Meet the Readers – March Edition

Next Tuesday, March 24, we’re thrilled to bring you writer Angela Hamilton and poet Jazzy Danziger. It’s going to be great–you should come and see for yourselves.

Angela Hamilton is an associate professor of English at St. Louis Community College and has taught for the American Culture and Literature department at Fatih University in Istanbul (2007-09).  Angela has published on Turkish literature and has traveled extensively in eastern Turkey. In 2012, her project “The Middle East in the Midwest” was awarded a Missouri Humanities Council grant. This funded Meramec’s participation in the Connect Program, an online intercultural project that brings together university students from the West and the Middle East to talk about difficult subjects we face in a post-9/11 world. STLCC was the first community college in the U.S. and the first higher education institution in Missouri to be a part of the program. During the 2013-14 academic year, Angela served as a Fulbright Scholar and taught M.A. courses in world literature and literature of resistance at the University of Jordan in Amman. Her essays on these experiences have appeared in The Southeast Review, Quarterly West, The MacGuffin, and other places.

Jazzy Danziger’s debut collection, Darkroom (University of Wisconsin Press), was the winner of the 2012 Brittingham Prize in Poetry. Danziger studied at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns/Poe-Faulkner Fellow in poetry and the editor of Meridian. She has served as series editor for the Best New Poets anthology since 2011. She lives and works in St. Louis.

These two talents will read in this month’s installment of Prose|Poem at the Stone Spiral Gallery, 2506 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, MO 63143. Tuesday, March 24, 7-9 PM.

Reading Someone Else’s Work: Art and Breath

Last night’s reading event with Travis Mossotti and Justin Phillip Reed reminded me of how much I love the part of the evening when the readers of Prose|Poem exchange work. I always harbor hope that the exchange takes place before the event, but often that’s not possible, so the poet and writer give cold readings of the work. And for a few lines that may show, but sooner or later they settled into each other’s words and that’s where the magic happens.

Robert Hass: Poetic Language

Meet the Readers – February Edition

Next week, Prose|Poem gets to explore the new space (with table service!) at Stone Spiral Gallery. More importantly, Justin Phillip Reed and Travis Mossotti get to explore the venue as a performance space.

Justin Phillip Reed attends the MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis. His poems are forthcoming or appear most recently in Vinyl Poetry, joINT., Boston Review, PLUCK!, and Muzzle. YesYes Books will release his chapbook,A History of Flamboyance, in September 2015. He was born and raised in South Carolina.

Travis Mossotti was awarded the 2011 May Swenson Poetry Award for his first collection of poems About the Dead (USU Press, 2011), and his second collection Field Study won the 2013 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize (Bona Fide Books, 2014). Mossotti has also published two chapbooks, and recent poems of his have appeared in issues of the Antioch ReviewBeloit Poetry Journal, Southern Review, and elsewhere.

Up Next: The Second Half of the 2014-15 Season

Happy New Year!

While we don’t have any snow, we are preparing for a brutally cold Wednesday. Perhaps this will warm you up.

We’re pleased to announce the lineup for the remainder of this season:

  • Tuesday, February 17 – Justin Phillip Reed and Travis Mossotti
  • Tuesday, March 24 – Angela Hamilton and Jazzy Danziger
  • Tuesday, April 21 – Leigh Kolb and Ben Moeller-Gaa

The readings will be at the Stone Spiral Gallery in Maplewood. Details and bios forthcoming.

Tonight! Fred Venturini and Jason Braun

The last Prose|Poem reading of 2014 is tonight, 7-9 PM, at the Stone Spiral in Maplewood.

We have had a modest beginning to our reading series with our April, May, and October readings, but we could not be any more thrilled with the community support for or the writers’ camaraderie and generosity in participating in these interactive events. In 2015, we hope to bring you six reading events, as well as a special project or two. Stick with us to see how we continue to support and encourage St. Louis’s literary community to keep doing what they do.

Doing what they do, Fred and Jason’s reading tonight promises to be a great farewell to this year’s series. We hope you join us–it’ll be a cozy, entertaining, and inspiring evening.

Meet the Readers (November Edition)

We’re excited for what 11/18’s reading event will bring, featuring two of Illinois’s finest:

Fred Venturini

He lives in Southern Illinois with his wife, Krissy, and their precocious two-year-old, Noelle. His first novel, The Heart Does Not Grow Back, is forthcoming from Picador in fall 2014.

Jason Braun

“Jason Braun currently teaches English at Western Illinois University. He’s the director of the Online Writing Center at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He hosts “Literature for the Halibut” a weekly hour-long literary program on KDHX 88.1.

He has published fiction, poetry, reported or been featured in The Riverfont Times, Prime Number,, Big Bridge, The Evergreen Review, SOFTBLOW, The Nashville City Paper, Eunoia Review,Star*Line, Mobius, Camel Saloon, Front Porch Review, Jane Freidman’s blog, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many more.”

Promises of Fame and Fortune

… Okay, perhaps not fame and fortune, but the admiration of our readers and attendees. That’s pretty good, yeah?

