May 5th, 2015
Holy moly! Thoughtcrime’s kickstarter for if you turn around I will turn around is here. If you can help out it, either by donating, pre-ordering the book, or sharing through social media, I will be ever thankful. This collection means so much to me, as it is a collaborative effort: written for my closest friend, written with individuals I absolutely respect and cherish, and edited by some of the most thoughtful eyes and hearts I have ever encountered. I began the book expecting to find only the usual poet’s solitude, and maybe an answer or two about friendship, but instead found a vast and supportive community, and oh so much love. Thank you all.
May 2nd, 2015
Some wonderful news on the writing front. This time next month I’ll be back at Art Farm Nebraska for a second residency, working alongside my close friend and collaborator GennaRose Nethercott. Three weeks of poems, open sky, racoons in the walls, and trips to the Dont Care Bar. Woot woot.
March 25th, 2015
The cover has landed. Thanks to Gwynne Johnson for the beautiful images, and Josh Gaines for the layout. I’m honored and thrilled and so, so grateful.
February 5th, 2015
January 25th, 2015
85 East 4th street, 2nd floor, (East Village) Manhattan, NYC, NY
Sunday, February 8, 2015, 7:PM to 9:PM
Ben Clark grew up in rural Nebraska and now lives in Chicago, Illinois. His first book Reasons To Leave The Slaughter was released by Write Bloody Publishing in 2011. His second collection If you turn around I will turn around is forthcoming from Thoughtcrime Press in early 2015.
Emma Rosenberg is a writer and editor from Boston, MA. Her writing has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Slice Magazine, Guernica, The Rumpus, Fwriction : Review, and others. She is a winner of the Boston Literary Death Match and MassMouth Story Slam. Follow her (sporadically) updated twitter @HomeExperiments.
Eric Berlin grew up in suburban New Jersey in the ’80s with a love for storytelling instilled by his grandmother. He was drawn to poetry partly as a way of coping with her death. He’s been part of an improv troupe in LA, the Poetry MFA at Syracuse University, and the Sculpture MFA at NY Academy of Art, and now lives in upstate NY, where he works as a freelance editor.
Rebekah Bergman’s writing has appeared in Two Serious Ladies, Everyday Genius, Necessary Fiction, Construction, and Tin House’s The Open Bar, among others. Her chapbook of prose poems, “Greeting Cards for Every Occasion,” is forthcoming from White Knuckle Press. Rebekah is an MFA candidate at The New School and the associate editor of NOON. Rebekah lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Zinzi Clemmons is a fiction writer and editor of South African descent. She holds a BA from Brown and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia. Her writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All Story, Transition Magazine, African American Review, and The Common, among others. She has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction, and Columbia University; and scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center, and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation. She is Co-Founder and Publisher of Apogee, a literary journal on identity and politics. She lives in Upstate NY.
December 1st, 2014
do I have a treat for you.
Following this year’s Chicago Book Expo make your way over to Logan Square (and my house) to enjoy a free performance by authors from a heap-ton of great presses and organizations including: Thoughtcrime Press, Meekling Press, YesYes Bøøks, Projecttile Lit, Muzzle Magazine, Know Army, EM Press Publishing, Vox Ferus, and more!
How about this sexy list of readers:
The reading is free, but bring some cash monies (or credit card) to support your local authors. For every book you buy you will also receive a free shot of whiskey or can of old man beer. No lie.
Show up at 7:00. We’ll start the reading at 8.
I’m looking forward to seeing all of your smiling faces.
July 18th, 2014
I’m honored and thrilled to announce that my second collection of poetry, if you turn around I will turn around, is being published by the beauties over at Thoughtcrime Press in winter 2014. Following that, our first AWP as a press, and a west coast tour (hopefully with the band Tereshkova). I’m a lucky, lucky man, and so grateful to you wonders of the human race that have supported me, welcomed me into your homes on the road, given feedback in workshops, and hugs when I seemed down. More details soon, but until then know that I’m all beard and love and smiles.
June 13th, 2014
Wish me luck friends. I’m off to the farm.
May 16th, 2014
it is official, I will be back in Nebraska from June 13th-30th as a resident artist at the Art Farm. This has been a goal of mine since my high school art class visited the farm. I’m looking forward to the family and friends I’m bound to see, the quiet, the open space and the sunsets, meeting the other incredibly talented and diverse resident-artists, and of course, I’m looking forward to two weeks of time to devote to poetry and sound projects. I’m a lucky, lucky beardo.
