Feed on

So often I’ll be doing something, anything, just going about my day, and the question will kind of fall on me — why are things the way that they are?

Because things so rarely make sense — think about the days of your life. Think about a good day you’ve had, a fun night out, think back even further, maybe a birthday party when you were a kid, a fun vacation, something like that. After that, think about the bad days — maybe you failed a class, got caught doing something bad, maybe you were broken up with, etc. Then, if you can muster it, think about the really bad thing — that moment in your life that was simply awful, the thing you’ve blocked out, the thing that was just beyond the pale. I bet it felt as though it came from nowhere.

Fiction writers work constantly in that liminal space between the things that could happen and the things that do happen. And then, what do we make of it? Do we try to make sense of it? Do we just capture it?

Lydia Yuknavitch holds those moments up and looks at them, letting them exist in all their human strangeness as she approaches them from angles one most certainly would not have otherwise come up with — she uses the lens of the body, the lens of mythology, the lens of sexuality and sociality to find the banal in the profound and the profound in the boring. Reading her work is essential.

A few words on Ms. Yuknavitch:

Lydia Yuknavitch is the author of four books. The Book of Joan is her most recent. Before that, The Small Backs of Children won the 2016 Oregon Book Award for Fiction. Other works include Dora: A headcase, Allegories of Violence, and her widely acclaimed memoir, The Chronology of Water. The Chronology of Water was a finalist for the PEN Center USA’s award for creative nonfiction and winner of a PNBA Award, and the Oregon Book Award Reader’s Choice. Forthcoming this fall is The Misfit’s Manifesto, a book based on her most recent TED Talk.


She has also had writing appear in publications including Guernica Magazine, Ms., The Iowa Review, Zyzzyna, Another Chicago Magazine, The Sun, Exquisite Corpse, TANK, The Rumpus, and in the anthologies Life As We Show It (City Lights), Wreckage of Reason (Spuytin Duyvil), Forms at War (FC2), Feminaissance (Les Figues Press), and Representing Bisexualities (SUNY).


She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her husband and son and runs the workshop series she founded, Corporeal Writing. She teaches both in person and online.

She will be reading on November 1 at Hammes Campus Bookstore, at 7:30 PM.

See you there!


The reading will take place in Hammes Campus Bookstore from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on November 8th, 2017.

Nights’ meanings have shifted constantly throughout my life. Now I welcome nights with my whole heart because it means I can sleep soon after I finish all my work at home (or it can mean endless caffeine and writing, as well as few hours of sleep). But as a kid, things are different. I would protest when my parents attempted to put me in bed, and disliked the fact that I had to stay at home rather than playing outside. Under the pretense of being a rambunctious child, the real reason that my reluctance to sleep is my fear of a nocturnal ghost roaming in my room (maybe before we moved to the apartment?). It is invisible, but I could clearly sense it approaching to my bed to play some tricks on me. I was afraid that the apparition would pinch my face and pull off my hair, so I hid under my quilts. But in retrospection, I find hiding a futile action because this ghost probably doesn’t have eyes anyways, and is relying on its sixth sense. In the mornings though, I would discover that either I or my toys were displaced, lying on the ground instead of on the bed.

I was lucky that this ghost I encountered is mischievous rather than malicious. Sometimes though, inanimate objects can be way more scarier than ghosts. Imagine that the dolls or toys you have become active at night, rob all the cows in a nearby farm, and you wake up with cows licking your face. So a piece of advice for you: when you sleep, don’t annoy your toys by holding them too tightly like the cat does. Treat them gently, otherwise they might cause you trouble while you sleep.

