"…birds were splashing / around in their baths, lake-colored amulets were / slipping behind armoires, gentle perfumes from adjoining / fields were accidentally pressed into concrete slabs. / All told, the fanciful was making a fantastic showing"—from “The Survey” in jubilat (read the rest! The ending is great!). Three more to sample in Undertow Magazine and a video of Joshua reading “Karate Chop of Love.” And his next could be written—for you!

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including a NYFA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!
More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"…birds were splashing / around in their baths, lake-colored amulets were / slipping behind armoires, gentle perfumes from adjoining / fields were accidentally pressed into concrete slabs. / All told, the fanciful was making a fantastic showing"—from “The Survey” in jubilat (read the rest! The ending is great!). Three more to sample in Undertow Magazine and a video of Joshua reading “Karate Chop of Love.” And his next could be written—for you!

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including a NYFA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"There are small typewriters / that other people keep in their eyes / clicking away at all of our farewell parties" Wendy Xu writes in her poem "And Then It Was Less Bleak / Because We Said So" published in ILK. And she will write you a Reverse Fan Mail, especially for you, with the typewriters in her eyes, because she said so!
More great poems by Wendy full of rural states, forgiveness, the desert, horses and coyotes and many other varieties of livestock and wild animal, and varieties of incredible imagery can be found in Diagram and [PANK]. —And someday, maybe one full of you! (Get a Reverse Fan Mail! Support independent lit! Help us spread the word about authors like Wendy!)
Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013), and two chapbooks. Recently poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, The Volta, and elsewhere. She co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry / iO Books, and lives in Western Massachusetts.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!
More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"There are small typewriters / that other people keep in their eyes / clicking away at all of our farewell parties" Wendy Xu writes in her poem "And Then It Was Less Bleak / Because We Said So" published in ILK. And she will write you a Reverse Fan Mail, especially for you, with the typewriters in her eyes, because she said so!

More great poems by Wendy full of rural states, forgiveness, the desert, horses and coyotes and many other varieties of livestock and wild animal, and varieties of incredible imagery can be found in Diagram and [PANK]. —And someday, maybe one full of you! (Get a Reverse Fan Mail! Support independent lit! Help us spread the word about authors like Wendy!)

Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013), and two chapbooks. Recently poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, The Volta, and elsewhere. She co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry / iO Books, and lives in Western Massachusetts.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"Pitchers have their superstitions and I have my honesty to consider"—from "Ichiro Flies Out to West," commissioned by Richard Hugo House from Ed Skoog. Commission your own Reverse Fan Mail and get not just a great opening line like that, but a whole poem of them! Check out this appropriately holiday-themed by Ed, too: "The Carolers," in Poetry Magazine.

Ed Skoog is the author of two books of poetry, MISTER SKYLIGHT (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) and ROUGH DAY (Copper Canyon Press, 2013).


"…you are not her, though I call you you // like I called her you. And perhaps I shouldn’t / but I do" —in an excerpt published in Pinwheel from Rich’s chapbook The Great Poem of Desire (Poor Claudia). A poem about a woman in a dress in Guernica is good for heart-throbbing, too.

Rich Smith is the author of Great Poem of Desire and Other Poems, published by Poor Claudia. His poems have appeared or will soon appear in Tin House, City Arts Magazine, Guernica, Southeast Review, Hobart, Barrow Street, The Bellingham Review, Pleiades, Verse Daily, and elsewhere.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

Mike Young and Megan Kaminiski will write you a Reverse Fan Mail!


"…I won’t explain, / not in the face of your expensive research and cheap / buses, not without a draft from your snowplow driver’s / early bourbon, not unless I’m allowed to debut the great / Hawaiian shirt of my intuition that suggests I call your / bullshit" —from Mike Young’s poem "What I’ve Learned from Sleeping in New England" in Sixth Finch. Read a great short story by Mike in Hobart if you want to see his other side.

Mike Young is the author of the story collection Look! Look! Feathers (Word Riot 2010) and two books of poems: We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (Publishing Genius 2010) and Sprezzatura (Publishing Genius 2014). He edits NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, writes for HTMLGIANT, and lives in Northampton, MA. Find him online at http://mikeayoung.tumblr.com.


