Editor-in-Cheif Maria GarciaTeutsch)
  • Boog featured me in their annual festival guide and Joe Pan wrote this embarrassingly sweet introduction about me (& i will take it!)

J. Hope Stein is funny, first and foremost. Yet seen sitting at her publisher’s table from a distance, she appears enigmatic, aloof, daydreaming as she hovers over hand-assembled chapbooks with covers constructed half from paper, half-plastic, with tiny bits of cloth sewn into them, while selling crudely comical T-shirts where fish proclaim their amorous intentions to their beloved breakfast worms—all developed in collaboration with other artists for Poetry Crush, the small press she founded. (T-shirts were designed by Todd Colby; books made by Sara Lefsyk.)
But after a few words with Jen you realize that she’s quite excitable, chatty, alive, present, involved, someone who might live a double life, not a spy exactly but a twinned personality, someone you’re suddenly having coffee with at Grey Dog in the West Village without knowing exactly why and asking to read her new manuscript because if it’s anything like her personality, it’s going to be a delight, someone who can crack jokes on a variety of cultural levels, someone everyone seems to know, who seems to have talented friends occupying every room she enters, some of them quite famous, and you’re wondering who is going to be the lucky publisher who snaps up her first collection, and if that collection will be handsewn, motley ornamented, or perhaps edible. So far she has published three chapbooks, all handmade, all delightful in their own wandering, curious ways: Talking Doll (Dancing Girl Press), Mary (Hyacinth Girl Press), and Corner Office (H_ngm_n Books), the last of which is described in this wonderfully maudlin fashion:“Sexual tensions arise when a man named Alexander and a woman named Cleo share an office cubicle in a not-so-distant future where there are so many people dead there is no more land to bury them and there is a city-wide mandate to bury people in their offices.”
No reasonably sane person could resist riding a wild boar bareback through multiple buildings afire to obtain a copy of this book after reading copy like that. But no need for the boar, it’s free for download at h-ngm-n.com/chaps! I would strongly suggest anyone attempting to familiarize themselves with J Hope Stein’s work on this planet not only read her poetry books but visit the PoetryCrush.com website, which I’ve described in an interview with Jen in the online edition of this issue of Boog City as “a kind of essay-music-poetry blog, a literary magazine, and a place to feature the writings of those participating in National Poetry Writing Month’s ‘Thirty Days of Poems,’” mainly because Jen finds poetry to be more inclusive than most, locating examples in a multiplicity of texts and genres, in music, film, fiction—basically whatever strikes her as poetry, which can be hugely rewarding for those who find listening a lifelong obsession. Poetry is her crush, how she crushes, how she is crushed. What a lovely thing, to be alive and desirous. —Joe Pan

(Buy Joe Pan’s new critically acclaimed & selling-like-hot-cake book HICCUPS)

meanwhile,  I co-hosted my favorite music podcast: KEXP Music That Matters Podcast & got to blab about a lot of my favorite new songs & i’ve been a consulting producer on this film which was shot over the summer and is in intense post-production

i have a crush on you

photo 1 photo 3

Poetry Crush “I have a crush on you” t-shirts (handmade by Todd Colby) &  The Book of Crushes (hand sewn by Sara Lefsyk) will be for sale this week at the CUNY Chapbook festival.  Here’s one up on Coldfront.

Here’s an interview I did about Poetry Crush chapbooks at the Poetry Society

Here is one of my poems “Ballad of Your Boss”  up at HTML Giant

& I was on the Poetry and Cruelty hotline podcast.

& I am now a Poetry Editor of Ping Pong – the official journal of the Henry Miller Library.  I love this pub and am happy to be an editor but sad that it means my poems won’t be in the issues!

& readings & &

  • April 3 @ 7 pm – Berl’s Poetry Shop in Brooklyn – -book release of My Resignation by Maureen Thorson with guests Joanna Penn Cooper & J. Hope Stein.
  • April 3 – Poetry Crush at the CUNY New York City Chapfest
  • May 5 – Ping-Pong in Paris – Shakespeare & co with Maria Teutsch
  • June 13 – Friday the 13th – Coven: 13 witches – Brooklyn, NY
  • July 27-28 – Poetry Crush Reading at the New York City Poetry Festival with Joanna Penn Cooper, Todd Colby, Joe Hall, Cheryl Quimba.  (It’s a featured reading on Coldfront)  Also I’ll be reading for Hyacinth Girl Press with Lisa Marie Basile, Sarah Kain Gutowski, and Dan Nowak.
  • September 18 @ Berl’s – Diana Arterian, Christine Neacole Kanownik, and J. Hope Stein
  • Oct 23– Emory University Bookstore , Atlanta, GA
  • Winter, 2015 – Parachute Poetry Festival, Coney Island, NY  (Installation of my Topsy the Elephant Poem where he was actually electrocuted.)