But nights are not always full of creepy and uncanny phenomena. In Marosa Di Giorgio’s I Remember Nightfall, the night is beautiful (though disturbing as well). In the translation, we can read Giorgio’s visceral language fleshed out in English. In parts of her poetry, we are grounded in the domestic atmosphere. In the kitchen of the narrator’s mother, we can smell the scent of vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, and hear that cake talks through her inventive language.  We can observe the birth of mushrooms, listen to the moaning of the old cat in the household, and sense the ghost girl riding a horse as well as the apparition moving furtively under the magnolia. I Remember Nightfall creates a mythic night-world where imaginary entities roam freely in familiar space.

Here are the bios for this cool poet and excellent translator of her book:

Born in Salto, Uruguay, and raised on her family’s farm, Marosa di Giorgio (1932-2004) is one of the most prominent Uruguayan poets of the twentieth century. Di Giorgio began writing in her childhood and published her first book of poems at the age of twenty-two. She then went on to publish a total of fourteen books of poetry, three collections of short stories, and one novel. While some critics have categorized her as a surrealist, she herself denied membership in any literary movement or school. Although she was relatively unknown outside the Southern Cone during her lifetime, she is now becoming more and more widely read throughout Latin America and Europe.

Jeannine – is a writer, teacher, and Spanish-English literary translator currently living in Dubuque, Iowa, where she teaches at the University of Dubuque. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks and the translator of several Uruguayan poets. She has published translations of acclaimed Uruguayan writer Marosa di Giorgio’s work, The History of Violets (UDP) and I Remember Nightfall(UDP), and her own first full-length poetry collection, Things Seen and Unseen, is forthcoming from Quattro Books.

I hope to see you there.

Best, Lavinia


The weather has been cold and rainy recently. Despite a few weeks of delusionally warm weather in the middle of October, we can’t ignore the old prophecy “Winter is Coming in South Bend!” Once snow hits campus, you probably won’t want to venture out of home and trudge in the snow for an event. But our third 2nd year MFA reading will occur before the snow arrives, and it will be definitely worth it to come and hear poetry from three great poets: Moonseok Choi, Madison McCartha, and Jean Yoon. After going to our last MFA reading this semester, you can be content by staying warm at home and waiting for Santa Claus to leave the throne and give you tons of chocolate for you to survive the winter.

Here is the bio for these cool poets:

Moonseok Choi was born in Seoul, South Korea, but spent 6 years of his childhood in the wilderness of Kansas picking up English. His fluency in both languages earned him a BA at Yonsei University’s Underwood International College, and allowed him to serve as a military translator in the ROK Army Special Forces for 2 years. He majored in Comparative Literature and Culture and became 11 different people for his senior thesis to write a fictional anthology of world poetry.

Moonseok won Yonsei’s Academy of American Poets Prize in 2014 for his sonnet “A Postcard from İzmir.” He enjoys writing in traditional forms as much as experimenting with contemporary poetry, and takes inspiration from Federico Garcia Lorca, John Berryman, Kenneth Koch, and many more. His other interests include teaching, translating both literature and official documents, watching and analyzing films, and exploring issues of gender, race and discrimination in Korea and America.

Graduating from Beloit College, Madison McCartha has had flash-fiction published in Burrow Press, and poetry in Nightjar Review, Verse Pressand The Pinch. Raised in San Diego, Madison recently spent his time freezing to death in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he served both as Asst. Editor and Design Editor for Cream City Review, and became the Poetry Editor for Storm Cellar Quarterly. At Notre Dame, he reads for the Notre Dame Review, and has served as the Managing Editor for Yield Magazine. Artists who have influenced him include Antonin Artaud, Aimé Césaire, Peter Gizzi, Kim Hyesoon, Dorothea Lasky, Larry Levis, Anne Waldman, Kara Walker, and Yoko Tawada. Madison’s interests include horror flicks, affect theory, shamanism, Björk, and a capacious poetry capable of housing a multiplicitous self.

Jean uses writing, speaking, singing, video, and gesture to investigate the relationships between language, memory, and the body.

The reading will be on Wednesday November 15th, 2017, at 7 p.m. in the Geddes Hall Auditorium.

I will be there, and hope you can come too.

