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Event Calendar
readings & workshops
March 18 - Apr 3

Closed but Open (Here’s How)! 

Books + Events + More

readings & workshops
April 4

Virtual Poetry Reading: Mónica de la Torre + José Felipe Alvergue

readings & workshops
April 4

Virtual Workshop with Mónica de la Torre

readings & workshops
April 10

Virtual Poetry Reading: Marilyn Chin

Archived readings & workshops
Mar 11 Friday, March 11

Join us for a celebration of Bloof Books authors, and new publications with Soham Patel, Daniel Borzutzky & Jennifer L. Knox. 


Soham Patel is the author of and nevermind the storm, a chapbook from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. Her work has been included in Copper Nickel, eleven eleven journal, Denver Quarterly, and various other places. She is a chapbook editor at Horse Less Press, a Kundiman fellow, and a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where she also serves as a poetry editor for cream city review.





Daniel Borzutzky’s books and chapbooks include, among others, The Performance of Becoming Human(2016); In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (2015), Bedtime Stories For The End of the World! (2015), Data Bodies (2013),TheBook of Interfering Bodies (2011), and The Ecstasy of Capitulation (2007). He has translated Raúl Zurita’s The Country of Planks (2015) and Song for his Disappeared Love (2010), and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (2008). His work has been supported by the Illinois Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pen/Heim Translation Fund. He lives in Chicago.




The New York Times Book Review wrote that Jennifer L. Knox’s new book, Days of Shame and Failure, "hits, with deceptive ease, all the poetic marks a reader could want: intellectual curiosity, emotional impact, beautiful language, surprising revelation and arresting imagery." A five-time Milwaukee slam champion, her poems have appeared four times in the Best American Poetry series as well as The New York Times, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, McSweeney's, and Bomb. She teaches at Iowa State University.




Lake Michigan Merges into the Bay of Valparaiso, Chile

Scene #4321.49a30-9c


the reasons for which our blood is drawn in the prison camps of Lake Michigan are not communicated to us


the reasons for which we are imprisoned are also not communicated to us


it is often said on the shores of Lake Michigan, which is the bay of Valparaiso, that we will die for reasons we do not understand


we do not understand why we do not understand why we will die


we do not understand why we do not understand why we are imprisoned


we do not understand why we do not understand why we are paid or beaten or loved


we do not understand why last night the authoritative bodies loaded up four ships worth of prisoners and why those boats are half a mile away from the beach, booming dance music, baking in the summer sun


we do not understand why the authoritative bodies don't sweep the carcasses of the dead pets and washed up animals off the beaches on which we walk and sleep  


we do not understand our relationship one body to another


at times the authoritative bodies tell us to touch each other

at times they tell us to feed each other

at times they tell us to beat each other


at times they tell us to pay each other


at times they tell us to protect each other


at times they tell us to kiss each other


at times they tell us to probe each other with forceps, needles and wooden skewers


at times they force us to force each other to drink dirty purple milk and to eat rotten bread and vegetables


at times they tell us to stick juicy oranges into each other's mouths


at times they tell us to kick each other and call each other offensive names


at times they tell us to chew and swallow everything


at times they tell us to curse and laugh and hiss


at times they say: pretend you are an immigrant and hiss for us

at times they say: pretend you are not an immigrant and speak as if you are not a communist  

or they say: your faces are organs of emotional communication: smile or frown or cry

or they say: pretend you are a machine and that you do not have a soul


or they say: you are nothing more than a piece of data to be aggregated, to be disaggregated, to be sliced and diced into the most minute units so that we can understand how the body and the city and the nation whir and wallow and tick


or they say: you are a human machine and you must explode


there is good money, they say, in emotional responsiveness


and at times they pay us when we laugh or snarl or cry


or they say: there is nothing to be gained from emotional responsiveness


so they beat us when we laugh or snarl or cry


and they say: you have shame in your eyeballs, you have love in our eyeballs, you have pain in your dimples, you have guilt in your mouth, abjection in your lips, joy in your nostrils, anger in your cheekbones, love in the bags under your eyes, passion in your eyebrows, fear in your chin, disgust in your forehead, disaster and promise and despair in the furrows of your face and in the murmuring economies on your rotten carcass tongue


    —Daniel Borzutzky




Christmas carols eviscerate me.

How the hell do people sing

“Join the triumph of the skies!”

without sobbing? I pulled

an Irish goodbye when they broke out

the tattered songbooks at the office Christmas party,

turned off the road home and bawled ‘til I was empty.

My friend says it’s the same for her when

she holds a baby. Something about

the promise of it: so fat, so happy

to make the scene—a pure manifestation

of love. This occurs to me: the listening chokes

me up, but the singing along overwhelms me.

So the tears begin in my voice

(the call is coming from inside the house!)

when, so moved by its sincerity, I’m

compelled to wade into that

clunky old body of water, open

my mouth, and drown.


    —Jennifer L. Knox



like empire interrupted




violence mistakes midsections from my body—

                                                             bronze sharp points poke into it and cut




a light changes from red to green: oh what a slow thing!

                                                             —the impracticality of: salt never touches our skin




when she stood in the center: she stood against flower and stone—

                                                              she stood: a marker under a drone




time stamped in this movement—pitted fruits drop into a spoon




isn’t desire funny?—we take pictures in the mirror and post on timelines for likes

                                                                 can decay like moth wings in the wind




hold—a gait—hold—a head—there are places

                                                            in which a gathering rhymes with family

                                                            and industry with go


     —Soham Patel