a long list of things I've been up to
I've been doing a lot this year, writing/project-wise, and I have been very bad about keeping this website updated. So, this is me playing catch up.
-I was part of the GREAT poems project and the Milwaukee Resists project. You can order the GREAT collection here; if you want Milwaukee Resists you'll have to make a trip to Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee.
-I put together a Writers Resist event here in Racine. Someone was kind enough to record it, so if you're curious as to what some of the writers and activists are doing here in southeastern Wisconsin, check it out.
-I started a fucking small press! Bone & Ink Press now has its own website, so it's officially officially A Thing--now I just need to figure out funding and write a mission statement and open it up for submissions.
-Oh, oh, oh, did I mention I was interviewed in fucking Maximum Rocknroll? Cuz I was! Yeah, Nate Perkins interviewed me last year and it appeared in MRR this March. I am still incredibly stoked on it, because when I was 15 I vowed that one day there would be an interview with me in MRR, and twenty years later it finally happened.
You can order a digital version here.
-I wrote and published two chapbooks--It's Like The 'Watch The Throne' Of Tender Punk Poems (a collaboration with Misha Bee Speck) and kinda sorta valentines--and one issue of Reckless Chants. Hard copies of all three are available in my Etsy shop, digital copies of the chapbooks are available via both Etsy and Payhip.
-Hello America published a digital chapbook of my work, 10 Poems By Jessie Lynn McMains. It's only $3, which is a steal, and it's well worth it (if I do say so myself). You can buy it from Pioneers Press or Amazon. Also, check out the intro Adam Gnade wrote for it:
Jessie Lynn McMains' poetry reminds me of what I first loved about the form--the feeling packed into words that would open up whole cinematic scenes. It's very visual; you see what Jessie's saying but you also feel it. You feel the grit under your sneakers and the head full of whiskey and the cold nights outside Midwest bars (and you smell the stale beer, the wet asphalt, the cigarette smoke from that shady vampire leaning up against the Buick). It's the same feeling I got from listening to X's Wild Gift for the first time or reading Patti Smith's poetry or Lester Bangs on the Clash or from seeing Edward Hopper's Night Windows in the Whitney. This is American art in the way Robert Frank's photographs are American--a reliquary of details; lonely, even when they're not alone, bluesy even on the gentler days. Always smart, always alive. It's rowdy but never disproportionately so; there is a naturalness to this stuff that makes it feel wholly legitimate. (It's no surprise Jessie's the current Poet Laureate for her hometown). Rebecca Solnit said this about the kind of writers you want to read: "You want to read people who are wise, deep, wild, kind, committed, insightful, attentive; you want to be those people." Jessie is one of those writers. -Hello America curator, Locust House author Adam Gnade
I know, right? It nearly made me cry the first time I read it.
-If you've read and liked 10 Poems By, or 'Watch The Throne', could you be a doll and review them on Goodreads? Or, you could review 10 Poems By on Amazon, that'd be awesome, too! And if you ever order anything from me on Etsy, it's always, always helpful if you leave a review there.
-I've updated and relaunched my Patreon. There are a bunch of new perks, including hand-typed and signed poems, personalized tarot cards, and the opportunity to suggest topics, genres, or writers for my "Poetry, Prose, & Prompts" video series. Even if you can only pledge $1 per month, you'll still get access to a bunch of new and previously unpublished work. And even if you can only pledge $1 per month, please consider becoming my patron--if I get 50 people to pledge $1 per month, that's $50 more per month! I've got some big goals that I'm trying to reach, including getting my zines professionally printed, running Bone & Ink Press, and writing a novel, a poetry manuscript, and a non-fiction book.
-I've started a bi-weekly video series, "Poetry, Prose, & Prompts with Jessie Lynn McMains." In each episode, I will be discussing and sharing a favorite piece (or pieces) of prose or poetry, then sharing a writing prompt I came up with inspired by the pieces. In the first episode, the inspiration comes from the final paragraph of On The Road. In the second episode, the inspiration comes from poems by Raul Gutierrez and Maggie Smith. Pretty soon, I will be posting transcripts of the episodes, so that if you are hearing impaired or the written word just works better for you, you can access it, too.
-I've started a bi-weekly TinyLetter newsletter. You can expect musings, poems, spells, micro memoirs, favorite things, writing prompts, and sundry other surprises. You can subscribe by clicking here, or read the first installment here.
-I have a lot of in-progress projects and upcoming publications. I'll post more information once it's available, but in the meantime, here's a short list:
I have pieces appearing in the upcoming issues of Fluke fanzine and Up The Witch Punx zine; the pieces are about punk rock nostalgia and radical hope, respectively. I have a story appearing in the upcoming Ladybox Books zine trio anthology, about Superchunk (and how an ex-whatever of mine nearly ruined that band for me). I am working on a book-length poetry project, tentatively titled Wisconsin Death Trip. I'm still not entirely sure if it's a series of interconnected poems or one very long poem in many parts, but in any case--sections of it will be published in the upcoming issues of both Paper & Ink and Little River. I'm also writing a piece for Synchronise Witches Press' upcoming Karen Dalton fanzine, and working on a revised and expanded edition of Major Arcana of the Punk Rock Tarot. And, finally, What We Talk About When We Talk About Punk will be published in the near-ish future, I swear, and I promise I will update every possible bit of social media once I have an actual date for that.
-Oh, and if you'd like to receive these kinds of updates in real time, as opposed to every few months when I get around to updating this website? You should probably like my page on Facebook.