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CAConrad’s 2018 recommended reading

We’ve asked our authors to submit highlights from their reading this year— anything outstanding they read during the year and want to share, whether published this year or not. As a countermeasure/contrast to the typical year-end Best Of lists compiled by various mainstream media outlets (which are often linked to ad buys, or shared parent companies, o did you not know that!?), expect these personal lists to point in less expected directions. We’ll be posting our poets’ picks as they come in over the next week or two. Enjoy. —Bloof

CAConrad is the author of nine books of poetry and essays, the latest is titled While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017). A recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts for Literature, they also received the Believer Magazine Book Award and the Gil Ott Book Award. CA is currently working on a (Soma)tic poetry ritual titled, “Resurrect Extinct Vibration,” which investigates effects the vibrational absence of recently extinct species has on the body of the poet and the poems. They teach regularly at the Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam, and their books, essays, films, interviews, rituals and other publications can be found online at their website.

The Library of Congress Censored Interview by CAConrad with Jasmine Platt is available as a free PDF in our Process Pamphlets series.

Poetry is how I spend my life, reading and writing it. We are living in the most abundant and sumptuous time for publishing poetry and I can no longer entertain people who whine to me that they would rather be living in times of poetry’s past. Each year I enjoy focusing on one book at a time while also reading favorite poems and passages of previously loved books. This year I relished 18 closely lived-with books, and they are the soundtrack of my 2018. I remember which book I was reading on the solstices, equinoxes, New and Full Moons, and the times with my truck driver boyfriend Tre reading out loud together late into the night while gazing out his truck window at the dome of stars over Florida, Alabama, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, and Idaho. Love and Poetry is the same banquet! Something utterly sacred about these banquets! Thank you, Shanna Compton, for asking Bloof authors for reading lists! These are the 18 books that made my 2018 amazing, and quite grateful to be alive: 

Chase Berggrun
(Birds, LLC, 2018) 

RED by Chase Berggrun

Something for Everybody
Anselm Berrigan
(Wave Books, 2018) 

Something for Everybody by Anselm Berrigan

Mock Through Rasping Crow
billy cancel
(BlazeVOX, 2017) 

Mock Through Rasping Crow by billy cancel

Heaven Is All Goodbyes
Tongo Eisen-Martin 
(City Lights, 2018) 

Heaven Is All Goodbyes by Tongo Eisen-Martin

Rachel B. Glaser
(The Song Cave, 2017) 

Hairdo by Rachel B. Glaser

Click & Collect
Colin Herd
(Boiler House, 2017) 

Click & Collect by Colin Herd

Good Stock Strange Blood
Dawn Lundy Martin
(Coffee House, 2017) 

Good Stock Strange Blood by Dawn Lundy Martin

Jonah Mixon-Webster
(Ahsahta, 2018) 

Stereo(TYPE) by Jonah Mixon-Webster

Eileen Myles
(Grove Atlantic, 2018) 

Evolution by Eileen Myles

The Length of This Gap
Kristen E. Nelson
(Damaged Goods, 2018) 

The Length of This Gap by Kristen E. Nelson

Ever Really Hear It
Soham Patel
(Subito Press, 2018) 

Ever Really Hear It by Soham Patel

Nat Raha
(Enjoy Your Homes, 2017) 

Lo Terciario / The Tertiary
Raquel Salas Rivera
(Timeless, Infinite Light)

Richard Scott
(Faber & Faber, 2018) 

Soho by Richard Scott

Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry
Sarah Shin & Rebecca Tamás, editors
Contributors: Kaveh Akbar, Rachael Allen, Nuar Alsadir, Khairani Barokka, Emily Berry, A.K. Blakemore, Jen Calleja, Vahni Capildeo, Kayo Chingonyi, Elinor Cleghorn, CAConrad, Nia Davies, Kate Duckney, Livia Franchini, Will Harris, Caspar Heinemann, Lucy Ives, Rebecca May Johnson, Bhanu Kapil, Amy Key, Daisy Lafarge, Dorothea Lasky, Ursula K. Le Guin, Francesca Lisette, Canisia Lubrin, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Lucy Mercer, Hoa Nguyen, Rebecca Perry, Nat Raha, Nisha Ramayya, Ariana Reines, Sophie Robinson, Erica Scourti, Dolly Turing, Jane Yeh
(Ignota, 2018) 

Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry edited by Sarah Shin & Rebecca Tamás

Some Animal
Ely Shipley
(Nightboat Books, 2018) 

Some Animal by Ely Shipley

Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color
Christopher Soto, editor
List of contributors available here
(Nightboat Books, 2018)

Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, edited by Christopher Soto

Divya Victor
(Fence Books, 2017) 

Kith by Divya Victor
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Hailey Higdon’s 2018 recommended reading

We’ve asked our authors to submit highlights from their reading this year— anything outstanding they read during the year and want to share, whether published this year or not. As a countermeasure/contrast to the typical year-end Best Of lists compiled by various mainstream media outlets (which are often linked to ad buys, or shared parent companies, o did you not know that!?), expect these personal lists to point in less expected directions. We’ll be posting our poets’ picks as they come in over the next week or two. Enjoy. —Bloof

Hailey Higdon writes poems, letters, essays, stories, novels, children’s books, and not-too-bad greeting cards. She creates sound poem experiences about once a decade. Hailey is the author of several poetry chapbooks including: A Wild Permanence (Dancing Girl Press), Rural (Drop Leaf Press), The State In Which (above/ground), Packing (Bloof Books)and How to Grow Almost Everything (Agnes Fox). Her first full-length collection, Hard Some, is available from Spuyten Duyvil Press. She is originally from Nashville, but currently lives and works in Seattle. Website:

Haileys’s sold out Bloof chapbook, Packing, is available as a free PDF.

Cedar Sigo’s collection of Joanne Kyger’s interviews, journals, and ephemera was fantastic:

There You Are: Interviews, Journals & Ephemera
Joanne Kyger, edited by Cedar Sigo
(Wave Books)

Bonus link: Hailey interviewed Joanne Kyger here.

There You Are, Joanne Kyger, edited by Cedar Sigo

Also these:

The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
(University of Iowa Press)

Fluency of Light

Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others
Laura van Dernoot Lipsky & Connie Burk
(Berrett-Koehler Publishers)

Trauma Stewardship

Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot
Peter Crane
(Yale University Press)

Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot
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Untitled [I want you to come now!]

Living room, Arthur Smith, Architectural Digest, October 1983.
Living room / Arthur Smith, Architectural Digest, October 1983.
I want you to come now!
I want you to come now at the latest!
Bring your pocket calculator.
And the grand piano.
Bring band-aids aspirin eau de cologne and antiseptic soap
a bottle of seltzer a bottle of gin a bottle of whisky
and toothbrush mug
a bottle of Ajax and a large pack of sleeping pills a houseplant
a pizza
and a respirator.
I want you to come now!
Only you should come now at the very latest!
And take me by storm.
Turn out the lights.
And light the candelabras.
You should unplug the telephone jack.
And blow up the air mattresses.
You should dry my tears and talk some sense to me.
When the sun goes down behind the Opera House.
And it’s time to go home.
Then you should come to me.
With your heart.
And your shotgun.
So I’ll never lose my temper again.
In a tastefully furnished living room.
So I’ll never stand on the window ledge again.
Looking a little stupid.
With a dog rose in my hand.
So I’ll never creep through the subways again
with an embarrassing song.
On my broken lips.
You have to come now, now at the very latest!
Simply because I can’t stand it otherwise.
Simply because it’s so damn persistent.
Simply because I’m a totally ordinary woman.
Completely healthy and moderately overweight.
Somewhat domestic, helpful and nervous.
Kind and sweet and very scared.
With general interests and an untapped literary vein.


