Wisdom from Writers: Jessica Sequeira

I think of the Sephardic Jewish tradition where a texture of fabric, bit of gold filigree, painted twig, strike of the tambourine, song lyric or dance step is never alone, but connected to the whole. The luminous glow in each individual element has to do with its sense of belonging. Idiosyncrasy finds its dignity and respect through recognition in a lifeworld of people and nature.

I recently spoke with writer and translator Jessica Sequeira about her electric and incandescent collection of linked flash narratives,  A Luminous History of the Palm, Sephardic Jewish traditions, palm genuses, the flexibility of the human essence, and more.You can read the full interview here at Tiny Molecules.

A point of view can change so much based on where one is, the language one is speaking, the culture, and the resources that are available. To translate between realities perhaps gives a sense of personality not as essence, but as something more akin to Tarot cards, where the image matters less than the way it’s interpreted and how it finds itself in the larger system of relations.

Find out more about Jessica Sequeira  on www.jessicasequeira.com. Jessica’s book A Luminous History of the Palm (April 2020) is available from Sublunary Editions. 

Wisdom from Writers: Bruna Dantas Lobato

Translation felt like a way to be my full self again, to make my Brazilian self and my American self be in dialogue with each other.

I recently spoke with writer and translator Bruna Dantas Lobato about her acclaimed translation of Caio Fernando Abreu’s story collection, Moldy Strawberries, untranslatable moments in texts, joy and curiosity as an act of genuine artful engagement, Brazilian writers you should know about, and more.You can read the full interview here at Tiny Molecules.

I’m drawn to books that are formally innovative and show a side of Brazil we don’t see often in English, especially if there’s room for me to play with the style and be surprised and challenged by it.

Find out more about Bruna Dantas Lobato on https://www.brunadantaslobato.com/. Bruna’s translation of Moldy Strawberries (June 2022) is available from Archipelago Books.



Wisdom from Writers: Tucker Leighty-Phillips

I am always thinking about–how do we defamiliarize our world? How do we return a childlike wonder to everything around us? How do we regain an innocence, excitement, and enthusiasm that feels dragged out of us through the cynicism of adulthood?

I recently spoke with author Tucker Leighty-Phillips about his debut story collection, Maybe This Is What I Deserve, children’s games, rural life, poverty, Runescape, and more.You can read the full interview here at Tiny Molecules.

Intuition in storytelling is a strange thing. Sometimes it means making up words that “sound right.” Sometimes it means cutting out entire sections of prose and letting white space do the talking.

Find out more about Tucker Leighty-Phillips on tuckerlp.net. Tucker’s book Maybe This Is What I Deserve (June 2023) is forthcoming from Split/Lip Press.



Wisdom from Writers: A Conversation with Elizabeth Kirschner

Writing is such intense, I mean really intense, cerebral work, it’s positively brain-scraping. The concentration is excessively demanding, requires such a full and strict attention, that I’ve always needed a counter-balance, that is, physically demanding work, which brings me into the garden.

I recently spoke with author Elizabeth Kirschner about her story collection, Because the Sky is a Thousand Soft Hurts, lyrical language, breaking points, gardening, and more.You can read the full interview here at Tiny Molecules.

I always packed and unpacked my books first, as these were my most beloved possessions. I couldn’t inhabit a new ratty apartment if books weren’t on the shelves, which says something, I believe, about my relationship to language. It was more important than my even rattier relationships to men.

Find out more about Elizabeth Kirschner on https://kirschnerwriter.com/. Elizabeth’s book Because the Sky is a Thousand Soft Hurts (June 2021) is available from Atmosphere Press.


Hello Michigan poet friends!

I’m very excited to be organizing the inaugural PoetTreeTown event for this upcoming April Poetry Month 2023.