Best, Lavinia

It’s been raining a lot lately — good weather for reading.

The best weather for going to a reading?

Perhaps not. But that all depends on the reading you’re thinking about going to, and this reading is well worth it. So make like Donald Duck and break out your umbrellas and make your way to Geddes Hall Auditorium and 7:45 PM tomorrow (if it’s still raining tomorrow — if not it will look weird if you bring an umbrella), and listen to some top-notch fiction by three top-notch writers: Abby Burns, Ingabirano Nintunze, and Daniel Tharp.

Here are their bios:

Abby Burns earned her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015, where she studied English literature, creative writing, and rhetoric. Her writing primarily focuses on how grief and loss work to shatter our sense of normality. Queer rhetorical theory and writers like James Baldwin, Jeanette Winterson, and Toni Morrison, all influence her work. Abby’s other interests include social movements, intersectional feminism, migration studies, and cheese curds.

Ingabirano received a B.A. in English Literature and Telecommunication from Texas A&M University. She has won the Gordone Award for undergraduate poetry and the UWC Writing Award for her short story, “A Midday Train Through Russia.” She’s worked as a production assistant on several professional video projects, performed as a theatre actress in Austin, Texas, and when she’s not writing words, she likes writing music to go along with them. Her work explores urban and suburban magic, belief systems, genuine representations and romantic tragedy. She likes her protagonists average and her fantasy in excess.

Daniel Tharp attended Kirtland Community College for a year before moving half way across the country and graduating from Pittsburg State University with a Bachelors of Arts degree. A Teaching Assistantship, over a hundred students, and two years later, Daniel Tharp graduated from Pittsburg State University with a Masters of Arts degree with emphasis in fiction. His thesis entitled “Home,” which is currently under review for the Distinguish Thesis Award at his Alma Mater, depicts a complex and brutal world where characters struggle not with outside forces but with themselves and what it means to be human. Tharp attends the University of Notre Dame’s MFA program on a Prose Fellowship.

Time: 7:45 PM

Place: Geddes Hall Auditorium

Date: October 25, 2017

I will see you there!

Jake McCabe


Always, I feel like the beginning of fall, maybe more so than other seasonal changes, has many positive associations to go along with it. Fashion-wise, you can begin layering again, breaking out that cool sweater or edgy denim jacket you’ve had in the closet since spring. Halloween comes along, and we can all enjoy picking out costumes and the spooky decorations adorning houses around the neighborhood, along with the fun nostalgia that comes along with Halloween TV specials and the like. The drama of playoff baseball takes place in the fall (although in fairness this can be stressful), and the NFL season begins again. The foliage, of course, is the prettiest it will be all year. Hot chocolate. Flannel.

Another thing about the fall that maybe goes underappreciated: writing programs the world over begin their student reading series! Notre Dame’s first reading will take place on October 11, and the readers will be Daniel Uncapher and Erik-John Fuhrer.

Here are the readers’ bios:

Daniel studied philosophy and classics at the Universities of Edinburgh and Mississippi, where his creative non-fiction and poetry won first and third place in the 2013 Southern Literary Festival. He operates a private letterpress in Water Valley, Mississippi called Ridge & Furrow, collects incunabula and mid-century jacketed hardcovers, and used to be a hip-hop videographer. His most recent interests include the work of the Water Valley writer Hubert Creekmore and the unique literary legacy of Gogol, Chekhov, Kafka and Borges. His short fiction has appeared in Neon Literary Magazine and his creative non-fiction about Mississippi in The Baltimore Review.

Erik Fuhrer is interested in literary boundary crossings, manifested most recently in representations of the nonhuman and transgressions between human and nonhuman subjects in modernist literature. He is inspired by hybrid forms of literary expression that elide genre boundaries as well as by quiet, lyric poetry that often achieves the same transgressions more subtly. He is currently also a PhD student in English at Notre Dame where he is a presidential fellow. His work has previously appeared in The Long Island Quarterly, First Literary Review East, The Fib Review, The Shotglass Journal, and the Oxonian Review, where he was a finalist for their Third Annual Poetry Competition.