From Jared White’s introduction of me at Berl’s:

J Hope Stein is a pretty mysterious character and when I talk to the, um, poet person who is J Hope Stein about projects of hers such as her reading series slash blog slash journal slash publishing outfit Poetry Crush she talks as if these entities existed in a way before and without her, like they’re frequencies out there in the ether and she’s just this person from another world inadvertently tuning in and focusing on them. I want to credit her for her great ideas in this space but I feel like she may slip away as if the ideas took place in her other life… but I really do credit her a lot! The poetry crush project, for instance, is so admirable in the way that the crush is clearly her own overpowering crush on poetry and creativity but also how her energy and support and openness brings to light and celebrates other people’s crushes on each other. Also, how much more positive and sexy and fun to participate in a community of mutual crushing than like influence or advocacy or something dead like that – though of course crush also has something pretty violent. Her work – not only the pretty preposterous ee Cummings lampoon website eecattings – brings to mind Sianne Ngai’s fascinating exploration of cuteness and cuteness is partly about a performance of weakness, being crushable and how part of loving cute things is wanting to violate or destroy them. I think this is sort of at play in her work, which is often wondrous and scary. I think of a poem of hers like “The Inventor Dreams of a Woman” from her chap Mary (dancing girl) where she writes
“There is laughter in the grass,” said the Inventor. “There is loss in the grass and enough dead ants to fill a dump truck.” His pinky ambled in her mouth— tickled her gums & the back of her throat— scrambled an egg inside her & the woman felt a deep discussion in her psoas but still no laughter.”  more here


Few Things

Few things!

[mary] - cover - 51)  Reviews of [Mary]:

Thanks to Dan Shapiro for a thoughtful review of my chapbook [Mary] which is up at Poetry International. (Also on Poetry International—  check out Ilya Kaminsky’s beautiful and scary piece on the situation in Ukraine, which gives glimpse & voice to what’s happening on the ground through poems and correspondence.)

Thanks also to Laura Madeline Wiseman for this lovely review of my chapbook [Mary]: at Galatea

2.  Creative Community Review reviewed my reading at Myopic Books in Chicago last month.  & took a loch ness monster kinda picture of me.

3)  Thanks to Lisa Bourbeau for curating a fantastic issue of Talisman & including two of my Edison pieces:  Invention of the Electric Chair (about existential love & Edison’s invention of the electric chair) and Elephant (about existential love & Edison’s public electrocution of Topsy the Elephant).    This poem will be an installation this fall at the Parachute Festival on Coney Island where Edison’s demonstration actually took place.

4)  Thanks to Joe Hall for including one of my Edison pieces, which is about Edison losing his hearing and which  breaks off into Morse Code in the January Everyday Genius. Joe Hall has curated an eye-opening and diverse month at Everyday Genius, which really challenges the boundaries of what poetry can do on the internet.   The pieces take all forms:  forms I don’t even have names for.   Through urgent assortment & experimentation you can feel these pieces try & break through the computer screen.  There is something here that exemplifies and celebrates how strange & glorious it is to be a writer in this moment in time.   

5)  Book of Crushes 

IMG_3848This mysterious book of secret crushes is designed to be read aloud, but in hushed voice & by candlelight. (Poetry Crush, 2014)

Edited by J. Hope Stein

Artwork by Sara Lefsyk

Featuring:   Jennifer Knox on Walt Whitman,  Sara Lefsyk on Federico Garcia Lorca, J. Hope Stein on Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes, Melissa Broder on Emily Dickinson,  Janaka Stucky on Jean Genet,  Joanna Penn Cooper on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,  Todd Colby on Mina Loy,  Kristy Bowen on James Franco,  Amy Lawless on Mariah Carey,  Rauan Klassnik on Ron Silliman, Noah Falck on Bill Murray, Leah Umanksy on Don Draper, Joe Hall on Edward Taylor,  Maria Teustch on Henry Miller, Monica McClure on Lindsey Lohan, Lauren Gordon on Brittany Spears, Brandon Brown on Amanda Bynes, Sampson Starkweather on Weekend at Bernies & Hamlet,  Janaka Stucky on Clarice Lispector, Joanna Penn Cooper on Wislawa Symborska, Victor D. Infante on Anne Sexton,  Christine Hamm on Marianne Moore, Lauren Hunter on Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, & Jean Toomer, Miracle Jones on Emma Lazarus & Julia Ward Howe, Sasha Fletcher on the presidents,  J. Hope Stein on Shakespeare.