March 16th, 2014
Hello friends. I’m performing a new contrapuntal, written with the wonderful Laurel Foglia, at the Encyclopedia Show, and would love to see your smiling faces out in the audience, and after the show.
February 10th, 2014
Well, well, well…a recording of me performing over at the Dollhouse. Check it out if you are so inclined. Also, shout-outs to Josh Gaines and Thoughtcrime Press for publishing that beautiful Little Bones book, and Colin Winnette for collaborating with me on the poem/poems in spotlight.
November 18th, 2013
Wowza! I’m the featured poet over at Muzzle Magazine. Check out the pretty, pretty write-up by the wonderful Laura Steadwell.
November 15th, 2013
it has been too long. My apologies for moving to hermit-town. I miss your beautiful faces.
June 18th, 2013
May 9th, 2013
April 3rd, 2013
We’ve put together an upcoming tour page. Little Bones.
March 17th, 2013
Thank you from the bottom of my beard to all of you who have made our kickstarter project a success! For those of you who haven’t had a chance yet, and still want to help out, there are only six days remaining to donate to the Little Bones Tour.
So far, we have ten tentative tour dates, taking us all the way down to Houston, and back up to Chicago. I will let you know more when shows are more formalized, but rest assured we are chomping at the bit to read you beautiful people some poetry.
January 11th, 2013
I have been reading a lot more than writing the last few months, and was asked recently for a list of poets/poems that I love. This is the list I came up with. Of course, there are numerous others, and likely better poems by the authors chosen, but nonetheless, wonderful poems by wonderful poets, with links. Enjoy.
-you are jeff, scheherazade, and saying your names
-gathering the bones together
-the light the dead see
-freedom, revolt, and love
-elegy for my father
http://www.fishousepoems.org/archives/annie_finch/elegy_for_my_father_.shtmlBrigit Pegeen Kelly
-scary, no scary
-the fire cycle
-tear it down
-what I mean by ruin is
-goodbye to the poetics of restlessness
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/181755-lighthead’s guide to the galaxy
-robinson’s telephone rings
-what the living do
-ask what I’ve been
-Athazagoraphobia: Fear of Being Ignored
-pomegranate means grenade
-how to fall in love with your father
-man tries to commit suicide with a crossbow
-we lived happily during the war
-prayer of the backhanded
-implications for modern life
-setting the table
-what my fathers taught me
-world without birds
-portrait of houdini with wife
-please advise stop (3 poems)
-leadbelly vs. lomax
http://www.fishousepoems.org/archives/tyehimba_jess/leadbelly_vs_lomax_at_the_modern_language_association_conference_1934.shtmlJohn Paul Davis
-myself, with the night on my face
-defending walt whitman
-grief calls us to the things of this earth
-experiment # 18, experiment #23
-a selection of numerous others
-poem without forgiveness
-ode to the midwest
-from VI: ideas
-in this light, since you ask
October 23rd, 2012
sorry for the absence, but sometimes a poet has to also be a hermit. I promise to be out and about more often. Let’s play. Give me a call if you like. Here is a quick update on the last few months. Colin and my collection of poems Kate Jury Denton Texas has been doing pretty well publication-wise with poems in Barnstorm, Right Hand Pointing, Hobart, A cappella Zoo, Split Lip, Brusque, and Atticus Review among others. Recently KJDT was named as a finalist (though not the winner) for the Subito Press book prize, which is fantastic but also a little bittersweet. Oh, and I’m listed in the Poets and Writers author directory. Woot.
In other news, Vox Ferus is still the best workshop in town, and Marty McConnell one of the most dynamic individuals I have ever met. She has a new book out (woot woot) called Wine for a Shotgun, and a book release here in Chicago on November 1st. Go to it here. I was also introduced to an incredible monthly reading series in Lincoln Square called the Dollhouse Reading Series. Nice people, great words, and an audience to die for.
Outside of all the writing business, I have to say I miss all of you a great deal…in Australia, Nebraska, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Ithaca, Denton, Seattle, and those of you scattered elsewhere across the country. Hopefully I can find a way to save up a little cash and visit each of you soon, and buy you a drink, and give you a hug, and share a few laughs.
