Posted in Poetry

The Poetry Caravan Launches in Austin



I’m so excited to tell everyone about the Austin Poetry Society’s latest non-profit project and so honored to be a part of it. If you’re a poet in the Austin area, please read this and consider participating.

The purpose of The Poetry Caravan is to give free readings and workshops in retirement homes, hospitals, and shelters, taking poetry to people who can’t go to poetry. We will be launching the project in January 2015 with four venues offering one reading per month, but we hope to expand to include more locations and more types of presentations as more poets become involved.

Founded in White Plains, New York, by Usha Akella in 2003, the original chapter of the Caravan has held over 1,000 free readings, led workshops, and produced an anthology with a forward by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins. The Austin chapter will be led by APS board members Usha Akella, Barbara Gregg, and myself, Carie Juettner.

If you are a poet in the Austin area who would like to give a reading through The Poetry Caravan, please contact me ( or Usha Akella ( and we will give you more information about the readings and send you the sign-up schedule. And if you’re not a poet yourself, please share this information with your writer friends.

The Poetry Caravan will be a wonderful addition to Austin’s creative culture. I’m thrilled to be a part of it and can’t wait to get started. Join me!

Posted in Poetry, Reading, Writing

A Poetic Recap

This weekend, I attended the Austin International Poetry Festival (AIPF) here in my hometown of Austin, Texas. I am proud that my city hosts this annual event, proud that our festival draws poets from all over the world, proud (this year) to have a poem in the beautiful anthology.


During the four-day festival, I participated in three poetry readings (and attended three more), took excellent workshops taught by David Meischen, Scott Wiggerman, Cindy Huyser, Faylita Hicks, and Robert Lee Brewer, and talked with dozens of amazing poets. Unfortunately, I don’t have contact information for all of them, but here are a few you should follow/read/like/fall in love with: Rie Sheridan Rose, Mike Whalen, Joe Brundidge, Liza Wolff-Francis, Allyson Whipple, Patrick Connors, and Shubh Bala Schiesser.


Highlights of the festival included:

The eighth graders from the Texas Schools for the Deaf & Visually Impaired


These students got up on stage at Strange Brew with confidence and humor and voices that stuck with me long after their reading was over. Their performance rivaled those of the professionals.

My poetry reading at Strange Brew on Saturday


I’ve read before, but never more than three poems at a large group reading. This was my first time to have ten whole minutes to share my work with an audience, and I really enjoyed myself up there. It was also a pleasure to share the stage with Chip Ross, Ben Beach, Wade Martin, Ginnie Siena Bivona, Dustin Pickering, Pat Connors, and… the gentleman in the bottom left picture whose name I forgot to write down. He is a great poet! Someone please help and tell me his identity!

The Nerd Read at Austin Books & Comics


Because it was awesome.



It’s not possible to do everything at AIPF, and I know that I missed a lot of poetry and a lot of magic, so if you were also lucky enough to be a part of the fun this weekend, please share your favorite moments in the comments below.


On a different poetry-related note…

This weekend, I also received notification that the new anthology of coffee-themed poems from Kind of a Hurricane Press is now available. It is titled Something’s Brewing and contains two of my poems, “Stained” and “Bittersweet Verse.”


You can order a copy from Amazon or from Kind of a Hurricane Press’s homepage. I recommend reading it in your favorite local coffee shop.

Posted in Life, Poetry, Reading, Writing

Upcoming Poetry Readings at AIPF

If you are in the Austin vicinity this weekend, you should come take part in the Austin International Poetry Festival!

The festival takes place this Thursday through Sunday (April 3-6). Along with workshops and events for the registered poets (like myself) there will also be a whole slew of poetry readings held all over the city, and you should attend one! (Or two, or ten.)


Below is a comprehensive list of the City Reads, along with links and addresses to help you get there. It’s a veritable tour of Austin, so if you’re just visiting this weekend, there’s no better way to get to know the city than to go on a coffee-shop-crawl of poetry. There are also a few open mic events, so feel free to bring some of your own poems to share and add your voice to the festival.

In addition to attending AIPF, I am also very honored to be included in this year’s anthology, di-verse-city 2014. My poem, “Full Moon Year,” is in very good company among the work of some wonderful poets from Austin and beyond. The anthology will be on sale during the festival for $15. I’m not sure if all venues will have copies, but you should be able to pick one up at Strange Brew, which is AIPF headquarters this year (and also just a damn fine coffee shop and music venue).

What are you waiting for? Get out your calendar and start filling it up with poetry readings! Here’s the list. I hope to see you there!

[Note: I’ve highlighted the two readings I will be participating in and hope to attend several others as a listener.]


AIPF City Reads 2014



Thursday, April 3rd:

  • 12–2PM – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 1-3PM – Full English Café
  • 2-4PM – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 3-5PM – Strange Brew
  • 5-6PM – OPEN MIC – Strange Brew
  • 7-9PM – Di-verse-city Anthology Launch – Strange Brew (I’ll be reading at this one!)
  • 9:45-11PM – Erotica Read – Strange Brew (ADULTS ONLY, 18+)

Friday, April 4th:

  • 10AM-12PM – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 11:30AM-1PM – “Beauty in Languages” Read – Strange Brew
  • 1-3PM – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 1-5:30PM – (3 Reading in a row!) Strange Brew
  • 3-4:30PM – OPEN MIC – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 4-6:30PM – Full English Café
  • 4-6:30PM – Monkey Nest
  • 4-6:30PM – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 4:30-6:30PM – LGBT Read – BookWoman
  • 7-8:30PM – Dominican Joe
  • 8:30-10:30PM – Adult Poetry Slam – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 11PM-2AM – “Mad Macabre” Reading – Full English Café

Saturday, April 5th:

  • 1-3PM – Youth Poetry Slam – Alpha House
  • 11:45AM-1PM – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 12:15-1:30PM – Strange Brew
  • 1:45-3:15PM – Dominican Joe
  • 1:45-3:15PM – Strange Brew
  • 2:30-4PM – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 3-6PM – (2 Back-to-back readings!) – Barnes & Noble, Arboretum Location
  • 3:30-4:45PM – Strange Brew (I’ll be reading at this one. I think I go on first, so if you’d like to hear me read, get there on time!)
  • 5-8:30PM – (2 Back-to-back readings!) Strange Brew
  • 6:30-8:30PM – BookWoman
  • 6:30-8:30PM – Dominican Joe
  • 9-11PM – The BIG READ (All AIPF Featured Poets) – Strange Brew

Sunday, April 6th:

  • 12:45-3PM – Haiku Death Match – Kick Butt Coffee
  • 1-2PM – OPEN MIC – Huston-Tillotson University
  • 1-4PM – Diverse Youth Anthology Launch & Reading – St. Francis School (This is always a really fun event to attend. The readers are published poets aged five to eighteen.)
  • 3-4:45PM – Nerd Read – Austin Books & Comics
  • 3-6PM – Music & Poetry Read – Threadgill’s