Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gerald Stern Recommends The Forever Notes

Ploughshares: Winter 2013-2014 
"These poems are on the edge, yet the poet--or her spokesperson--is always there and there is no doubt that there is extensive reference to the actual life of someone named Ethel. Aside from this, the poems are graceful, song-like and moving. They are elusive and full of longing. It's a pleasure reading them."

Friday, November 8, 2013

Read These Books!

Two of my favorite poetry books right now: 
Jane & Paige or Sister Goose, Twenty-Four Women & Girls by Elizabeth Savage 
and Annotated Glass by Alyse Knorr.

This is amazing, innovative work.

Both books are available from Furniture Press.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Reading with Vasiliki Katsarou at Hunterdon Art Museum

Vasiliki Katsarou and Ethel Rackin
Friday, November 1, 2013 at 6pm
Hunterdon Art Museum First Friday Poetry Series 2013
7 Lower Center St., Clinton NJ 08809
(908) 735-8415

Friday, July 26, 2013

Boston Poetry Marathon

Boston Poetry Marathon
Hosted by John Mulrooney and Jim Behrle
August 16-18, 2013
Cambridge at Outpost 186
(186 1/2 Hampshire St., Inman Square, Cambridge, MA)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

On Deck Reading (Vol.1.2) with Hassen Saker and Sue Landers

Hosted by Jacob A. Bennett
Saturday, July 20, 2013, 5pm
330 S. 43rd St, 1R, Philadelphia PA

On Deck is a three-part BBQ-and-reading series, a kind of “summer salon en plein air.” The host, Jacob Bennett, has invited one reader for each installation, and that reader has invited one more reader, who has invited one more reader, for a total of three per event. This invitation process mimics the various networks of friends and acquaintances that a community creates and recreates, organically but conscientiously trading and sharing information and tastes. The second event features Hassen Saker, Ethel Rackin, and Sue Landers, whose bios follow below. The grills (one for veggie-friendly foods only) will go red around 5pm, with the readings to commence at 7pm. Although there will be lagers in the cooler, and snacks on the table, please bring your own grill food and any special beverages you want to drink.

Hassen Saker writes & performs transmedia poetry. Chapbooks include Salem (Belladona*), Crabapples (Furniture Press), & the Sky Journal triptych, which will be published in a single volume from Dusie Press in 2013. She is a sustainable entrepreneur and eco-blogger, as well as a producer, writer and director of documentary video projects at Dog Feed Dog Productions.

Ethel Rackin's first collection of poems is The Forever Notes, published by Parlor Press in 2012. Other recent work has appeared in Colorado Review, Big Bridge, Evergreen Review, Verse Daily, and Zócalo Public Square. She has taught at Penn State Brandywine, Haverford College, and Bucks County Community College, where she is currently an assistant professor. She lives along the Delaware River with her husband and two dogs.

Sue Landers is the author of 248 mgs., a panic picnic (O Books), Covers (O Books), 15: A Poetic Engagement with the Chicago Manual of Style (Least Weasel), and What I Was Tweeting While You Were on Facebook (Perfect Lovers Press, forthcoming). Her latest project is a mash-up of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Gertrude Stein's Making of Americans, and the history of one Philadelphia neighborhood (Germantown). Together, they form Franklinstein. Selections from Franklinstein have appeared as a chapbook from Cannot Exist, as well as in On and On Screen, West Wind Review, and E O A G H. She blogs about her research at

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reading at Rosemont College

Rosemont Writer's Retreat
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
7:30 PM Gracemere Great Room
1316 Wendover Rd. Rosemont PA 19010

The program will run for approximately an hour and will opportunities for audience Q & A. For additional information please contact Carla Spataro at cspataro

Marc Schuster is the author of The Grievers, The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom and Party Girl, Don DeLillo, Jean Baudrillard, and the Consumer Conundrum, and, with Tom Powers, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fan’s Guide to Doctor Who. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals ranging from Weird Tales to Reader’s Digest. He teaches writing and literature courses at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Marc is also the editor of Small Press Reviews and a contributing editor for Shelf Unbound. His random thoughts and musings are available on his blog, Abominations.

Kelly McQuain's poems have been featured on National Public Radio and in such journals as The Pinch, Painted Bride Quarterly, Apiary, Mixtape, Mead, Paper Nautilus, and Assaracus. His work has been nominated for Best New American Poets, Best of the Net, and a Pushcart Prize. His short stories have been anthologized over a dozen times. He teaches creative writing at Community College of Philadelphia and writes columns on city life for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Learn more at You can read one of his poems at:

Autumn Konopka has an MFA in poetry from Antioch University. She is a writing teacher, amateur baker, and stay at home mom. Her poems have appeared in Literary Mama, Philadelphia Stories, the Mad Poets Review, the Schuylkill Valley Journal, Crab Orchard Review, and others. She lives in Glenside with her husband, two wee crazy kiddos, and one ornery cat.