6)  New from Poetry Crush Digital Publications!!!

May I Softly


May I Softly Walk:  The Santa Fe Journals

by Cheryl Quimba & Joe Hall

I feel so lucky to get to publish this gem by Joe Hall & Cheryl Quimba.  Click here to engage in the elegant trappings & wonder-nuggets & surprise of the joint-mind of Cheryl Quimba & Joe Hall. 


7)  Poetry Crush’s 3rd annual 10 Dead Poets I would Fuck , which was recommended on the Poetry Foundation blogis up & features: Miracle Jones,  Janaka Stucky, Jennifer L. Knox, Todd Colby,  Joanna Penn Cooper,  Lauren Hunter,Gregory Crosby, Lisa Marie Basile and Gabriel Don. 


crush-on-you_reasonably_small8)  Poetry Crush’s  Everyday is Valentine’s vol I & vol II , which was recommended by the Poetry Foundation blog, features pieces by:  Shane McCrae, Hannah Gamble, Paige Taggart, Amy Lawless, Todd Colby, Joanna Penn Cooper, Douglas Piccinnini, Jared White, Melissa Broder, Rauan Klassnik, Rena Mosteirin, Lee Ann Roripaugh & J. Hope Stein, Joe Hall, Cheryl Quimba, Joanna Penn Cooper, Leah Umansky, Larry Sawyer, Peter Kline, Brittany Perham, Sara Lefsyk, Gregory Crosby, Kristy Bowen, Maria Teutsch, not_I (Ana Bozicevic & Sophia Le Fraga), Sasha Fletcher, Lauren Hunter, DJ Dolack, Stephanie Berger, Justin Petropoulos, Erika Anderson.  

9) Immediate upcomings:


sumthing autumn


Readings Upcoming:

August 31:  NYC  – Kiss Punch Poem at the Magnet Theater
September 27:  NYC – Parlor at Happy Ending Lounge
October 3:  Hartnell College, San Jose, CA
October 9:  NYC  – Derangement of Senses at Le Poisson Rouge
October 10:   Brooklyn-  Atlas Review at 61 Local
November – Pittsburgh- Hyacinth Girl Press –  November 15
January – Chicago –   Red Rover Reading Series.  more soon.

(artwork by Garbriel Don based on my brain(yikes)/ chapbook [Mary]:)


Poetry Crush Digital Publications:  

I’m glad I know you by Joanna Penn Cooper & Todd Colby is the first of a series of digital publications being released this season by Poetry Crush.  When I first read I’m glad I know you, I was knocked out by the palpable joy &  tension–There is a duet of logic that almost meets & becomes one– almost arrives at a clarity– then embraces that it cannot– then celebrates that two people can share this much– all this alongside Todd Colby’s artwork which exudes a sense of humor and reminds us that what we are forever-flirting with is our childhood.

Other  Poetry Crush Digital Publications to look out for this season include:   a collaboration between Joe Hall & Cheryl Quimba,  reality TV poems by Leigh Stein,  an erasure of Moby Dick & artwork by Rena Mostierin,   a video chapbook from  Sasha Fletcher,   artwork & poems by Sara Lefsyk,  poems from a cat named ee cattings who thinks he’s ee cummings,  something childhood-y from Hannah Gamble & lots more in the works for the winter season.

Also check out the Poetry Crush Celebrity Crush Issue!

Pubs recent & forthcoming:

Here is an essay on Othello I did for the NYC reading series “The Book Report”– The Curious Case of Who Fucked Desdemona up on Brooklyn Vol 1.

& Pieces from The Inventor’s Last Breath will be in Tarpaulin Sky, Talisman, and Everyday Genius.

new review & summer readings

Check out Joe Hall’s review of my Chapbook Mary in Coldfront! (Joe Hall is one of my favorite poets, so– holymoly.)


& summer readings: in which my homebody-ass stopped writing long enough to leave my home to read in public.  met & am meeting so many lovelies along the way:

May 4th Datum: Earth New England Reading Series @ Sharon Arts Exhibition Gallery, Henniker, NH

Emily Toder and J Hope Stein.  Hosted by Mary Catherine Jones

May 8th The Book Report @ La Poisson Rouge, New York, NY

Maris Kreizman,  Amy Lawless, J. Hope Stein.  Hosted by Leigh Stein and Sasha Fletcher.