All you have to do is come to the Stone Spiral from 7-9 PM tonight, listen to Dawn Dupler and Billy Foster (good words from good people), and do a little writing or drawing of your own. Show us what you got, St. Louis.


Using words from some of Eve Jones’s poems, May’s Prose|Poem participants were asked to come up with a sticky-note story or poem. The winner: Mary Anderson – “Two-Legged.”

“When You Took Off On I-70 West” – Dawn Dupler

When You Took Off On I-70 West

By Dawn Dupler as first appeared in Blue Earth Review

When you took off on I-70 West my world turned upside down. So I turned the map upside down and shook it fiercely like a New York City snow globe, in hopes of making you fall back to me.

I tipped the map, swirled the map, waved it like a banner—anything I could think of to get you to come tumbling out—but I ended up changing the land mass of North America into the shape of a starfish and messed up a whole lot of lives.

Remember that park ranger at Mount Rushmore who said we made such a cute couple? You can imagine my shock when he and the rest of South Dakota all landed within one square mile of Los Angeles. Thank God they only suffered minor bumps on their heads. Soon I’ll have to tell them how sorry I am for that.

Oh Jesus. What I did to Sara. You know, the waitress at that Little Rock bus stop who always said hello when we lived down there? The one with spiky red hair and hemp sandals, always running late for her shift at Fiddler’s Diner? She and the other friendly folks of Arkansas fell into Vancouver with neither coats nor gloves and I need to make sure they get warm clothing and hot cocoa pronto. I think I really freaked those poor people out, especially Sara who obviously missed work and you yourself heard her say how badly she needed money for rent. God, I’ll have to find some way to apologize to those people.

Hollywood fell into Lake Erie and all the movie stars swam through sludge and dead fish only to be greeted by angry film critics who accused them of phoning in their performances. Remember that stuck-up actor we ran into on our vacation who wore the ridiculous toupee? Bet he’s sorry he wouldn’t take a picture with us. He came out of the water a moss-covered, bald mess. And I have no intention whatsoever to apologize to him.

But remember that mayor of Salina, Kansas? You know, the one who despised every immigrant laboring in heat meant for scorpions—except, of course, his hot, spicy secretary whom he air-conditioned and lunched with regularly in her apartment? Turns out he “air-conditioned” another hot tamale during the nights. Rita. Yeah, that Rita. The one you took up with. She and the mayor landed in a coffee plantation in central Mexico.

But where you landed I still don’t know.

“A Dream of Peaches” – Bill Foster

A Reverie On Peaches

In the caldera of August,

I prepare peaches for winter,

Each perfect beauty plunged into boiling caldron,

Skin, made pale, ashen, loosened by fire,

Protective fuzz floating on troubled surface.

Then plunged into icy bath,

The once-protective layer

Slipping loose from the flesh,

Falling, between thumb and fingers,

Like silk from a youthful frame,

Revealing the sun!

Gloriously bright, gold and garnet,

Burning eyes blind,

A radiant triumph of pleasure and promise,

Ready to rise again

When summer is but a dream to come.



Peaches. Delicate fruit,

Children of summer’s middle age.

Radiant globes made to blush

By the sun’s loitering gaze.

Coy maidens, when ripe,

Enticing with firm flesh,

Downy cheeks seductively flushed,

Fevered, glowing.



Temptation is so sweet in summer.

Warm mounds of honey-tart pleasure,

Ready to be palmed, weighed,

Gently pressed, firm yet yielding,

Begging the tempted further,

To bury teeth, lips, face

In the sweet, wet flesh,

Sucking nectar with each bite,

Dripping in rivulets,

Pink-tinged gold,

From fingers and chin,

Lingering, sticky, after the torrent subsides.



Oh, for the pleasure, the passion, captured, repeated,

When the sun is wan on winter’s frozen watch.

Resurrected amidst the wilderness of frigid white.

They whisper a joyous reminder of warmth and intimacy.

Stolen kisses and impassioned embraces,

Forbidden pleasures, guiltily taken,

In summer fields, woodland hideaways,

On sandy beaches,

In drive-in theaters, back seats,

Humid, sultry, crackling, electric, sweet.

Joy and passion, rich, insistent,

Memories and desires,

Prompted, evoked,

To thaw a frozen heart.

Meet the Readers: October’s Prose/Poem Is Here!

The start of our 2014-2015 season is finally upon us! We’re excited to present Tuesday’s readers:

Dawn Dupler

Dawn’s prose and poetry can be found in Natural Bridge, Paper Nautilus, Chiron Review, Whiskey Island Magazine, Blue Earth Review, and other journals and anthologies. She won first place for poetry in the 2013 Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers’ Guild and Honorable Mention in the 2011 James H. Nash Poetry Contest. Her non-fiction book St. Louis in the Civil War was published in 2014.

Bill R. Foster

Bill Foster is a retired faculty member of the University of Missouri, Saint Louis, where he taught writing and literature. In his new life, he is a poet, artist, adventurer, and booze baron.