What is PoetTreeTown? It’s a community-centered “poetry in public” celebration of Michigan-based poets, in which select poems will be printed and displayed in the local shop windows of downtown Ann Arbor businesses during the entire month of April! Participating businesses include Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Home and Garden, 826michigan, Avalon International Breads, Third Mind Books, The Pretzel Bell, Blue Tractor, Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, Bivouac Ann Arbor, Cherry Republic, TeaHaus, Vault of Midnight, Comet Coffee, Slurping Turtle Ann Arbor, FOUND gallery, Vinology Ann Arbor, Mindo Chocolate Makers, Ann Arbor Art Center, Bløm Meadworks, and more!

All folks based in Washtenaw County, Michigan are invited to submit an original poem for consideration. All ages welcome, no prior poetry experience required. I’m hoping we receive a range of submissions, from elementary school writers to debut adult poets to published Poet Laureates. Poetry is for everyone, of course!

Submissions are now open through February 15, 2023. I’ve included the form link here, which explains the submission guidelines:

And make sure to follow PoetTreeTown on Facebook for all the updates! https://www.facebook.com/PoetTreeTownA2/

I’d be so grateful if you could share this submission call with Michigan-based writers in your life. Questions can be sent to PoetTreeTownA2@gmail.com.

Thank you for helping us bring Poetry to the People!!!!


International Translation Day!

Hello friends, and a very happy International Translation Day to you!


On this day (but really every day), we pause and celebrate what it means to be able to read a book or other text in translation or watch a film/show with subtitles or listen to a speaker with the assistance of an interpreter; how narrow our perspectives and understanding of the world would be without the gift of translators to somehow both expand and condense our world at once. I fear that translators don’t get nearly the amount of credit they deserve; yet their dedicated magicking brings brilliance originating from languages spoken near and far right there, into our homes, our book stacks, our ears, our brains. It is a gift. It is a gift!!


I believe translated texts and films are the closest thing we have to transportation portals, hurling us across time and space to discover linguistic, social, and cultural patterns from around the globe. The more I think about the wonder of this, the more awe I feel towards the act of translation itself.


So, thank you to all of the translators out there! Your work and passion and dedication to your craft, and the breadth of global human thought and innovation that you have made available to us, has made a great deal of difference in our lives and our world!
Sign up for a free weekly newsletter, “We Are All Translators”, brought to you by author and translator Jenny Bhatt
-Check out the latest translation news on World Literature Today and Words Without Borders


Where to Find Published Books of Translations (a few of my favorite presses) :

Wisdom from Writers: A Conversation with Erin Stalcup

This is really just an elaborate love letter. Which I guess is my definition of ars poetica. And naming it autobiographical … I mean, it isn’t. But it’s the most vulnerable thing I’ve ever written, and I guess I want that label to reveal that.

I recently spoke with author Erin Stalcup about her newest novel, KEEN, performance, revolutions, gender, Tool, and more.You can read the full interview here at Heavy Feather Review.

I hope I’m not appropriating stories that aren’t mine. I am trying to imagine what it would be like to be someone other than myself. I’m always channeling the wisdom of my teacher and friend Robin Black who says no one can imagine her own life experiences that they haven’t had, but it’s worth it to try. I’m willing to be told I got it wrong.

Find out more about Erin Stalcup on erinstalcup.xyz. Erin’s book Keen (February 2022) is available from Gold Wake Press.

Anonymous Grocer 17/30: [Apart falling still is body]

Hello friend! 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
This Sunday, we celebrate Day 17 with the ever wise and ethereal Ocean Vuong, whose latest poetry collection, Time is a Mother, was recently released on April 5th. 
Discover more about this poet here.  
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,

Anonymous Grocer 16/30: [Things of family, the in place]

Hello friend! 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
Today’s episode gives space to the soul and spirit of Mary Oliver‘s “Wild Geese,” a poem that is sage, balm, bandage, courage, hug, friend — all at once. If there’s a poem out there that could save lives, this one is probably it. 
Discover more about this poet here.
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,