Come and bring everyone you’ve ever met. I am in workshop with both writers, so I can personally vouch for how awesome the night will be.

The reading will be at Geddes Hall auditorium at 7:00 PM.


Jake McCabe

The internet is a mysterious virtual reality. Back in high school, I loved playing online games, and browsing in social media. I am always curious about who they are behind masks, which could be the roles in the game, or the funny, shocking or evocative languages posted online with a pseudonym. At the same time, I also want to protect myself from exposure to strangers online, and feel that distance is necessary. Hacking is the perfect solution for this – you can uncover other people’s secrets, smirk at their embarrassing stories with a mask that conceals your identity. Furthermore, if you are skillful enough, you can ask the hacked to name a planet after you, buy 1000 cupcakes, build octopus-shaped mansion, or whatever you desire, in exchange of guarding their deep dark secrets. Actually, don’t do that, but I hope you enjoy my quirky language. My computer was hacked before, and I was as frantic as this cat, so I will absolutely despise you if you follow that *perfect* solution.

The implication of hackers is not only limited to faceless gangs that steal personal information online. It can be anything disruptive. In Aase Berg’s book Hackers, the word hackers takes on multiple meanings. In nature, hackers are parasites that wreck the core of life. The term “hacker” is also metaphorical for the men who preyed on a women’s body in the patriarchy society. It is a poignant criticism for the gender inequality that rewards unproductive and lazy men and exploits the women’s labor. Goransson, the translator of Hackers, choose foreignization over domestication of the text in the translation process, and his translation will allow you to experience how linguist elements create a compelling message in poetry.

Here is the bio of both the poet and the translator:

Swedish poet Aase Berg began her artistic trajectory as a member of the radical organization, the Surrealist Group of Stockholm. Her first book, Hos rådjur (With Deer), was published in Sweden in 1996. Since then she has published Mörk materia (Dark Matter), Forsla fett (Transfer Fat), Uppland (Uppland) and Loss (Loss). Her first book to appear in English, Remainland: Selected Poems, was published by Action Books in 2004. She is considered one of the most influential and unique poets in Sweden, earning her translations into English and various European languages as well.

Poet and translator Johannes Göransson emigrated with his family from Skåne, Sweden to the United States at age 13. He earned a BA from the University of Minnesota, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his PhD from the University of Georgia.

He is the author of several books, including Haute Surveillance (2013), Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate (2011), and Dear Ra (A Story in Flinches) (2008). He has translated Aase Berg’s Dark Matter (2012), Transfer Fat (2012), and Remainland: Selected Poems of Aase Berg (2005) as well as Henry Parland’s Ideals Clearance (2007).

Göransson’s critical and creative work explores genre, aesthetics, and the limits of the autonomous text. He has written on subjects ranging from gurlesque poetry to Sylvia Plath to translation theory. In an interview with 3AM Magazine, Göransson noted that when he writes, he starts from a “micro-level,” adding, “I have a sensation or sentence in mind and then I try to exhaust everything using that kernel (and with everything I primarily mean myself, but also our entire culture, it’s a futile idea no doubt).” Less than “innovative” poetry, he noted, “I’m far more interested in the degraded and anachronistic, the trashy and the melancholic. Even ‘the poetic.’”

With his wife, poet Joyelle McSweeney, Göransson coedits Action Books, and with John Woods he publishes the online journal Action, Yes. He is an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Johannes Göransson will read on October 4, 2017 in the Hammes Campus Bookstore at 7:30 p.m. Come and bring your friends 🙂

I will be there.