June 24th, 2012
New author photo with Colin Winnette
April 5th, 2012
I’m honored to have been asked to return to Nebraska for a performance alongside three of my former Hastings College professors at this year’s Elinor Bartholomew Fine Arts Festival. Please join me! I would love to see you at the reading and after.
Poetry reading featuring: Dwight Marsh, Ben Clark, and Darrel Lloyd
with music by Jim Fritzler on the Cathedral organ!
Wine and cheese reception following.
St. Mark’s Pro-Cathedral
422 North Burlington
Hastings, NE 68901
April 28th, 2012
March 11th, 2012
Hello friends. I’m the featured poet in the fantastic journal Radius right now, with a poem of my own and selected poems from two wonderful friends and poets: Colin Winnette and Marty McConnell. Check it out if you have some time!
Also, Colin and I will be performing at the Joan Flasch Artist’s Book Collection (5th floor of 37 Wabash) tomorrow from 12-1 p.m. If you happen to be downtown, stop by for some poetry, pizza, and flowers.
January 23rd, 2012
What a fantastic time in Denton. Thanks to Colin, Regine, Courtney, Conor, Sam, Darin, Walker, Zach, and all the rest of you beautiful, beautiful people. I miss you already.
My final semester at SAIC begins this week, and I would be hard-pressed to say that I don’t feel a little sadness at leaving. It has been a fantastic last year and a half, and I owe each of my friends met at school a big, long hug.
This weekend I will be performing at three events, and in honor of my fantastic friends I will be selling my book for the
SEXY FRIEND DISCOUNT of $8!
I hope to see you at one of these great shows:
Pressed for Cash at the Westside School for the Desperate on the 28th at 8 p.m.
Fix Our Shit Fundraiser at Ashley Brand’s House on the 28th at 9:30 p.m.
Vox Ferus Night at the Green Mill on the 29th at 7 p.m
January 10th, 2012
I leave tomorrow for my second round of touring with Colin Winnette. I am incredibly excited to be traveling through the wonderful state of Texas with this talented fellow. Please check our tour blog or my own tour page for updates.
Also, I’m honored to be performing on January 29th at the legendary Green Mill in the first ever Vox Ferus takeover show with featured performances by Kristiana Colon, Emily Rose, Maya Marshall and Robertha Medina.
I will be competing later in the evening in a 3-person slam tournament with Reggie Eldridge and Abigail Vic. Woot. Only $7!
December 7th, 2011
it has been too long and I apologize for the absence. School has been challenging as you would expect, but I feel really good about the new work I am making, and the numerous friends and writers I have met here. As far as upcoming shows go, Colin Winnette and I will be touring Texas and Arizona in January in support of his fantastic new book Revelation, and I of course will continue to support Reasons to Leave the Slaughter. I will let you know the details very soon, but until then have a wonderful holiday season and keep writing!
September 15th, 2011
I will be featuring at the wonderful West Side School for the Desperate this Saturday. I would love it if you would join me. Cheap drinks, an incredible open mike, and me!
Here is the information:
3608 W. Wrightwood
Sign-up at 8PM, show at 8:30. 18+ ID at the door.
$5 suggested donation, reasonable drinks. Please do not B your own B and support your favorite DIY arts space!
ps–Thanks again to all of the performers and artists who contributed to the book release. It was a really magical night that I could not have imagined happening in a better way. I am really blessed to know all of you, and am deeply humbled by the depth, honesty, and skill that you put into everything that happened on that stage. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And thanks to those of you who came out to support the release of my book and the Chicago arts. I owe each of you many hugs.
August 31st, 2011
August 28th, 2011
School at the Art Institute essentially begins in a few days, and I have ants in my pants to return. I miss all of my friends. I miss writing and work-shopping. I miss my super-duper cheap U-Pass.
And to top all of this off, on September 9th at 7 p.m. I am lucky enough to be celebrating my official book release at the Art Institute’s ballroom. Instead of reading from my own text I have invited a variety of my favorite writers and artists to “cover” one of my poems however they like, along with opportunity to perform original work of their own. Along with the performances we will have tables set up with books/chapbooks for purchase and information on a variety of Chicago literary organizations. We will have food. We will have drinks. It is going to be beautiful madness, and I hope to see you there. Oh, and here is a tentative list of performers and artists:
Roger Bonair-Agard and J.W. Basilo
Nate Olison and Kevin Kern
What an amazing, blessed life I am living right now.
