Poison Pen Reading Series vs. Every Other Reading Series in the USofA [Hint: It’s the Best reading series west of the Mississippi (or east for that matter)]

Posted in poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about, Uncategorized, VS. with tags , , , , , , , on 2012/09/28 by jamiejthomas

I want to say Happy Birthday to the Poison Pen Reading Series in Houston TX. They turned 6yrs old yesterday, and I got to read at their birthday celebration, along with Miah Arnold and ZZ Packer.

Miah and ZZ brought the house down (which was to be expected). And I had an absolute blast reading between them . . . but what I really marvel at is a reading series like Poison Pen. No joke, it is my favorite place to read in all the world. The Poison Girl–the bar that hosts the series on the last Thursday of each month– has a bourbon selection to rival all others, and is cool in all the ways you want your bar to be: cool people, cool wall of pinball, cool garden patio.

The readings are what readings should be. There’s no cheese plates, there’s more Lone Star than Pinot Noir, there’s a giant Kool-Aid Man statue adorning the corner of the “stage.” And the crowd is full of people who honestly just like to read, and hear things read at them. Yes, many of the people at the readings are University of Houston Writing Program students, faculty, alumni, but that is a small part of the nearly 100 in attendance last night–the majority are locals who like literature and booze, more often than not at the same time.

So, thanks to David MacLean, Greg Oaks, Casey Fleming and Scott Repass for supporting good poems and good stories . . . here’s to another 6 years . . . and another.

Poetry Poetry Poetry . . .y . . .y . . . y! [monster truck voice] Reading Trifecta

Posted in Entertainment, poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2012/04/09 by jamiejthomas

So this Thursday–April 12th to be exact–I’m totally excited to be doing the reading trifecta here in Big Rapids. I’ll be embarking on this endeavor with the one, the only Glenn Shaheen.

We’ll be reading at Crossroads Charter Academy in Big Rapids at 11am. This is a private, school assembly affair–should get around 200 “captive” students–It’ll be like being a rock star (sorta).

Then we’re doing a booktalk/signing at 4:30 at Great Lakes Book and Supply. Come hear us speak awkwardly about our poems. This event’s where you get all the secrets/inside info in preparation for . . .

a READING at 7:30 @ The Old Jail. Scooby, Shaggy, and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang will be there to watch us read our poems and pull the mask off of Old Man Roberts who’s trying to lay claim to the gold deposits found in the abandoned mine on the outskirts of town.

Glenn, who is a superhero of poetry–he’s faster than a speeding enjambment, able to leap tall Bildungsroman in a single bound (too easy? maybe, but what the hell)–will put the “razzle” back in dazzle, all while reading from his award-winning debut collection Predatory. You can find more info, as well as sample poems at glennshaheen.com. Buy Glenn’s book now.

I’ll be doing my best to put the bizarre back in Bizarro. Up will be down, black will be white, sad will be . . . well, less sad–as I read selections from my own debut collection, Etch and Blur (buy me), as well as from a book-length sonnet sequence about Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers (?).

You really should get out to one of the two public events on April 12th. there will be plenty of spectacle, and lots of below-the-surface-tension.

These events are sponsored by The Literature in Person Reading Series, The Michigan Poet, ArtWorks, & Great Lakes Book and Supply

Added Some Music to the MUSIC page

Posted in Stuff I assume other people care about, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 2012/03/25 by jamiejthomas

I added a couple of links to the MUSIC page, from two of the bands that I played in–Slow Drag and The Landlords.

A song from The Landlords album Meet the Landlords – 20 Miles a Day on Foot.

A video we shot in Grand Rapids for the song Texas Declares War on Your Behalf.


A Reading I’ve got coming up in April

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 2012/03/03 by jamiejthomas

A Reading I’ve got coming up in April

Me and badass poet (and cool lit mag monger) Glenn Shaheen will be reading in April at Literary Life Bookstore in Grand Rapids. Check it.

It’s a Proof . . .

Posted in poetry with tags , , , on 2012/01/06 by jamiejthomas

Look what the stork dropped into my mailbox today. It’s the real life-hold-in-the-hands proof of Etch and Blur. Stupendous.

Kenneth Koch on the internets

Posted in Academia, poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , , on 2012/01/04 by jamiejthomas

I just came across this website of all things Kenneth Koch,

as shared by David Lehman on the Best American Poetry blog (who apparently shared it via Ron Padgett). It has photos,  biography, detailed bibliography, and various videos and audio of Kenneth Koch reading from his work and discussing The New York School.

It is truly excellent, and well worth the time you will lose exploring it. So explore away . . .

ps – Kenneth Koch remains one of the most highly underrated poets line-breaking American English–funny, irreverent, heartbreaking, earnest, proof that there is nothing more serious than a joke . . .

“A serious  moment for the match
is when it bursts into flame . . .”

Cover Proof of Etch and Blur

Posted in poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , , , , on 2011/12/21 by jamiejthomas

I found this in my email the other day . . .



Nothing left now but the printing . . . I think it turned out quite nicely.

Behind Schedule, Just a Bit

Posted in poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , , , on 2011/11/19 by jamiejthomas

Though we are behind publication schedule on Etch and Blur, it is getting inevitably closer . . .

Of nothing, nothing, nothing–nothing at all

Posted in poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , , , on 2011/11/18 by jamiejthomas

One of my favorite sonnets for sure. One kick-ass writer. 3 Pulitzers? Really?

The End of the World

Archibald MacLeish

Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb
Quite unexpectedly to top blew off:

And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark, the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing — nothing at all.

I Love the Smell of Poetry in Big Rapids

Posted in poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , , , , , on 2011/10/18 by jamiejthomas

Hello all, just wanted to chime in to add a nice little reading coming up in the next few days in Big Rapids.

Yours truly will be reading. I’ll be reading from Etch and Blur, my nearly-released collection of poems from Brick Road Poetry Press.I’ll be reading with fellow Ferris State University faculty member, Betty Stolarek, as she reads from her new novel, One Amber Bead (written under the pen name Rebecca Thaddeus–she has a nom de plume, how rad is that.) It should be a good time–there’s poetry for the poet-types, prose for the prosers, and light refreshments for all.


The lowdown:

What: Reading: Jamie Thomas and Rebecca Thaddeus (aka Betty Stolarek)

Where: ArtWorks Big Rapids – 106 N. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids, MI 49307, (231) 796-2420

When: Thursday October 20th at 7pm

How: with our mouths mouthing the words

Why: b/c we love you


If you’re near you should come on out. and if you’re far, you should let someone who IS near know the skinny.