Here is Mr. Frog again! This time, he is not a misfit in our world, because we, humans, are not that friendly to animals after all, and like to impose judgments on these creatures who have a penchant for relishing insects. As a kid, I got overly excited when I spotted all kinds of animals including frogs. I was particularly interested in how they croak, and imitated them in front of younger children, who were scared of my ingenious voicing. As an adult, even though I am not intimate with frogs, I still have a knack for catching them. When I was working on a farm with my friends on a service trip in New Orleans, I caught a frog in my hand, and the girl standing near me was in awe of my skill. I was secretly proud of myself and at the same time afraid that the frog would bite my pinkie off for revenge of its capture. I know frogs have slimy skins and some people regard it as ugly, but you might discover some interesting facts about them by observing through a magnifying glass (Mr. Frog actually toys with mini-cameras to take unsolicited photos of his sleeping brother, with saliva dripping off his nose.). The ways we interact with and understand our surroundings change as angles of our perception shift. If you are curious to see how poetry explores diverse perceptions of the world through different lenses constructed by disoriented language and rich imagery, come to hear Pugh’s poetry reading of her newest book, Perception.

Pugh’s poems, many of which are written in fragments of delicate imagery, urge us to pause and look at our surroundings closely. Her languages in the end stop lines describe objects in microscopic views, as if observed from an aperture or a lens. Her poetry also asserts that perception is quantifiable and measurable, and it carries risk when we (as readers and viewers) selectively store mental images with our limited perception. When these appear on the page through the medium of language, the raw impression that the world leaves on us diminishes. Her poems are multifaceted and they defamiliarize the world we live in from a fresh angle created in her idiosyncratic language.

Here is the bio of this cool poet:

Christina Pugh is the author of four full-length books of poems: Perception(Four Way Books, forthcoming 2017); Grains of the Voice (Northwestern University Press, 2013); Restoration (TriQuarterly Books, 2008); and Rotary (Word Press, 2004); and the chapbook Gardening at Dusk (Wells College Press, 2002). Her poems have appeared in journals such as the Atlantic Monthly, Poetry magazine, TriQuarterlyPloughshares, Kenyon Review, and in anthologies such as Poetry 180 (2003).

Pugh earned a PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University, where she was awarded a Whiting Foundation dissertation fellowship. She continues to publish criticism as well as poetry, with scholarly interests centering on the poetics of ekphrasis, poetic form and meter, the lyric poem as a genre, and manuscript scholarship treating the work of Emily Dickinson. Her articles have appeared in the Emily Dickinson Journal, Literary Imagination, and The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry Post-1945 (2013), among others. Her book reviews have appeared in Poetry magazine, Verse, Ploughshares, and Harvard Review. 

Pugh has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Word Press First Book Prize (for Rotary), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, an individual artist fellowship in poetry from the Illinois Arts Council, the Associated Writing Programs’ Intro Journals Award, and the Grolier Poetry Prize. She has been granted residencies at the Bogliasco Foundation, Ragdale, Ucross, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, Pugh received a faculty fellowship from the Institute for the Humanities, a Graduate Mentoring Award for outstanding mentoring of graduate students, a Teaching Recognition Program award, and a Dean’s Award for Faculty Research in the Humanities.

Pugh is consulting editor for Poetry and a professor in the Program for Writers (the PhD program in creative writing) at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Christina Pugh will read on September 27, 2017 in the Hammes Campus Bookstore at 7:30 p.m. Come and bring your friends 🙂

I’ll be there.



In a summer poetry seminar I attended, I inadvertently found out that one of rooms in the poetry cottages is haunted when I was having lunch with peer poets. One poet joked that the ghost might touch the occupants tenderly at night.  I have only seen the exterior of the poetry cottage while my peers and I said farewell to visiting poets, but have never been inside. When I go back to visit, I will try to search for the ghost in that room in the cottage, and be thrilled to encounter the apparition. I know you are probably less weird, but if you are still curious about how ghosts interact with humans, you might find the answer in Galo Ghigliotto’s Valdivia translated by Daniel Borzutzky.

