Blind Date Zine

Check it out. This is the zine where I was first published with the amazing poet/writer/editor and good friend Owen Hill choosing the poem and giving me that moment.

Blind Date Magazine was an 8.5 x 11” literary magazine that printed poetry, short fiction, journal excerpts, and featured an interview with a poet in each issue. The new version of Blind Date was in newsletter format, featuring critical and satirical works. Both were edited by novelist and poet Owen Hill.

Blind Date Magazine emerged from a workshop taught by Tom Clark at UC Berkeley Extension in 1986. The mimeo publications of the 1960’s and 1970’s were the guiding example, and when able, BDM printed new work by many of the same poets: Clark, Jim Carroll, Bill Berkson, Eileen Myles. At the same time, many contributors could be traced to the New College of California poetics program, both instructors and students: Clark again, Gloria Frym, David Meltzer, Adam Cornford, and others. A few poets saw their work appear publicly here first, before going on to more visible careers. Jules Mann, now director of the poetry society in London, Kevin Opstedal, editor of GASMagazine, and Oakland artist Maria Porges all debuted in Blind Date Magazine.

After six issues, New Blind Date was born as a limited edition newsletter, akin to The Floating Bear, sent out to selected readers. Readership and ‘subscriptions’ expanded with each issue, but peaked at around 150 in a given run. New Blind Date was a no holds-barred treatment of the contemporary poetry scene, featuring reviews, gossip, satirical fictional interviews, and the occasional poem or story. Alice Notley, Andrew Schelling, Jonathan Lethem, Fielding Dawson and FA Nettelbeck all appeared in its pages.

Physically, Blind Date Magazine and the new Blind Date were products of the availability of personal computers, local copy shops, and the emergence of email as a means of communication. Covers were either ‘made-to-order,’ or reproduced drawings and collages by the same poets who appeared within. The Blind Date archives are housed in the Beinecke Library at Yale.

The papers and history of the zine are held at Yale University Beinecke Library

Collection consists of production files, audio recordings, and printed and other materials relating to the literary magazines Blind Date and New Blind Date. The production files contain submissions of short fiction, poetry, interviews, and reviews, many from San Francisco area writers, including instructors and students at the New College of California poetics program. Contributors include: Tom Clark, Diane Di Prima, Edward Dorn, Jack Foley, Gloria Frym, Dick Gallup, Amy Gerstler, Jack Hirschman, Anselm Hollo, Bill Knott, Richard Kostelanetz, Jonathan Lethem, David Meltzer, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, Andrew Schelling, and others. In additon to the production files, there are several audio recordings of interviews with Bay Area writers and artists, including Jim Carroll, Howard Hart, and William Talcott, as well as the vendor’s item-level description of the archive.


Gazing Grain Press, judged by Natalie Diaz, Runner-up

Also, there will be a miniature broadside of my poem, “Until the Greed of Pronoun’s Salvage” and an interview coming out in late 2015. Scroll down and check it out:

Contest Winners Announcement

Gazing Grain Press is delighted to announce the results of the 2015 feminist poetry and prose chapbook contests. Judge Natalie Diaz has selected Marisa Crawford as the winner of our 2015 poetry/hybrid contest, and her chapbook Big Brown Bag will be published in September. We’ll have a launch and celebratory reading during Fall for the Book. Judge Amber Sparks has chosen Heidi Czerwiec’s Sweet/Crude as the winner of the 2015 prose/hybrid contest, and her chapbook will be published in spring 2016.

We are also happy to announce that Denise Leto’s manuscript Until the Greed of Pronoun’s Salvageis the poetry contest runner-up, and How to Boil an Egg by Nora Brooks is the prose contest runner-up. We will publish excerpts from both manuscripts as miniatures this year.

Natalie Diaz’s comments on Marisa Crawford’s Big Brown Bag:

“This collection is about obsessions and how we are always building them, surrendering to them, or evading them. In the opening poem we learn that Bloomingdale’s, its “brown bag” held like a bomb, are the objects of the speaker’s side-eye, tell-it-slant gaze: I saw the Bloomingdale’s out of the corner of my eye / & with the way the light was hitting it, it looked like a mirage. / Like a temple… What is really being wrestled with is love, its losses, despair, denial of that despair, learning to love one’s own body and self, and all the ways we trick ourselves into making it through the hours and days and shifts of this grinding blue world. The last couplet of the book: There was that big sign on Route Nine that said, “Free Air.” Somebody told me, memory is a tire. Change it. Go from there.”