Kristina Lugn, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel
from Seeking an Older, Well-Educated Gentleman
(Bloof Books Chapbook Series, 2019)

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A Version of Maine

Raspberries (1890s)
Raspberries, Annual Report from the Commissioner of Agriculture, NYS (1890s) from Internet Archive Book Images 

A Version of Maine

“Am I then this one fact forever,” he said…
“Until time runs out,” she said, pushing
Her golden bangs away from her eyes. Oh,

And the maples were
Already splotched with burning.

Snow filled the muddy footprint.
You could tell they were in for it.

Sore appendages. Raw throats.
Why did we keep returning
To bear witness to the same truth: something
In here is living with us.

We ate again. Sausages, wild rice—
A salad of lettuces.

A new average settled in. The unspoiled time
Of the future lay inside a forked past.

“The mice are well-fed at least,” she blurted out.
It was evening. The moonlight did something to her.
To him. Oily crumbs of stars on the newsprint sky.
We all laughed. We had another one.

Douglas PiccinniniVictoria
(Bloof Chapbook Series, 2019)

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Metaphor at 12:47 am

colorful mural
Photo by Ali Morshedlou on Unsplash

There will always be a gun at your back. Or
                                                                                         your front. Or 
somewhere near where your fear 

And it is not your job to defer the end. Or the bleeding. 
It is your job to keep the heart 
Its violent living and scarlet song. Some would even 
say that 
maybe the gun is a 
That perhaps, it is actually 
Because love can stop the heart's 
heaving or push it to a sure                    sprint. And 
maybe you can stop Love, but it is not your job to. Maybe the gun 
is a metaphor for Loving and being Loved and fearing the person 
who has a gun to your back. That they will 
one day use it to kill 
And fearing someone with 
something you do not have. Or maybe, 

A gun is a gun 
And you are trying to 


Dakotah Jennifer, Fog
(Bloof Chapbook Series, 2019)

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(From) a simple verb

Pink letters scattered on a white wall
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash


the simple verb is only as good as its distractions. the brain is good
for a ride if you hold on. the brain takes a breath / memory
evacuates. the pen is in an undisclosed location. the song pulls you
firmly into the seat of a car. fuzz goes the voice of the future. fuzz
goes the voice of the lovers. you are making a distinction here. you
are holding the blank in your hand. you, the immediate soft

pressed between two safe bodies in an undisclosed location you
watch understanding bloom. one hand to okay you. a reenactment
of forever’s face and its sick trill.

you & i & the immediate instinct to blank.

somewhere nearby a series of people walk to a series of
destinations. some seal a thought in plastic before dipping it deep
into steaming water. an idea takes a breath.

a memory chokes on itself.



JJ Rowan, from a simple verb
(Bloof Chapbook Series, 2019)

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By Gerrit Jan Schouten , 1884., Public Domain



In Maracaibo, being unlucky translates

to salty. You are salado, brackish, bad luck

swallows you and spits you out like an ocean

wave. It is never done with you. I am

salty. Mama found an iguana under

the kitchen table this morning. While everyone

was out scaring the green monster away, I

sprayed her French perfume on my hand. It smelled

like her during hugs post-dinners—its fragrance lingers

on her plastic-covered couches. Scent particles flew

into a fan, a brushed nickel finish apparatus,

and out into her bedroom. I held out my hand

in front of the fan, as if it to stop physics. it chopped

off my fingertip. As my relatives clean the bloodspots

from my dress—they’re huddled up around me, on their knees

the iguana they chased off earlier is walking

underneath my bed. I’ll drop something at night,

and when the lights are off, feel

its scales through my bandage.


Ana Hurtado, Miedo al Olvido: Poems from an Uprooted Girl
(Bloof Books Chapbook Series, 2019)

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Unsolved Mystery

Golden Hand
Photo by MUILLU on Unsplash


Unsolved Mystery

Think about where you have been in your life
     thus far

& think about suburban America 1995–present.
     Tell me more

about beheadings. Look up there,
     the girl-in-the-guillotine, sword-in-sheath.

