House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

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GREEN BAY / NORTHEAST

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IMAGINE Poetry Reading

  • The Reader's Loft 2069 Central Court, Suite 44 Green Bay, WI 54311 USA (map)

JULY: Poetry of Individuality

Ching-In Chen, Soham Patel & Robert Nordstrom

Ching-In Chen Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and was a participant in Sharon Bridgforth's Theatrical Jazz Institute. They have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Soul Mountain Retreat, Ragdale Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony, and the Norman Mailer Center. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review's editor-in-chief, senior editor of The Conversant, and serve on the board of Woodland Pattern.www.chinginchen.com

Ching-In Chen

Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and was a participant in Sharon Bridgforth's Theatrical Jazz Institute. They have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Soul Mountain Retreat, Ragdale Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony, and the Norman Mailer Center. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review's editor-in-chief, senior editor of The Conversant, and serve on the board of Woodland Pattern.www.chinginchen.com

American Syntax

The teacher straightbacked,
faced me off, her eyes.
My face in the cleave of
her shoulder, my bones
sitting high my cheek.
The word proper
arrives in the hall. The order
of things, rolling
neat into pine drawers, deadclean.
Squeezed juice of greedy
sponge.
Her teeth not match.
One chipped. The corner lifted,
peeking a window, furtive.
The other, pearl, round
and perfect, looming above my
arched head. About to bite.

-- Ching-in Chen
Previously published in So to Speak, re-printed in Another and Another: an Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series, and chosen as Split This Rock's Poem-of-the-Week.
 

Soham Patel Soham Patel’s recent work is up at Banango Street, They Will Sew The Blue Sail, CURA Magazine, and Twelfth House. Her chapbook and nevermind the storm is available from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. She is a Kundiman fellow and currently lives in Milwaukee where she is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin and a poetry editor at cream city review.

Soham Patel

Soham Patel’s recent work is up at Banango Street, They Will Sew The Blue SailCURA Magazine, and Twelfth House. Her chapbook and nevermind the storm is available from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. She is a Kundiman fellow and currently lives in Milwaukee where she is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin and a poetry editor at cream city review.

to say prayers for each breakfast eater tonight—

let's not front he said and asked me to call him in instead of calling him out now

it’s been ten years since we read that sign at breach candy hospital that one that says
        no dogs or indians allowed

five since the american artisan ice cream corporation opened their shoppe in dehli’s
        sector 6 select city walk where you can only go in if you hold international passport

he said come now do you also want anyone from any caste coming in to the store

my poor manners imagine us embracing on a dirt floor yet all this devouring sweet
         breaks teeth

again we find ourselves having to position our bodies around each other and having
         to think more about our bodies than we did before

now we make small talk around the question of bending and stretch around an ear
         or brow to the ground

now the currency exchange translates into enough money to pay snake charmers
         put coins into any tiny and open palm

-- Soham Patel

Robert Nordstrom Robert Nordstrom was raised in Toledo, Ohio, where as a child he climbed trees in suburbia to gain a view of the way out. Too much partying in college led to a restless thumb and America’s highways, a stint in Viet Nam, a couple of years in Florida, a few years sweating in front of kitchen broilers, a year in Paris with his wife Linda and finally Wisconsin—home at last. After obtaining an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he worked as an editor/writer for various publications for the next 30 years. During his free time, he hauled his son and daughter to the activities that might shape their lives and shaped wood into sculptures that brought pleasure but seldom took the shape of a pencil. A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, today, he stays busy with a free-lance writing gig, hauling grade schoolers and high schoolers over the back roads of Southeastern Wisconsin in a big yellow bus and poetry, poetry, poetry. His work has been published in numerous regional and national publications, including Upstreet, Main Street Rag, The Comstock Review, Naugatuck River Review, Verse Wisconsin, Stoneboat, Rosebud and others. His book The Sacred Monotony of Breath was published by Prolific Press in 2015. As a school bus driver his goals are modest but worthy: to teach high schoolers how to respond when an adult says good morning and a second grader that it’s probably best she not lick the seat in front of her. As a poet, he just wants to make up for all that time lost when he couldn’t figure out how to sculpt that piece of wood into a pencil.

Robert Nordstrom

Robert Nordstrom was raised in Toledo, Ohio, where as a child he climbed trees in suburbia to gain a view of the way out. Too much partying in college led to a restless thumb and America’s highways, a stint in Viet Nam, a couple of years in Florida, a few years sweating in front of kitchen broilers, a year in Paris with his wife Linda and finally Wisconsin—home at last. After obtaining an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he worked as an editor/writer for various publications for the next 30 years. During his free time, he hauled his son and daughter to the activities that might shape their lives and shaped wood into sculptures that brought pleasure but seldom took the shape of a pencil. A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, today, he stays busy with a free-lance writing gig, hauling grade schoolers and high schoolers over the back roads of Southeastern Wisconsin in a big yellow bus and poetry, poetry, poetry. His work has been published in numerous regional and national publications, including Upstreet, Main Street Rag, The Comstock Review, Naugatuck River Review, Verse Wisconsin, Stoneboat, Rosebud and others. His book The Sacred Monotony of Breath was published by Prolific Press in 2015. As a school bus driver his goals are modest but worthy: to teach high schoolers how to respond when an adult says good morning and a second grader that it’s probably best she not lick the seat in front of her. As a poet, he just wants to make up for all that time lost when he couldn’t figure out how to sculpt that piece of wood into a pencil.

Old Lovers

Two lovers lie in bed, air thin
between them, ceiling a black cloud
absorbing their dreams.

Their hands touch,
incidental contact,
and in silence they begin

their climb to gain a view,
see where they have been
where they might yet go.

Over there, one says, no,
over there, the other responds,
but neither sees what the other sees.

The cynic says, see, there is no there
there, only breath at whose peaks and valleys
we die and are resurrected again.

Ah, but these old lovers know better,
eyes closed now to open the view, calling
without you I never would have gone there.

-- Robert Nordstrom

From The Sacred Monotony of Breath (Prolific Press, 2015);
winning entry in the 2014 Hal Prize Poetry Contest

Earlier Event: July 8
IMAGINE Poetry Reading
Later Event: August 27
IMAGINE Poetry Reading

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