Valdviva is set in Pincochet’s reign in Chile and focuses on the violence inflicted on Chilean citizens. In Borzutzky’s translation of these poems, readers can hear the dead’s voices to the living. Although their words are filled with the trauma and horror they endured, tenderness and intimacy with their beloved family and friends surface between the lines.  In Ghigliotto’s poems, the dead are not sad spirits that lament their fate. Instead, they celebrate their past, and they connect with the living in dreams.


Imagine that a huge frog sits next to you on a train. How will you react? Will you politely ask Mr. Frog to show you his snacks of dead insects? Probably not. I will give him a friendly smile and scream secretly in my heart. If you have ever traveled to a foreign country and board a train, you’ll probably stand out like a frog and find others gawking at you like a misfit and a weird creature. When you arrive in that new country, you will assimilate, and be less of a weirdo. You probably want to ask yourself, “Who am I and where do I belong?” If you are curious about how to approach this big question, come to hear Hedeen’s translation of “The Night Badly Written” by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez.

Nunez’s The Night Badly Written explores transnational consciousness, and challenges the concept of border. In Hedeen’s translations of these poems, the traveler meditates his relationship with strangers in their native land and questions what messages they conveyed to him through imagery of natural landscape. The speakers in Nunez’s poems found themselves alienated from the land that they were previously intimate with and their identity destabilize in reconciliation of multiple cultures they encounter.

Here are the bios of these two cool translators:

Daniel Borzutzky is the author of The Performance of Becoming Human, recipient of the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry. His other books include In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (Nightboat, 2015), Memories of my Overdevelopment (Kenning Editions, 2015); and The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011). He has translated poetry collections from Spanish, including Galo Ghigliotto’s Valdivia (Coimpress, 2016); Raúl Zurita’s The Country of Planks (Action Books, 2015) and Song for his Disappeared Love (Action Books, 2010); and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (Action Books, 2008). He lives in Chicago.

Katherine Hedeen is Professor of Spanish at Kenyon College. She is the poetry translation editor for The Kenyon Review, an editor at Cubanabooks, co-editor of Arc Publications Latin American Poetry in Translation Series, and an associate editor of Earthwork’s Latin American Poetry. Among her latest publications are tasks (co im press, 2016), a recent poetry collection by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez and the night badly written (action books, 2017), an anthology of Rodríguez Núñez’s latest work. Other book-length translations include collections by Rodolfo Alfonso, Juan Bañuelos, Juan Calzadilla, Marco Antonio Campos, Luis García Montero, Juan Gelman, Fayad Jamís, Hugo Mujica, José Emilio Pacheco, and Ida Vitale.

Daniel Borzutzky and Katherine Hedeen will read on September 20, 2017 in the Hammes Campus Bookstore at 7:30 p.m. Come and bring your friends1

– Lavinia

I’ve grown suspicious of framing any sort of disagreement as war. Hyperbole and metaphors are nothing new to the poet and Internet lurker. But equating events to armed conflict that aims to or finds it acceptable to extinguish lives is often an act of excessive force. Like war and its weapons become spectacle for worship, onlookers grow to glorify the carnage and destruction, develop an obsession towards victory and satisfying violent desires. The abuse of war makes me ask questions about people and questioning people is exhausting. I suppose some of this is an age thing combined with an insecurity thing, this grand desire to cull any outward manifestation of primitivity or immaturity. A losing battle.

Fights I can accept. Struggles I can accept, along with survival. Perhaps only because I feel like those words apply to what I’ve been feeling, even as I deny, flagellate, and argue with myself if those terms are justified. If I have earned the right to use those words. If I have earned the right to feel those things. If I have earned the right to take others on a guilt trip, throw up my arms and say ‘I am who I am.’ Feelings are a hell of a thing. They oscillate between ceaseless motivation and paralyzed introspection. That is the beat of creative writing. Do you want to see the hearts? Then come listen to the writers who have survived a two year struggle, ready to move on to the next fight.