Ethel Rackin is the author of the poetry collection The Forever Notes, published by Parlor Press in 2012. Her poems have appeared in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Court Green, Evergreen Review, Poetry East, Verse Daily, and Volt. She earned her MFA from Bard College and her PhD in English literature from Princeton University. She has taught at Penn State Brandywine, Haverford College, and Bucks County Community College, where she is currently an assistant professor.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reading with Hassen Saker

Saturday, May 18, 2013
Penn Book Center
130 South 34th Street

You're invited, Courtesy of David Hancock:

Random Name Poetry Series presents two amazing poets at Penn Book Center on a Saturday afternoon. Poetry, refreshments, talk.

ETHEL RACKIN was born in Philadelphia. She earned her MFA from Bard College and her PhD in English Literature from Princeton University. She has taught at Penn State Brandywine, Haverford College, and Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania, where she is currently an assistant professor. Her work has appeared in THE AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW, COLORADO REVIEW, COURT GREEN, EVERGREEN REVIEW, POETRY EAST, VOLT, and elsewhere. Her book THE FOREVER NOTES was published by Parlor Press in 2012.

HASSEN SAKER writes & performs transmedia poetry. Chapbooks include SALEM (Belladona*), CRABAPPLES (Furniture Press), SKY JOURNAL FROM LAND, SKY JOURNAL FROM SEA, and SKY JOURNAL FROM SKY. Her texts have appeared in SOUS RATURE, NEDGE, TOOL A MAGAZINE, EOAGH, FREQUENCY AUDIO JOURNAL, SKANKY POSSUM, BIG BRIDGE, DUSIE, 100 DAYS ANTHOLOGY & elsewhere. The triptych SKY JOURNALS will be published in a single volume, forthcoming from Dusie Press in 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

AWP in Boston: The Event II-The Burren

I'm very much looking forward to reading with fellow Parlor Press poets, Jennifer Atkinson and Christopher Kondrich, as well as many others, in this upcoming AWP offsite reading. Stop by if you can!

Here's the info.:

Saturday, March 9, 2013
6:00pm until 9:00pm
The Burren, 247 Elm Street, Somerville, MA (Davis Square) - Accessible by subway on the Red Line (2 stops after Harvard)

Cost: Donation

Poets from the following presses will be reading: Highway 101, Furniture Press Books, Parlor, La Alameda, Apogee, Lunar Chandelier, Flim Forum, Fact-Simile, Stockport Flats, Instance/EtherDome, Propolis Press and Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe. Readers: Elizabeth Savage, Melanie Noel, Kimberly Lyons, Andrew Schelling, Pattie McCarthy, Belinda Kremer, Matthew Klane, Adam Golaski, Jennifer Atkinson, Christopher Kondrich, Ethel Rackin. Elizabeth Robinson, Brian Teare, Travis Cebula, Deborah Poe, Cara Benson, Lynn Behrendt, Rebecca Eland and Joe Elliot.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Lovely poet and human, Jenn McCreary kindly tagged me to take part in The Next Big Thing, a series of self-interviews with writers in which each writer tagged then tags another set of writers in a round-robin of poetic musings. Here are answers regarding my collection of poems, The Forever Notes, just out from Parlor Press:

What is the working title of the book?
The Forever Notes.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
After composing on the computer for a time, I began keeping a notebook of detachable graph paper, which allowed me to let the poems breathe, and to view versions side-by-side. The notebook became a generative space in which words often suggested other words. The poems that emerged preserve these slippages, and use repetition to make things stay or mark their disappearance. A book of experimental lyrics, The Forever Notes grew out of the notebook.

What genre does your book fall under?

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The book’s objects—trees, chocolate, wheelbarrows, a ship on the sea, nightgowns, rug samples, a garden, a femur bone, cookies, a blind bird, curbs, scotch—are its leading actors, as in Robbe-Grillet’s La Jalousie. There are people too—mainly girls—and movies, including Talk to Her, Far From Heaven, and Lost in Translation.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
The Forever Notes weaves ancient traditions of love song, incantation, and meditation into a wholly contemporary lyricism, all the while asking what is recoverable within the flux of time.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Several years.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration comes from “the need to sing to be,” as I write in the poem, “Song.”  Influences include Emily Dickinson, Jean Follain, Barbara Guest, Yannis Ritsos, and Gertrude Stein.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It is essentially a love story.

Is your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The book was published this fall in Parlor Press’ Free Verse Editions Series.

My tagged writers for next Wednesday are:
Christopher Kondrich
Susan Landers

The Forever Notes is available for purchase at Parlor Press,, and amazon.
Poems from the book can be found on

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