The first girl I kissed I told her I loved her,
     gold blade to my throat.

I sent her more love than could fit.
     Wax stamp of crest, sigil,

tattoo of initial(s), what brand
     of unfortunate

as if a town-square ritual, body-outlier,
     unsolved mystery, revealed.


Katie Jean ShinkleRat Queen
(Bloof Chapbook Series, 2019)

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“The poem is an organism one can inhabit”

Danielle Pafunda

Sometimes the speed and volume of the language overflows its container. Or, since my poems are voice-driven, I often think: what (plat)form does this speaker require to deliver their speech? Sometimes they need the emphatic disruption to logic provided by line breaks and stanzas, sometimes the furious liquid state of prose. 

In The Dead Girls Speak, I conceived of the poems as coming over an erratic connection. Like a worm line from the underworld, running through the soil alongside roots. A landline! That led to sparser poems than I usually write. They declare what they need to and ring off.

[…] You enter a poem and wander around inside it. There’s not necessarily a rule about how to proceed through it. You neither start at its beginning, nor finish at its end. You inhabit it, you climb its stairs, and maybe it’s haunted, maybe it’s housing exhibits, maybe it’s filled with memories. It’s a time machine; it preserves a live and multi-sensory intensity. It has a pulse. The poem is an organism one can inhabit. Maybe like a mother, or a monster. Maybe like a planet, a universe, something with a lot of fibers. A phenomenological space that could otherwise only exist in its moment as connective tissue between sentient figures.

—Danielle Pafunda interviewed about The Dead Girls Speak in Unison at Bayou Magazine

Read the rest here.

Get the book:

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Operation USA, an altered board game by Nikki Wallschlaeger

Operation USA by Nikki Wallschlaeger

You missed the chance to nab this one-of-a-kind artwork (lucky collector!), but you can still dig into these photos and Nikki’s artist statement

“‘Cavity Sam’ is the name of the patient, according to the original directions to the game ‘Operation.’ Uncle Sam is on the operating table rotting from the inside out from his lies, delusions, and deceits, is the keeper of a terminal illness called manifest destiny, called colonialism, called capitalism. Through generations of persecution in this global circle jerk career of hate Uncle Sam projects his own dehumanization onto his victims, and in the end who here is the real caricature, stereotype, and fetish object?” —from the artist’s statement

Read more at Container.

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Watch the chapbooks being made

Do you follow us on Instagram? We post regularly there, a mixture of books (our own and those we’re reading), design, nature, and (vegan) cooking. When we’re making the chapbooks, we always show you some of the process.

Here’s a batch of Ghosts, Models, Visions by Ginger Ko:

Ghosts, Models, Visions at Instagram

The background colors & textures for these covers were individually printed on a gelli plate with blue and green soy inks, then the lino-cut key was applied in gold paint, the title stamped in ink with rubber type, and finally the author name added in colored pencil. For poems about automatons, they are very handmade.

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Announcing our 2019 chapbook lineup

We are delighted to announce we will be publishing these six chapbooks in the 2019 Bloof Chapbook Series!

[envira-gallery id=”491″]

Ana Hurtado
Miedo al Olvido: Poems from an Uprooted Girl

Ana Hurtado is a Venezuelan writer who grew up in Ecuador. She earned her MFA at Iowa State University in 2017 and currently teaches rhetoric and creative writing in Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Her work has been published by Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine,  The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 5, and others. Her chapbook Miedo al Olvido: Poems from an Uprooted Girl is forthcoming from Bloof in 2019. Website: Find her on Twitter:  @ponciovicario

Dakotah Jennifer

Dakotah Jennifer is an eighteen-year-old black writer currently attending Washington University in St. Louis. She started writing at eight and has loved it ever since. While working on self-publishing her poetry and an essay collection, she has been published in the Grief Diaries, interned for the JMWW literary magazine, and was on the Long List in the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction contest. Jennifer writes about race, class, and gender, stretching her emotions into tangible things. She strives to write things that grow. Her chapbook Fog is forthcoming from Bloof in 2019. Website:

Kristina Lugn, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Seeking an Older, Well-Educated Gentleman

Kristina Lugn (b. 1948) is the author of eight collections of poetry and eighteen plays, the former artistic director of the Brunnsgatan Fyra theatre in Stockholm, Sweden, and a member of the Swedish Academy. She’s also the winner of the Selma Lagerlöf Literature Prize (1999) and the Bellman Prize (2003). A chapbook of her poems called Seeking an Older, Well-Educated Gentleman, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel, is forthcoming from Bloof in 2019.

Elizabeth Clark Wessel is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, a founding editor at Argos Book, and the translator of numerous novels from the Swedish, including most recently What We Owe by Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde. Originally from rural Nebraska, she spent many years living in New York and Connecticut, and these days calls Stockholm, Sweden home. She has translated a chapbook of poems called Seeking an Older, Well-Educated Gentleman by Kristina Lugn that is forthcoming from Bloof in 2019. Website:

Douglas Piccinnini

Douglas Piccinnini is the author of Victoria (Bloof, forthcoming in 2019), Blood Oboe (Omnidawn, 2015) and Story Book: a novella (The Cultural Society, 2015). Recent writing has appeared with Denver Quarterly, Fence, Lana Turner, Nat. Brut, Seattle Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Tammy, Verse, and the Volta—among other publications. Currently, he lives in Lambertville, NJ and works as a chef and consultant. Website:

JJ Rowan
a simple verb

JJ Rowan is a queer poet and dancer living in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, looking for the places where the written line and the lines of the moving body intersect. Their poems, hybrid work, and VisPo have appeared in Phoebe, the Hunger, Dream Pop Journal, and others. Their collaborative sonnets with Nate Logan were recently published in where is the river and in the chapbook mcmxciv. (Shirt Pocket Press). Their chapbook a simple verb is forthcoming from Bloof in 2019.

Katie Jean Shinkle
Rat Queen

Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of three full-length works, most recently Ruination (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018). Her poetry, prose, and criticisms can be found in Flaunt Magazine, the Georgia ReviewDenver QuarterlyNew South, the Collagist, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. She serves as associate fiction editor of ANMLY, co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM, and is an Assistant Professor of English at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH. A chapbook called Rat Queen is forthcoming from Bloof in 2019.

Additionally we will be reissuing—due to popular demand!—one of our previous handmade chapbooks in a new hardcover artist book edition!

Nikki Wallschlaeger

Nikki Wallschlaeger
I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel

Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work  has been featured or is forthcoming in the Nation, Georgia Review, Brick, Witness, American Poetry Review, Poetry, and others. She is the author of the full-length collections Houses (Horse Less Press 2015) and Crawlspace (Bloof 2017) as well as the graphic chapbook I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel from Bloof Books (2016). She lives in the Driftless region of Wisconsin with her family. Bloof will be publishing a hardcover art-book edition of I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel in 2019. Website:

Subscribe to reserve your copies

We’ll be posting excerpts from each of these chapbooks in the next few days, so please check back for more. Can’t wait? You can subscribe to the 2019 series now, to reserve your copies of these limited-edition handmades. (They tend to sell out quickly, so in some rare cases we may sell out of a particular chapbook before individual preorders have a chance to open.)

Book submissions from that period are still being read. Thank you for your patience as we make our selections for 2019–2020.

Read more about our chapbooks, or browse earlier titles from the series (including free ebooks).

Read more about our Open Reading Periods.

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Site refresh in progress

women working on airplane

Please pardon our appearance as we migrate the site to WordPress and refresh the look and content. This is a long-overdue update, but we will be back ASAP to announce our new chapbook lineup.

This blog should stay stable until we’ve completed the transition, but the rest of the site may disappear or look odd as we work.

The Books shop is now fully functional with both Square and PayPal, but some books & authors may not appear yet. (We’re working on it!)

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the meantime, please visit our standalone Square Store.