"Down south the coastline crunches / rock-strewn wind-buried sand-showering / 
faces squinting eyes into secret coves / I have secrets too”—
from"Coast" published on Coconut. A convenient list of more poetry, some essays, even some videos on Megan’s website.

Megan Kaminski is the author of Desiring Map (Coconut Books, 2012) and six chapbooks of poetry, most recently This Place(Dusie, 2013) and Gemology (LRL Textile Editions, 2012). She lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where she teaches poetry at the University of Kansas and curates the Taproom Poetry Series.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

Mark Leidner and Tessa Hulls will write you a Reverse Fan Mail!


"It’s difficult to say / who makes loves to whom / in these times." —how one poem by Mark Leidner (found here, at Action Yes, among others) ends. Check out five more at La Petite Zine, too.

Mark Leidner is the author of Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me (Factory Hollow Press, 2011) and The Angel in the Dream of Our Hangover (Sator Press, 2011). He lives in Atlanta and writes at twitter.com/markleidner.


"I am calling off an engagement. And I am doing it over the phone. While illegally camped in a cow pasture. In west Texas. With toilet paper shoved in my ears to drown out the passing semi trucks. And I keep having to kick my tent walls to scare these damn curious cows away." —Tessa Hulls presents an exploration of personal experience in art and down time in the creative process (as explained by hair ties!) and passes out candy at Seattle’s wonderful interdisciplinary reading series, Breadline.  A whole portfolio and blog of her illustrations and writing on her website, tessahulls.com.


Tessa Hulls is a restless artist/writer/adventurer who collects creative mediums as other members of her gender collect shoes. She works as a painter, cartoonist, essayist, performance-slideshowist, drawer, instigator, interviewer, muralist, bike mechanic, saboteur, feminist, sociologist, cartographer, illustrator, and chef. She is a voracious reader, and frequently finds herself surrounded by poets. When not frenetically project hopping in Seattle, Tessa enjoys traveling alone on her bicycle through remote landscapes, and testing the limits of her own capacity for isolation. She plans to spend a good chunk of 2014 working in Denali National Park in Alaska, and she is (very slowly) working on a non-fiction graphic novel about living in Antarctica.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

Jac Jemc and Matthew Rohrer will write you a Reverse Fan Mail! 


This must have been a reasonless act of love and I had come home late, hadn’t called.”check out an excerpt from Jac’s award-winning novelMy Only Wife or this story about answering the door when you’re not expecting anyone.

Jac Jemc’s My Only Wife (Dzanc Books) was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. Her collection of stories, A Different Bed Every Time, is due out in October 2014.


"It was a good day and I was about to do something important
and good, but then I unscrewed the pen I was using”

—read Precision German Craftmanship by Matthew Rohrer, the author of seven books of poetry, most recently DESTROYER AND PRESERVER, published by Wave Books. 

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

Reverse Fan Mails are back!

'Reverse Fan Mail' is a special way that APRIL thanks its donors while connecting authors and readers at the same time.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

This year’s Reverse Fan Mails will be mailed in time for Valentine’s Day so you can send one to your sweetie.

Reverse Fan Mail authors include Jac Jemc, Matthew Rohrer, Stacey Levine, Ed Skoog, Joshua Beckman, Mark Leidner, Ryan Boudinot, Rebecca Bridge,Wendy Xu, Jane Wong, Rich Smith, Ted Powers, Peter Mountford, Drew Swenhaugen, Mike Young, Amber Nelson, Megan Kaminski, Richard Chiem, Matthew Simmons, and Doug Nufer.

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"Fauns are always drunk": November’s book club art pairing


Last Sunday, APRIL’s Book Club met again, this time to discuss Daniel Bailey’s THE DRUNK SONNETS.  Many members elected to enjoy a beer in the Frye’s courtyard (as the book clearly demands.) APRIL’s Frances Dinger paired “Drunk Sonnet 19” with “Fighting Fauns” by Franz von Stuck. “Drunk Sonnet 19” has a lot of fight in it and, as Frances mentioned “fauns are always drunk.”

Below: Franz von Stuck’s “Fighting Fauns,” currently on display at the Frye Art Museum.  