Marisa author photoMarisa Crawford is the author of the poetry collection The Haunted House(Switchback, 2010), and the chapbook 8th Grade Hippie Chic (Immaculate Disciples, 2013). Her writing has appeared in Bitch, Hyperallergic, The Hairpin, and The &NOW Awards 3: Best Innovative Writing (&NOW, 2015), and is forthcoming in the second edition of Gurlesque: the new grrly, grotesque, burlesque poetics(Saturnalia, 2016). Marisa is founding editor of the feminist website WEIRD SISTER, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Denise LetoDenise Leto is a poet who explores different forms of media and performance. She was recently awarded the Orlando Prize in Poetry from the A Room of Her Own Foundation and a Fellowship in Poetry by the Breadloaf Residency Program in Sicily. She was an Honorary Fellow and Artist in Residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Denise wrote the book of poems for the collaborative and multigenre feminist performance piece entitled Your Body is Not a Shark with music, sound art, dance and text. Her chapbook with Amber DiPietra, Waveform, was published by Kenning Editions. (Photo credit: Julie Sartwell)

Amber Sparks’ comments on Heidi Czerwiec’s Sweet/Crude:

“This lush, language-driven meditation on the North Dakota oil boom is as perfect a jagged juxtaposition as the title implies. Part history, part geology lesson, part survey, part indictment of corporate greed – it’s also something much more: a song about the stubborn, sorry, beautiful mess we humans have become.”

HauthorpicHeidi Czerwiec is a poet, essayist, translator, and critic who teaches at the University of North Dakota, where she is poetry editor of North Dakota Quarterly. She is the author of two recent collections, Self-Portrait as Bettie Page (2013) and A Is For A-ké, The Chinese Monster (2015), and the editor of North Dakota Is Everywhere: An Anthology of Contemporary North Dakota Poets (2015).



Photo on 2012-03-23 at 13.51Nora Brooks is a writer whose poetry, cultural coverage and fiction has appeared in RedactionsAlimentumMonkeybicycle, H.O.W. Journal, PopMattersPoets & Writers online, The Best American Poetry blog and is forthcoming from EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts. A poem from How to Boil an Egg and Other Recipes was chosen by Short anthologist Alan Ziegler for a selection on The Best American Poetry blog. She holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School, where she was a research assistant for The Best American Poetry series editor David Lehman and a teaching assistant for rock critic Greil Marcus. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a lot of puppets.

We are also pleased to recognize the following outstanding manuscripts:

Poetry/Hybrid Finalists

Repka, Denise Bickford

Notes on the post-body, Sarah Cook

Darling Girl, Amber Edmondson

Medicatrix Naturae, Lizi Gilad

inter:burial places, Billie Tadros

Poetry/Hybrid Semi-finalists

here is how I lived in my body on this day, Aimee Herman

Bone Loss, Kate Hovey

Speech Rinse, Vanessa Couto Johnson

Searching for a Flag, H. Melt

The Next Time Art Seduces You, Carolyn Moore

Cold Garden, Lisa Moore

Dirt, Root, Silk, Susan Azar Porterfield

The Walking Dead–A Lyric, Dawn Tefft

Prose/Hybrid Finalists:

A Rose for [], Caren Beilin

Weight, Elise D’Haene

This Green Country, Kelly Lynn Thomas

A Registry of Survival, Ann Tweedy

Prose/Hybrid Semi-finalists:

Triptychs on a White Belt, Yu-Han Chao

from The Architecture of Water, Rebecca Woolston

Berkeley Poetry Conference

Check out this link to learn more

June 15–June 19 2015


The Berkeley Poetry Conference 2015 was conceived as a 50-year celebration of the Berkeley Poetry Conference that took place in 1965 only a few months after large demonstrations by the Free Speech Movement on campus.  The original conference was organized through UC Berkeley Extension by a committee that included a literary scholar (Thomas Parkinson), a local editor (Donald Allen of Grove Press), a Bay Area poet (Robert Duncan), and a local artist (Richard Baker).

We hope the 2015 conference will echo much of the same intellectual, creative, and polemical spirit of the original conference, which combined poetry readings with talks about poetics and poetry’s relationship to history or social and political life, by addressing what it means to write poetry and belong to communities of poets today.  Like the original, the event will be demanding in its duration, running from June 15th to June 19th.  All seminars, panels, and readings will be free and open to the public.

Selecting a representative group of poets for such an event is an impossible task.  However, one particular goal was to address the gender and racial biases of the original conference.  As a committee, we strived to identify poets who would help lead diverse, challenging conversations and present work that embodied a range of geographical, aesthetic, and social concerns.  We also privileged poets who are earlier in their careers.

The planning committee was composed of a range of scholars, students, and practicing poets from within the English and Comparative Literature departments at UC Berkeley.  Members include Charles Altieri, Daniel Benjamin, C. D. Blanton, Eric Falci, Rebecca Gaydos, C. S. Giscombe, Lyn Hejinian, Robert Kaufman, Evan Klavon, Serena Le, Christopher Patrick Miller, Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Samia Rahimtoola, and Mary Wilson.


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