May 13  Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge Henry Miller Festival @ City Reliquary,  Brooklyn, NY

Jonathan Ames, Todd Colby, Amanda Deutch, Maggie Estep, Christine 

tumblr_mmiztuVxhb1s3wnj0o2_500Hamm, Becka Klaver, J. Hope Stein, Maria Garcia Teutsch, Edwin Torres, Jenny Zhang and more.  This event is organized by Ping Pong, Parachute and PoetryCrush.

May 31st Mega Women’s Reading – Stain of Poetry @ Goodbye Blue Monday

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Lynn Melnick, Kathleen Rooney  and Lee 

Ann Roripaugh.  hosted by Amy Lawless & J. Hope Stein. 

June 1 Howl Festival @ Tompkins Square Park, NYC

Marathon Reading by St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery POETRY PROJECT Hosted by Todd Colby. Poets include Jenny Zhang, Billy Cancel, J. Hope Stein, Maggie Estep, Jennifer Knox, Ray DeJesus, Mike Doughty, Carl Hancock Rux, Maribeth Theroux, Shanna Compton, CA Conrad, Joanna Penn Cooper, Edwin Torres, Drew Boston, Todd Colby, Bo DePena (Musician), Jason Nazary (Musician)

June 22 Popsicle Festival, Brooklyn NY


Reading for Stain of Poetry:  Jennifer Tamayo, Leigh Stein and Ana Bozicevic

June 23  Patasola Press Presents:  Victorian Garden Tea Party for Lady Poets & Presses

Margaret Bashaar, Lisa Marie Basile, T.M. De Vos, Patasola Press, “The 

Dimestore World”, Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory, Christine Hamm, Jessica Cuello, J. Hope Stein, Niina Pollari.   Portraiture by Lewd Alfred Douglas.  This is a costume party, people.


July 20 – Hyacinth Girl Press Pittsburg, PA 

more details soon.

July 27 & 28 New York City Poetry Festival  

– 200 poets. 50 series. 5 boroughs. 3 Stages. One City.  I’ll be reading 

in the Earshot reading.  Hosting & curating the   Co-hosting & co-curating Stain of Poetry Reading.  more details soon.


August 3rd New York City – this sooooper coool event 

The Atlas Review, in collaboration with Marina Abramovic Institute, is hosting a marathon reading at the Wythe Hotel on August 3rd, from 2:30pm to 10:30pm, free and open to the public. Over the course of six+ hours, more than forty writers and collaborators will read from Stanislaw Lem’s classic Solaris, all in support of MAI.  more info soon

Corner Office, Chic Flix, Baz Luhrmann

corner office handsewn

Who knows how it’s March already, but it is:

Artist/Poet Sara Lefsyk handmade & sewed with genius fingers a limited new version of my chapbook Corner Office which will be available at the H_NGM_N BKS table at AWP.  I’m also going to read from it at the Ping Pong offsite reading.  Also, my chapbook [Mary]: will be at the Hyacinth Girl Press table.

Has everyone seen this Chic Flix Series on Delirius Hem curated by Jennifer Knox?  –I wrote something on the spooky/erotic Picnic at Hanging Rock.  Here’s a thing on Poetry Foundation about the series which includes essays from poets on film!   There are loads of great essays, as of today there are 66!:  Jennifer L. Knox on Gidget, Amanda Deutch on Gena Rowlands, Joanna Penn Cooper on Bell, Book & Candle, Tanya Larkin on The Women, David Lehman on Brief Encounter, Becca Klaver on Foxfire,  Amy Lawless on Young Adult & more!

Also, my short film The Inventor’s Last Breath screened at Greece’s first international poetry film festival last fall.  And next month I get to working on a new batch of pieces, including a piece on the public electrocution of Topsy the elephant by Thomas Edison.  Yes, there is footage.


LOTS of book reviews coming up on POETRYCRUSH. Leah Umansky, Leigh Stein, Christy Ann Reynolds, Joe Hall, Brian Henry, Carol Frost, Todd Colby, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Maria Garcia Teutsch, Hannah Gamble & more.  Also, the first Poetry Crush event will take place this May in Brooklyn as part of the week-long Henry Miller Festival. More info soon.  And there are 2 special issues of Poetry Crush coming soon:1) The Masked Ball – 10 Poets disguise themselves as Shakespearian characters. 2) Music Issue Volume 2.  – 10 poets speak about song lyrics.

