Sunday, April 6, 2014

Upcoming Readings in Pittsburgh

Please come to these!

Friday, April 11
Pittsburgh Small Press Summit Meeting with Hyacinth Girl Press, Lowghost Press, Small Victories Press, and sunnyoutside press, featuring:

Christopher Bowen
Milenko Budimir
Mark Cronin
JB Henry
Karen Lillis
Bob Pajich
Daniel M. Shapiro
Scott Silsbe
...and more

ModernFormations Gallery
4919 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh PA 15224


Saturday, April 26

[Read]: Poetry - A Literary Reading, featuring:

Joan Bauer
CJ Coleman
Daniel M. Shapiro

5125 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh PA 15224


Tuesday, June 24
Hemingway's Summer Poetry Series

Celebrating Caliban Books & Low Ghost Press, featuring:
& the Mystery Poet

Hemingway's Cafe
3911 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh PA 15213

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I will be reading in Seattle next week

Here are some of my plans for AWP Seattle. I can't wait to read with so many people whose work I have admired from afar. Please come to these and other readings all over the city.


Thursday, February 27, 3 pm to 4 pm
Book Signing


Thursday, February 27, 7 pm
The Butterfly Lounge

Kim Addonizio
Hugh Behm-Steinberg
Joanna Fuhrman
Joe Hall 
Cheryl Quimba
Adeena Karasick 
Amy Lawless 
James Maughn 
Sampson Starkweather
Daniel M. Shapiro
J. Hope Stein
Rauan Klassnik
Janaka Stucky
Maria Garcia Teutsch
Peter Kline
Brittany Perham


Saturday, March 1, 10 pm
Georgetown Liquor Company


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book release party this Friday

Please come to this. Tiny candy bars with pictures of my book cover on them will be available.
Reader Bios:
Nikki Allen is a writer currently living & scribbling in Pittsburgh. She is the author of numerous chapbooks, including Gutter of Eden, My Darling Since, and Quite Like Yes. Her poetry has appeared on a plethora of stages and pages including The New Yinzer, Crash, Open Thread Regional Review Vol. 2, out of nothing, and Encyclopedia Destructica. Her latest collection of writing, ligaments of light tigering the shoulders, will be out in winter of 2013/spring of 2014 via Night Ballet Press. She loves couscous and garlic breath.
Jason Baldinger has spent a life in odd jobs, if only poetry was the strangest of them he’d have far less to talk about. Somewhere in time he travelled the country, and wrote a few books, the latest of which are The Lower 48 on Six Gallery Press and The Studs Terkel Blues on Night Ballet Press, both of which will be available in the spring. A short litany of publishing credits include The New Yinzer, Shatter Wig Press, Blast Furnace and you can also hear audio of some poems at
Margaret Bashaar's second chapbook, Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel, was released by Blood Pudding Press. Her work has also appeared in such journals as New South, Caketrain, Copper Nickel, Rhino, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. She edits the chapbook micro-press Hyacinth Girl Press and is a staff writer for Luna Luna Magazine.
Lori Jakiela is the author of the memoirs The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious (C&R Press) and Miss New York Has Everything (Hatchette), as well as the poetry collection Spot the Terrorist (Turning Point).
Brian Mihok's work has recently appeared in Fast Company, Everyday Genius, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. His novel The Quantum Manual of Style was published in 2013 by Aqueous Books. He is an associate editor at sunnyoutside press and editor of matchbook, a literary journal. He's also a filmmaker.
Daniel M. Shapiro is a teacher in the Woodland Hills School District. How the Potato Chip Was Invented is his first full-length collection of poems. He is also the author of two chapbooks and a collection of collaborations with Jessy Randall. His poems have appeared in such journals as Sentence, Chiron Review, Gargoyle, Rhino, Barge, and Vector.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

It Has Been a Long, Long Time

A lot has happened since the last post many months ago, so here are some highlights:

1.) My book How the Potato Chip Was Invented was published last week by sunnyoutside press. You may purchase it here.

2.) I read some great poetry books, including
But Our Princess Is in Another Castle, by B.J. Best
The Disordered, by Anhvu Buchanan
Flood Bloom, by Caroline Cabrera
How Like Foreign Objects, by Alexis Orgera
Nonstop Pop, by Becca Klaver
Sweetgrass, by Micah Ling