Second year students of the Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame will be reading five-minute selections from their final theses on Sunday April 30th, 2017 at 3:00 PM in the Eck Center Auditorium. The reading is free and open to the public.

Zachary Anderson hails from Cheyenne, Wyoming. He received BA degrees in English and French from the University of Wyoming, and an MA in literature, writing a thesis on race and Beat Generation masculinities. His poetry projects are anxiety-ridden explorations of gender performance, late capitalism, constructions of wilderness, the rural, and the Gothic.

Kelsey Castaneda received her BA from Georgetown College, where she was Student Editor of the Georgetown Review. She studied Creative Writing in Prague, Shakespeare and Ovid at Oxford, and taught English in Slovakia through the Fulbright Program. Her other interests include hiking, shopping, music festivals, and rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Taeyin ChoGlueck is a third culture kid birthed by North America and South Korea. She is the co-founder of Stage for Change, a non-profit group that puts unheard voices that question identity on the stage. She is the playwright of The Pink Pope, which features a female God dealing with a Purgatory full of misogynists and women building a new church.

Thomson Guster is the recipient of the 2010-2011 Kelly Writers House Junior Fellows Prize. His writing has appeared in Strange Attractors: Investigations into Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexuality and Bedfellows. Recent work includesTHE CLONE SAGA, an adaptation of Spider-Man that explores the empty paranoia of identity; HEAT MAP #10, ‘a zine of fictional music writing; and Op, poems that attempt self-expression under deep cover.

Luis Lopez-Maldonado is a Xican@ poeta, choreographer and educator. He earned a BA in Creative Writing and Dance from the University of California Riverside, and an MA in Dance from Florida State University. His poetry has been seen in Foglifter, Public Pool, and Spillway, among many others. He is the founder of the men’s writing workshop in the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center and co-founder and editor at The Brillantina Project.

Chris Muravez finished his BFA in Creative Writing at Sierra Nevada College. He is a ten-year veteran of the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard. His poems have been featured in Emerge Literary Journal, The Mochila Review, Santa Clara Review, and South 85 Journal. He has also worked on the Sierra Nevada Review as an editor. His poetry explores the damage of war on both the society and the individual. He kills time by blocking out the sun.

Bailey Pittenger received her BA and MA in English at Wake Forest University. She served as managing editor of Re:Visions and The Bend, was awarded the Kaneb Center Graduate Student Teaching Award, and received a Katharine Bakeless Nason Scholarship for her fiction. Her prose was published recently in Cosmonauts Avenue, Gigantic Sequins, Entropy, and elsewhere. She will be attending the University of Denver for her PhD in English.

Tania Sarfraz grew up in Lahore, Pakistan. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Brown University in 2014. She won the Weston Senior Prize for her short fiction collection, Betrayal & Other Stories. She is a writer of short prose that meanders, then finds its way, or remains lost. Sometimes she eats mangoes and hotdogs on skateboards.

Sarah Snider graduated from Yeshiva University with a BA in English Literature and minors in History and Women’s Studies. She has worked in nonprofit jobs including disaster relief, community outreach, feminist advocacy, and Holocaust survivor outreach. Her writing covers issues surrounding gender, family, religion, and culture, but attempts to do so with a desperate insertion of humor and in a pleasantly fragmented fashion.

It’s the end and the beginning, the beginning of an end and the end of a beginning. Come witness on Sunday. Ask questions and be suspicious. Let your heart beat.


Getting right into the topic at hand, I confess I’ve never been to a poetry slam. Just watched a couple on Youtube, while chewing on some junk food. With passionate gestures and a loud voice, a lot of them talk about what grabs their goat.

Image result for slam gif

That’s the magic of our current age: if you so desire, you don’t have to see anything live again. But be that as it may, performance through a screen is just not the same. You cannot feel the audience and stage heat, and these passionate people you do not get to meet. So come on down and jam, and welcome to the SLAM!