But mostly I’ve been wishing I was Baz Luhrmann

The Next Big Thing

Joe Hall, who is one of my favorite poets writing these days, tagged me in this interview series that he described as “spreading like the flu”.  The Next Big Thing is a neat, pass-it-on, chain-letter-ish interview series in which you conduct a brief interview with yourself and post it on your blog & at the end of the interview tag 2- 5 poets– thereby passing it on to them– It’s true, Joe Hall, just like influenza! or birdsong!

So here goes Me conducting an interview with Me. (everyone has to answer the same set of questions below)


Me :What is the working title of the book?

Me: The Inventor’s Last Breath.

Me:  Where did the idea come from for the book?

Me: The Inventor’s Last Breath gets its name from Thomas Edison’s last breath, which was allegedly captured and saved in a test tube and is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.

The Inventor’s Last Breath is the cobbled story of an Inventor character (loosely based on Edison) told from interwoven perspectives.  Linguistically, I experimented with modernizing the forms that were relevant to Edison’s time:   the rhythms and exuberance of Whitman who was a contemporary of Edison to compose love poems,   the tone of Dickinson’s letters (also a contemporary) to compose journal entries, the rhetorical device of Genesis combined with the rhyming styles of light verse to motor longer narrative poems.  There are also poems that contain lines in Morse Code, poems that contain lines from archived newspaper and poems that work as film snippets, pulling from movie script format.

The Inventor’s Last Breath is a love story between an Inventor and his wife against the historical backdrop of American history, spanning Edison’s life – from the Cilvil War to the Great Depression– including the invention of the phonograph, the light bulb, the motion picture camera, the talking doll, the stock ticker, the electric chair,  the assassination of President McKinley, the electrocution of his killer and Edison’s public electrocution of an elephant.


Me: What genre does your book fall under?

Me:  Experimental love song.   Historical narrative hopscotch.

Me: What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Me:  I love casting!  It is the ultimate fantasy.

The Inventor:  Robert Downey Jr. — Have you seen him in Chaplin?  WOW!  he’s got to be sexy but he’s got to be a goofball and capable of great physical comedy. (Also Jonathan Rhys Meyers – who skews scary-sexy and Matthew 


Broderick who skews silly-sexy.) (Also Paul Rudd who is a devastatingly clownish stage actor as well as box office comedy star.  And handsome.)

Mary:  The Inventor’s wife.    Mary’s got to be soft and earnest and curious.  She has a habit of overusing the word “husband”  and she is obsessive about the details of nature.  For instance, she captures samples of things in test tubes -like her husband’s semen, breath, etc.    Young Mariel Hemingway (circa 1979) has a convincing intensity and softness.   Ultimately, in my story, she is the person who captures the Inventor’s last breath in the final scene.


The Talking Doll:  The Talking Doll is one of Edison’s inventions.  Her character has a biblical-like authority combined with a light verse nonsense which she uses to attempt to tell the story of her maker.  Nicki Minaj– As heard in her gibberish, story-telling intro to Kanye West’s My Dark Twisted Fantasy would be the perfect balance


Me: What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Me:  “All there is to know about a man is in his breath.”

Well, that’s not exactly a synopsis –it’s a line from the book.  (see 2nd question above for more details.)

Me:  How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Me:  About a year before I wrote my first 50-page draft.  About 4 years to the most recent draft.  or 5? I forget.

Me: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Me:  I was inspired by an article I read in an archived newspaper about “Light’s Golden Jubilee” – the celebration in honor of the 50th anniversary of the light bulb.    It was a huge party thrown by Henry Ford in 1929 in honor of Thomas Edison – all the luminaries of the day were there- Edison, Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Orville Wright, J. P Morgan, Charles Schwab, Herbert Hoover, Will Rogers, etc.  It seemed like an interesting intersection of American history, because 4 days later, the stock market crashed leading into the Great Depression.  At the celebration, there was a “let there be light” type of re-enactment of Edison inventing the light bulb.   The newspapers wrote about Edison as if he were a magician or a religious figure and that made a lot of sense to me.

Me:  What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Me:  A long poem based on Edison’s public electrocution of an elephant.

Me:  My tagged writers for next Wednesday are:

Me:  Joanna Penn Cooper ! Christine Hamm Janaka Stucky !

Thanks Me.  Me should do this more often…

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