3.) I got an acceptance from Word Riot. Normally, I would not comment on an acceptance because readers can't do anything with it; I would point people toward a piece that has been published. But my experience with Word Riot has been unusual. A couple of years ago, I sent them a batch of poems and received the kindest letter I've ever gotten from an editor. The editor told me I was hilarious. She said I took risks. She called me "devastatingly gifted." And she told me she didn't want to publish my poems. Of course she made it clear she would like me to submit stuff to her again: "Don't be a stranger." So a few months later, I sent another batch of poems, a batch that was definitely better than the first. That time I received a shorter letter that said no, thanks. A few weeks ago, I thought I had THE BEST batch of poems I could send--not necessarily hilarious, but certainly risky. I included a newer poem that's part of a series of heavy metal-themed fairy tales. (Based on my range of writing, nothing says risky more than a heavy metal fairy tale.)
Anyway, they took the heavy metal fairy tale. Main point: When you love a publication, and that publication's editor encourages you in a rejection letter, you should behave differently from how you normally would when rejected. Don't badmouth the publication to your friends, blog about how the publication encourages people not to vaccinate their kids, reply to their rejection letter with an e-mail titled "Do You Know Who I Am?!?!!??," etc. Just keep sending them poems.

4.) I continue to be impressed with the writers in my community. Some of them publish journals, some publish books, others get published a lot, and still others need a kick in their butt to get stuff out so everyone can see how goshdarned great they are. Anyhow, so many people in Pittsburgh truly are devastatingly gifted, without quote marks around the term.

Happy New Year, all.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pulitzer Remix Project for National Poetry Month

Sometimes I seem to forget this, but I am a lucky person. I got to attend Game Seven of the 2001 World Series. I have shaken the right hand of Elvin Jones. And now, I have gotten to participate in an ambitious project that has made me a better writer.

I am referring to the Pulitzer Remix Project, which has brought together 85 poets to write a found poem for each day in April. Each writer is using a Pulitzer Prize-winning work of fiction as a sort of word mine; some people are creating erasure poems, while others use a collage method (i.e., taking words from the text without keeping them in their original order).

My poems are based on The Collected Short Stories of Katherine Anne Porter. Throughout April, I will share a new poem every day on this page. I've been pleased to get to read poems by the other 84 poets, and I hope you will, too. --DMS

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Reading in Boston on March 7

Please come to this event if you're in Boston next week.

AWP Offsite Reading: Sunnyoutside and Fried Chicken and Coffee
Thursday, March 7, 2013, 7:00pm until 9:00pm
Out of the Blue Gallery, 106 Prospect Street, Cambridge MA

Daniel M. Shapiro, Anhvu Buchanan and Rusty Barnes
will read for Sunnyoutside
Donna Vitucci, Sheldon Compton, and John McManus
will read for Fried Chicken and Coffee

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Next Big Thing Interview

The fabulous Carol Guess has tagged me for the Next Big Thing Series, in which writers give brief interviews about their forthcoming books. (I'm looking forward to reading the interviews of the people I've tagged at the bottom of this post.) Here goes:

What is the working title of the book? 

How the Potato Chip Was Invented; there’s a poem in the book with that name. It was inspired by a visit to the Utz factory in Pennsylvania Dutch country. I remember watching a short video there about the history of the chip. Basically, I took the real story, forgot large sections of it, and replaced the forgotten sections with references to Lionel Richie. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I had been writing a bunch of mock-history prose poems. Some of these took historical figures and placed them in impossible contexts (e.g., Fred Astaire performing with the Black Eyed Peas), while other poems were aimed at righting wrongs; certain celebrities received long-overdue comeuppance. The idea to focus the book solely on these celebrity poems came from the editors, David McNamara and Brian Mihok.

What genre does your book fall under?

Prose poems, mini teleplay, standardized test portion, etc.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Some of the characters in the book are movie actors: Christopher Walken and Max von Sydow, for example. I would want them to play each other.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

These poems about celebrities are occasionally creepy and loosely research-based—Wikipedia, basically.

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

I sat in my basement a couple of Aprils ago and thought up dozens of “what if” scenarios involving famous people—Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon. Then I turned these into longish prose poems that had to be pared down. It took a couple of months to revise and turn the poems into a manuscript.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was a journalist and advertising copywriter before I became a poet. Some of the ideas in the book probably come from my brain’s inability to differentiate among these disparate media. I sometimes distort facts and serve up a poem as a tweaked biography. Anyhow, the writers who inspired me most were David Wojahn—who wrote several brilliant, celebrity-oriented poems in his book Mystery Train—and my heroes of prose poetry: Russell Edson and James Tate

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I blaspheme mainstream darlings such as Thomas Kinkade and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Somehow, even Julie Andrews winds up under the proverbial bus. I also profess my decades-long love for Rosanna Arquette.

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It will be published in summer 2013 by sunnyoutside press, which makes beautiful books. I am so fortunate to be able to work with David and Brian.


My tagged writers for next week are:

Mary Lou Buschi 
Sarah Carson
Matt Hart 
Shannon Hozinec 
Jessy Randall 
Daniel Romo