August 21st, 2011
Hello all. If I haven’t seen you in the last few weeks I am back in Chicago. It is good to be home, though the tour was wonderful, and taught me only to believe more and more in the kindness and generosity of my friends, family, and the many new artists and writers that we met on the road. I have Nick Flynn’s newest and Terrence Hayes’ first book of poetry sitting close by as I write this. Apple Juice cats around in the other room. I am listening to Luke Temple’s newest album, and have two fans pointed in my direction. Since Colin and I’ve been back we have performed at Ipsento Coffee with Adam Jameson, and featured at a packed Mental Graffiti. On Thursday we leave for New York (my first time) and Boston (also my first) with a reading scheduled at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on the 27th.
You can find out more about this show here.
ps-If you didn’t get a chance to follow along with our tour while it was happening, check out Colin and I’s tour blog.
July 17th, 2011
Well. We are here everyone. Colin and I will be leaving Monday the 18th for Indianapolis, and then on to the rest of the Midwest. Thanks again to all of you who came out to the Lillstreet Art Center for our going-away show. I feel absolutely blessed to have all of you in my life. Check out our fancy new tour blog for updates from the road.
July 5th, 2011
The TARANTULAS IN THE HAYSTACK TOUR kicks off in TEN days. Eep! Check the tour page for shows in your city, and for those of you in Chicago, please join us for the kick-off show on the roof of the Lillstreet Art Center. It is going to be a blast!
May 20th, 2011
Friends, the book is here! Thank you for your support over the last year. I love all of you very much. Check out my store for another view of the cover. You can now buy copies of the book at Write Bloody. Please do. Tell your friends. Tell your local library, your local book store. Tell your mom. Your mom would love my book. Of course if you happen to be in Chicago right now, contact me and I will hand-deliver a copy of the book to you. Really. I will drive to your home, and deliver the book along with one free hug.
In other news, the fantastic Colin Winnette and I will be touring the mid-west from late-July into early-August. We are still in the process of putting together our dates, but I promise I will let you know when any shows are finalized.
April 30th, 2011
the book has been sent to the printers. I should be receiving tour copies in the next few weeks. Thank you for all of your endless kindness and support. In thanks, here are two new author photos with requisite beard sway:
Oh yes…and the cover of my book.
April 4th, 2011
Hello all. Just a brief update and invitation for all of you. Reasons To Leave The Slaughter, my upcoming book from Write Bloody Press, has been sent to the copy editor, and will then be sent to the wonderful Debra Kayes for layout business, and then to the printers. So close.
One a side note, I was chosen as one of the representatives of SAIC in a joint reading with UIC this Friday. You should stop by. Pretty words. Pretty faces.
INVITATION TO THE THIRD ANNUAL UIC/SAIC JOINT READING
Date: Friday, April 8, 2011
Time: Refreshments served at 6:30pm & Reading begins at 7:00pm
Institute for the Humanities (MC 206), 701 South Morgan, Lower Level, Stevenson Hall, Chicago, IL
James Tadd Adcox (UIC), Maggie Anderson (UIC), Ben Clark (SAIC), Rebecca Elliott (SAIC), Austin Gilmour (UIC), Brenna Kischuk (SAIC), Virginia Konchan (UIC), Tyler Miles (UIC), Patty Petelin (SAIC), Roxanne Pilat (UIC), Jordan Scrivner (SAIC), Colin Winnette (SAIC)
March 8th, 2011
The cover for my book, Reasons To Leave The Slaughter, has been finalized. Woot. I am extremely happy with the image ( a photo by Todd Brown), with the design work and layout (all done by Debra Kayes), and the final choice made by Captain Derrick Brown of Write Bloody Press. I feel blessed and honored to be working with all of these fantastic people. I cannot start showing off this cover quite yet, but please check out Todd’s wonderful photography and the endless beautiful covers already in the Write Bloody store, and then imagine the two together singing songs and drinking Sunshine Wheat until last call.
Along with the cover being chosen, I can say that all edits have been completed (except for D.B.), the poems have been placed into an order, and my spatial issues (“five” contrapuntal poems) solved with a bit of elbow grease and the proper font choice. We are close people! Close!
