sexual predators in pobiz & new life for my field guide to autobiography

CW/TW: sexual abuse, broets, pobiz bullshit

If you’re one of the two people who read this blog (hi, Mom!), you might know that my book, field guide to autobiography, was orphaned back in October due to the press’ publisher being outed as a sexual abuser. As a survivor of sexual violence, a staunch women’s rights advocate, & a human being with a brain who believes women, this was triggering on many levels.


When I found out, it was a week after the Mendo Lake Complex Fires, & I was on a bus home from Oakland where I had been doing a reading & classroom visit at CCA. I’m wearing a mask and I’m feeling such rage. I’m thinking of betrayals and rape culture and the woods and I’m listening to Black Hole Sun and remembering the toxic aftershocks. Memories I’ve trapped in amber all these years.  So –  after crying for about an hour while somehow also listening to 90s rock, I wrote to the publisher & withdrew my book.

For several months, I distracted myself with family & work obligations, & tried to work through some of this rage at the gym, all while mourning & feeling pretty cagey about trusting another publisher with my work.

A few weeks ago, I delved into editing and revising my manuscript-in-progress (which is largely about rape culture & sexual predation of teen girls), little ditch, & excised half of it, rendering a chapbook-length manuscript which I later submitted to above/ground press. Feeling the momentum from that accomplishment, I decided to submit field guide to a few presses I had carefully vetted (though, the vetting wasn’t new  – I thought I had carefully vetted the previous publisher as well). Well….

This story has a happy middle. I found out just last week that both field guide to autobiography & little ditch will be published by The Operating System & above/ground press, respectively. I’m so thrilled, & grateful to both Lynne DeSilva-Johnson & Rob McLennan for being such stalwart, literary citizens & for helping to restore my faith in poetry world. Hooray for great publishers who actually give a damn about the work! Hooray for not needing to spend 5 hours proofreading my manuscript because the publisher kept introducing weird errors & errant phrases during every iteration! Hooray for a true collaboration! I’m stoked.

Oh – there have been these two new, wonderful reviews published about field guide:

This one in Publisher’s Weekly & this gem from Mariel Fechik in Glass

Stay strong, friends.


Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange Open Reading Period


Every Her Dies, Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

Open Reading Submission Period: June 1st – August 10th
The Poetry Center, San Francisco State University invites emerging and established poets to submit work to the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange. The PCCE began as a community-curated chapbook archive created in 2010, by poets recommending other poets using an each one-invite one model. See Since 2014, the PCCE has developed from an invite-only model to an inclusive fee-free open reading period.

We aim to provide and maintain open access to small-press and out-of-print chapbooks to promote readership of contemporary poetry as well as encourage its value and availability for use as free, educational, teaching resources. Send us your work that plays, sings, risks, interrogates, provokes, and moves beyond.

Length: 10-40 pages
Currency: New work (written within the last 5 years); published work that’s fallen out of print.
Aesthetics: seeking a range of forms, approaches, hybrids.

There is no reading fee!

Please email submissions to
Feel free to visit our archives:

new reviews of field guide to autobiography

for so long, i doubted my first book would be published – sending work out, bracing myself for the inevitable rejections, polishing the manuscript, sending it back out into the world. doing that thing many poets do where you just keep plugging away, despite the sense of defeat that nips at you, the voice that whispers mean nagging things. that voice needs to die. we are all of us worth it. if you believe in your work, eventually someone else will too. let this be a reminder to keep going.

i’m thrilled that two fellow poets took the time to write such insightful reviews about my first full-length collection, & am so grateful to Jennifer Martelli and Rob McLennan for reading the work with such precision and care.

Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange reading & discussion at San Francisco State University

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 10.29.49 AM


field guide to autobiography is now available from H_NGM_N Books


I’m thrilled to announce that my first full-length poetry collectionfield guide to autobiography, is now available for pre-order from H_NGM_N Books! This book has been a labor of love, & has changed and evolved in many ways since I first began writing poems toward it 5 years ago. In many ways, field guide truly began as part of my MFA thesis back in 2006. How does a person begin to enumerate the many fragments & fractals that comprise a life? field guide is an attempt at memoir through the lens of various animals & minerals including katydids, wrens, abalone shells, and apple trees.     
Here are a few things others have said about field guide to autobiography:
“This isn’t conventional nature poetry; it’s a poetry that helps us understand the future and the world that embeds us.” – Juliana Spahr
“Here are whorls, and bursts of light, where to fly is to sing is to fly, where “soft noises” compose a listening to instruct your ontological imagination. Following Eleftherion’s exertion towards classification, we are led to its (im)possibility. Read this book! You never know what form you may be compelled to assume.” – Elise Ficarra
If you’re interested in reviewing a copy of field guide to autobiography, please let me know! I will have copies in hand shortly.
Thanks so much for reading.