The 5th Annual WHAM! BAM! POETRY SLAM! will be held on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 from 5:00–7:00 PM at the Snite Museum of Art.

The WHAM! BAM! POETRY SLAM!  is a poetry competition at the University of Notre Dame that, although relatively young, was instantly a classic from its onset, among both locals and people from across the U.S. The talent, the emotion and the artistry can only be paralleled with the congenial yet competitive atmosphere that is unique to the WHAM! BAM! POETRY SLAM! In these trying times, come together with your Notre Dame family and celebrate art, poetry, and the people who make it all come alive.

This slam will consist of three rounds, all poets performing in the first and second rounds. The finalists will compete in the final round to become South Bend royalty. The winner will be announced at the end of the night, by judges picked at random from the audience.

Join us for this truly once-a-year experience!

Open mic starts at 5 PM.


Hayley Flynn, the president of Spoken Word ND, is a sophomore English major and German minor who hopes to be a novelist and creative writing professor.  She loves Tarantino movies, Virginia Woolf, and mac n cheese.


Pam Blair, known as Poetic Melody when with her poetry family, is a born artist, who didn’t find her love for poetry until later in life. Poetry has become her life’s journal in metaphoric pieces of expression. Her motto is to I.P.M.C. Inspire, Provoke, Motivate to Create.

Sylvia Ciocca, a sophomore English and Management Consulting major and the Vice President of Spoken Word ND, has dreamed of becoming a touring spoken word poet since her early high school days. Upon graduation, she wishes to work at a consulting job in NYC while writing and performing her poetry at night, in hopes of avoiding the starving artist lifestyle. Her favorite quote is from an Andrea Gibson poem, and inspires her daily: “A doctor once told me I feel too much. I said, ‘So does God, that’s why you can see the Grand Canyon from the moon.’”

Jesse Camper is a senior Business student at Indiana University South Bend from Chicago who sparked his first interest in poetry at the ripe age of 13 years old. Since then he has won many awards, including the 1st place prize of last year’s Wham Bam Poetry Slam and two time 1st place winner of IUSB Apollo night. Outside of poetry and school, he loves to go out with friends to the bar and frequently enjoys binge watching almost anything on Netflix.

Trevor Canty: First-Year. Recovering coffee addict.

Spencer Clark French is a sophomore college student of Theology and Literature who loves long walks on the beach and low-lit hipster coffee bars. He has long hair, maintains a healthy love for old Twenty One Pilots, and is a semi-professional word-sayer. He also writes a weekly blog that you can find via his Instagram: @spencerclarkfrench. Check it out, or don’t. He doesn’t care. It’s not like he wrote this bio.

Angelle Henderson is a first year student reigning from New Orleans, LA. She began writing poetry when she felt silenced by the world around her and writing was the only way people would listen. Her silent and shy persona was never compromised by the screams of her poems. Her poems reflect who she is, what she’s been through, what she’s witnessed, and where she’s going. She hopes you enjoy who she is, but even if you don’t, that won’t stop her from screaming from the mountain tops.

Maya Jain is a senior Theology major who is very grateful for the chance to participate in her first poetry slam! When she’s not pondering the big questions of life or formulating opinions on social justice issues, she loves singing, playing tuba, drawing and painting, and laughing really, really loudly.

Aaron Moe used to despise English literature until he was an undergrad at college where he read Shelley, decided to major in English, and never looked back. He lives in Mishawaka with his family and teaches at Saint Mary’s College.

Katie Scherzinger is a Gryffindor and a Libra. You might think writing is what she loves most in the world, but her true passion is taking stealthy pictures of dogs on campus for her friends to enjoy via Snapchat story.

Charles Terry partners with students and leaders to create energizing performance art. Charles’s hope for humanity is that performance art will empower students and leaders to critically engage communities.

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