Get your Kate Bush fired up, folks, because Secret Project #1 has arrived:



Grimoire is an online literary journal for the witchy, the weird, and the darkly inclined. A journal where I am, in fact, an editor, along with my companions Jessica Berger and Brooke Wonders. We’re publishing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, of course, but also literary séances (here is mine with the love of my heart, Shirley Jackson) spells that read like poems, and interpretations of your dreams brought to you by staff witches and the wisdom of Billy Bing. Send us your darlings! We promise to treat them nicely. Well, mostly nicely. We’ll cradle them gently in our arms, and only give them to the fairies after a high level of negotiation. (Kidding. Mostly.)

We’ve had a great reception so far– and how could we not, with gorgeous dark, swirling visuals by the incredible Brittany Schall to herald amazing poems by  Cassandra de Alba, Alec Hershman, Philip Matthews, Kerri Webster, Emily Paige Wilson, twisted eerie fiction by Kodiak Julian and Meghan Lamb, nonfiction about SLENDERMAN (!) by Megan Milks, and an excellent interview with Anna Biller about her film The Love Witch. Brooke, Jessica, and I are all really excited about this new venture, and we hope you all enjoy it.

As for Secret Project #2, well, it’s coming along:


I’ve made 14 charcoal drawings for it and 53 individual watercolor playing cards. It’s been wonderful to get back into making visual art again, and the work of my collaborators has been amazing. I can’t wait to share it with you in its final form.



That’s enough teasing for now. Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek for those of you who are interested.

As for the rest of my life: dissertation leave has been wonderful. I just got back from a month at Vermont Studio Center, and, I have to say, I think it was one of the happiest and most healing months I’ve ever spent. I wrote a great deal, met some incredible writers and artists (who also happen to be incredible human beings), and got to see things like this:

13754339_10101646167554034_1800099961246859015_nMount Mansfield, the tallest peak in Vermont

and this:

13686599_10101642042490694_733688960209612498_nBread and Puppet Museum 

13709945_10101653288264074_681219558973381551_nBread and Puppet Theater Performance

I also found a scrying mirror and many other wonderful things at the Museum of Everyday Life:


and I also explored this place, on the VSC property:13600220_10101636233486984_2465251135168813737_nA ghost hangout.

When I had my Vermont Studio center portrait taken, I told the photographer, Howard Romero, that I was writing about ghosts and wanted my picture to look “spectral.” This is what happened:


I was very pleased.

Speaking of ghosts, it’s been a good few months for ghost poems. My poem “Ghost Encounter,” that won honorable mention in Boulevard‘s Emerging Writers contest, was featured on Verse Daily last week. Willow Springs was kind enough to publish my poems “Witch Doctrine” and “Dear Ghost,” and to let me talk about bears and carnivorous birds. Indiana Review published my poem “Ghost to Apprentice” in their killer ghost-themed issue, and my poem “Witch Questions the So-Called Higher Power” was a finalist in their poetry contest this year. I was also a finalist for AWP’s WC&C scholarship. If you want to read an essay where I talk about why people want to believe in crazy things, check out The Coelacanths We Want to Believe on Superstition Review’s blog. Pretty soon, new ghost poems will also be appearing in Third Coast and The Adroit Journal as well, so keep an eye out for those if you’re so inclined. The ghosts enjoy the attention.

I hope the end of summer is going as slowly as you wish.

With spectral love,