THE DRUNK SONNETS was the second book in the Fall Series of the APRIL Book Club. You can learn more about the APRIL Book Club on our website

2013 Reverse Fan Mail Roster

Reverse Fan Mail is one of our favorite parts of APRIL. The process is simple: one person makes a donation to the festival, and then we take their name and send it on to one of our favorite small press authors. That author then writes a brand new, never-published piece of writing with the donor’s name as their ‘prompt’ or inspiration. Then we send a hard copy of that piece to the donor. It’s a way of connecting readers directly with authors in an unusual, highly personal way. (Check out a couple older RFMs here!)

This year, we had the honor of working with some truly incredible writers. Their bios are below, along with links on where to find and buy their work. 

Matthew Rohrer is the author of seven books of poetry, including Destroyer and Preserver (Wave Books, 2011), A Plate of Chicken (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009) and Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007). He enjoys fried chicken and Electric Light Orchestra. 

Joshua Beckman is an editor at Wave Books and is the author of six collections of poetry, including the forthcoming The Inside of an Apple (Wave Books, 2013), Take It (Wave Books, 2009), Shake (Wave Books, 2006) and Things Are Happening (Copper Canyon Press, 1998). His translations include Micrograms by Jorge Carrera Andrade (Wave Books, 2011; with Alejandro de Acosta), Five Meters of Poems by Carlos Oquendo de Amat (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010; with Alejandro de Acosta) and Poker by Tomaz Salamun(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2004). 

Rebecca Brown is the author of twelve books of fiction and essays, including The Last Time I Saw You (City Lights, 2006), Annie Oakley’s Girl(City Lights, 1993), American Romances (City Lights, 2009) and The Gifts of the Body (HarperCollins, 1995), which won a Lambda Literary Award. She was the first writer in residence at Seattle’s Richard Hugo House, is the recipient of a Stranger Genius Award and is a thoroughly amazing human being. 

Ed Skoog is the author of two collections of poetry, Mr. Skylight (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) and Rough Day (forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2013). He has been a writer-in-residence at Richard Hugo House, the chair of the creative writing program at Idyllwild Arts Academy and the Jennie McKean Moore Writer-in-Washington Fellow at George Washington University. He lives in Seattle with his wife and new baby. 

Stacey Levine is a novelist, short story author and journalist. Her books include The Girl with Brown Fur (Stacherone/Dzanc, 2011), Frances Johnson (Verse Chorus Press, 2010; Clear Cut Press, 2005) and Dra- (Verse Chorus Press, 2012; Sun & Moon Press, 1998). She is recipient of a Stranger Genius Award, and she lives in Seattle. 

Donald Dunbar is the author of two books of poetry, Slow Motion German Adjectives (Mammoth Editions, 2013) and Eyelid Lick (Fence Books, 2012), which won the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series Prize. He lives in Portland, where he co-curates the reading series If Not For Kidnap

Rich Smith is the author of Great Poem of Desire (forthcoming from Poor Claudia in 2013). His poems have appeared or will soon appear in Tin House, City Arts, Guernica, Southeast Review, Hobart, Barrow Street, The Bellingham Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere. He lives in Seattle, and his drink of choice is a glass of whiskey, neat, and a Rainier.  

Rebecca Bridge is a poet, essayist, and screenwriter living in Seattle. Maybe a novelist, too, who can tell, but she’s working on it. Her work can be found in a lot of places, including The Boston Review, Sixth Finch, notnostrums, Can We Have Our Ball Back, The Columbia Poetry Review, and Weird Deer. She likes climbing, sitting, and rolling over.

Mike Young is the author of Look! Look! Feathers (Word Riot, 2010), a book of short stories, and We Are All Good if They Try Hard Enough (Publishing Genius Press, 2010). He edits NOO Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press and lives in Northampton, MA. 

Thanks to all our authors, and once again to our fabulous donors!

"Even in a time when a video chat can practically bring the sun-smacked dust of Cairo spilling into a downtown Seattle conference room, there’s glass between those worlds. Nothing can take that glass away and make those worlds one, except the lyricism and humor of a gifted poet, trying to explain with a self-conscious stammer exactly what he means."


—And that poet is Maged Zaher.  APRIL was so overwhelmingly lucky to have Maged at our happy hour reading yesterday.