February 14th, 2011
I am very lucky to have the fantastic Joshua Cotter illustrating my upcoming collection of poetry on Write Bloody Press. For a sneak peak head over to his website, and look at the bottom of the page here: Josh Cotter Illustrations. The last nine images (and two more on their way) will be in the book. Also, of course, buy one of his fantastic books here: Josh Cotter Store.
January 18th, 2011
I am fortunate enough to open for the fantastic Jalan Crossland’s Band at the Listening Room this Friday. I will be reading poems from my upcoming book that will be published this year by Write Bloody Press. I will very likely also have chapbooks and felt beards/mustaches to sell if you so desire. This is my first show as a “touring” poet. Please join me.
Friday, January 21 · 7:30pm – 10:00pm
(Doors open at 6:30)
The Listening Room (in the Knights of Pythias Club)
106 N. Denver
Purchase tickets online here with credit card:
or at the door with cash money.
January 3rd, 2011
Rather than babbling on about some sort of resolution I may or may not follow through on in the upcoming months, I would like to instead begin the year by thanking some of those individuals who have made this last year so special to me:
My family. Debra and Apple Juice. Tom, Whitney, and Jen. Gwynne and William. Shannon and Jeremy. Todd and Cody. Joelle and Michelle. Brian, Jordan, Dr. Wood, Marnie, Kate, Martha, Dan, Jeff and Faith, Rachel, Ted, Lee, Joko, Michael S., Erin O., Erin K. and Dan, Jill, Alexis, Rebecca and Nick, Tona, Patty, Patty, Storm, Derrick B., Nika, Tim, Sarah Q M., Stevie, Kurt, Kim, Kerry, Roger, John, Baz, Amy, Molly, Marty, Tristan, Laura, Eboni, Emily, Stacy, Robbie, Greg, Michael M., Sherry A., Calvin F., Sara L., Amber D., Mary C., Ruth M. Everyone at Fleet Feet. Everyone in my Oblique Angles, Literary Animal, and Singular Voice classes. Anyone who has taken the time to give his/her opinion of my work. Everyone who has made me laugh. Everyone who has introduced themselves. Everyone who continues to consider themselves my friend even when I give them much less than they deserve. All of you friends I forgot while making this list, who will still be my friend when I see you next. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
ps–If you are in Hastings, Nebraska on the 21st of this month I will be the opening act at the Listening Room. Go here for more details: http://www.thelisteningroom.org/www.thelisteningroom.org/Home.html . I will be selling little chapbooks and felt beards and mustaches. Woot.
October 26th, 2010
Man oh man…it has been too long. I apologize to those of you who happen to to browse these pages on a regular schedule. School has been fantastic: loads of super-talented people just wandering around…waiting to blow my mind with any number of creations, a dynamic faculty completely devoted to helping us students along, and numerous off-campus perks (like access to the back rooms at the field museum! What!) to keep me busy. The manuscript is moving along nicely, and is getting attention from a wonderful combination of friends and faculty. I hope to begin serious work with my illustrator next week ironing out the details as far as what I am looking for, and what he is interested in drawing. I have my first feature coming up in November, a show in January back in Nebraska opening for a band at the Listening Room, and will start booking shows at that point for my summer tours. Gulp. I am excited/nervous/honored to even have this as a possibility for my life. Touring the country. Who would have thought? Thanks again to all of you who have put up with me over the last few months, and thanks to all of you who continue to support me as an artist, and as a friend. I love all of you very much.
August 30th, 2010
Orientation is tomorrow at SAIC, the Encyclopedia Show (The Periodic Table) is on Wednesday, and my first class is on Friday. I am going to be one busy bearded bee this week!
August 8th, 2010
Things to be excited about right now if your name is Ben:
1. This fantastic new website (thanks DK)
2. August 2011 publication date for my first full-length book of poetry on Write Bloody Press
3. MFA classes beginning at the Art Institute in September
4. All of the fantastic, beautiful people I have met here in Chicago
5. All of the fantastic, beautiful people elsewhere with couches, floors, beds, that I will stay with while touring next summer (pretty please…)
6. A well-made mix cd
7. Apple Juice (the cat, not the drink)
8. Manuscript editing at the Real Talk Table.
9. Authors who have crushed me this summer: Haruki Muraki, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ander Monson, Ross Gay, Roger Bonair-Agard, John Paul Davis, Li-Young Lee, Nick Flynn, Nate Powell, Sarah Q. Morgan