“The Thirteenth Girl in Madeline, Part II”

A few years ago we were reading “Madeline” and my wife noticed an oddity–when Madeline is off at the hospital, in one drawing, there is an extra little girl. She only appears that once, in a dining scene, and then she disappears. Now, usually, I write about rock music or poets, but something about this unexpected kid stirred me. In “Writhe.Waltz” I have two poems about her…I was going to read it to you, then realized I have someone more suited to it living with me. So, here is Audrey reading “The Thirteenth Girl in Madeline, Part II.”

“No Galatea Has the Upper Hand”

To celebrate the forthcoming release of my new collection, Writhe.Waltz, here’s a preview poem. The form is inspired by Robert Browning, the photo is from RKO archives, and the design is by Christine Butterworth-McDermott, my artistic and life collaborator. I told her how I wanted it to look, she put it together, and I did the lunch dishes. I wrote this piece years ago and I’m very pleased Kelsay Books is finally giving it a home.

Writer’s League of Texas news

Last Saturday was my first meeting as a board member with the marvelous people at the Writer’s League of Texas. If you don’t know about this fantastic Austin-based resource for writers here in the Lone Star state–and beyond–check out their website. Looking for craft classes, readings, advice on that query letter? They’ve got it. I’m so pleased to be onboard! (I’m especially looking at you, SFA alum, in the Austin area. Seeking a writing community now that you’re away from Nacogdoches? Here it is!)


“To the Tripping Man at Altamont”

There’s a new poem up today, “To the Tripping Man at Altamont.” The editors at the museum of americana have been very supportive of my work over the years and I’m always grateful when they publish another piece from me.

If you don’t know about the disastrous concert at Altamont in 1969, it’s tragic and fascinating and sadly still feels relevant.

To the Tripping Man at Altamont—Poetry by John A. McDermott