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Days 1-4 // Akron, Rochester, Somewhere in the Finger Lakes, Buffalo + THRONE OF BLOOD

Day 1: Stuck in traffic in Akron. Rumor of an overturned hotdog truck? Read some poems to people. Heard some great poems from Corey Z & Jeff. New and familiar faces in Akron. & internet ghosts taking on some flesh. Didn’t drink too much beer.


Day 2: Drove to Rochester with AVW.  She killed it. I am realizing that I need to not be disappointed when poems with distended genitals and mutating deities are not someone’s cup of tea. Thanks to all the kind people who brought both readings together.

Days 3 & 4: With C. Drove from homebase to a park with a lot of gorges and mf-ing rainbows. We’ll be apart for almost four weeks while I do the rest of this thing. Was good to be far and away with ourselves & no internet. She’s what I’ll miss most.


Finished Cassandra Troyan’s amazing Throne Of Blood on the deck this morning.

Here are some dumb notes:

“Fuck poems with birds, I’m the one who gets to fly”

Troyan has got a sledge hammer and just keeps swinging. Not for the faint of heart.

“Go home after school and eat your cat / …. / I am post food.”

This somehow alchemizes buckets of blood, the visqueux/slimy, social media age throw away bon-motism, and all other kinds of stuff.

“When plasma scabs against brackish skin and skull / the sodium channel will only allow up to 3 minutes of paralysis.”

It also wraps up desire, violation, vulnerability, and aggression and how these things all whip each other.

“If you could see your mass ballooning. / If you could imagine terror / …. / There is always urgency since life / has no exteriority”

& hooray for the maximalist book design. Glad CT and I got to trade stuff. This is the first AWP book I’ve actually read. Hope this is a sign of what’s to come over the course of the summer.

NEXT: Got to gear myself up for the loneliness on the road. & will freak myself out by writing a survival horror inventory of all the things I’ll be bringing on the biggest leg of the book tour.

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About the Author

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Joe Hall is the author of five books of poetry, including Someone's Utopia (2018) and Fugue & Strike (forthcoming). His poems, reviews, and scholarship have appeared in Poetry Daily, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Postcolonial Studies, Peach Mag,, PEN America Blog, Poetry Northwest, Ethel Zine, Gulf Coast, Best Buds! Collective, and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. He has taught poetry workshops for teachers, teens, and workers through Just Buffalo and the WNYCOSH Worker Center.

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