Fill in the Blanks with Krista Cox

KMC headshot Sept 2015

had the pleasure of meeting Krista Cox in person this summer at the Small Prestivus Lit Fest in Griffith, Indiana, where I loved hearing her read some of her online dating poems. I hope that we spend time together again soon. (You’ll see why below -and you’ll want to spend time with her, too!)

My hidden talent involves a chair, Madonna, and no qualms about being publicly ridiculous. (

As a network television executive, I would decree that all shows on my network must include representations of people of all colors, classes, creeds, orientations, and anything else I’ve missed here with regard to inclusivity, and never resort to generalization or stereotyping. (I get so frustrated with how underrepresented everybody except middle-to-upper-class white dudes is. It puts so much pressure on any minority characters to be “perfect representations” of their group, so they don’t just get to be beautiful, complex, messy human beings.)

I have a booty call relationship with my muse. Most of the time, we’re not in touch, but sometimes it’s just super urgent that we hook up. (I don’t write every day, and I don’t feel the need. But when I do need to write, I drop everything else and make it so. And yeah, sometimes my muse calls me drunk at 2 a.m. and says, “Hey baaaaaaby, you busy??” This explains all the half-finished poems that I don’t remember writing on my nightstand.)

If I could design a required course for college freshmen, it would be Not Being a Dick 101. The syllabus would include the following topics:

  • Consent: Not As Complicated As You’re Making It
  • Privilege: Since You’re In this Class, Yes, Pretty Much All of You Have Varying Degrees of It
  • Mansplaining: No.
  • Being Politically Correct: Super Scary Epidemic of Respect

Don’t ever put a luxury tax on my food. Ever. (I couldn’t think of any foods or condiments that I don’t like. I really like food. I couldn’t even think of anything inedible that would make me not eat the food. Gasoline, maybe? I probably wouldn’t eat food with gasoline on it. It depends on the food. And the octane.)

My writing would work perfectly as advertising copy for being single forever. (I have a number of poems – as yet unpublished – that deal with the sociological wonder and faith-in-humanity-destroyer that is online dating. If there were a business that was the opposite of OKCupid – maybe FUCupid? – these poems would be great advertising for that.)


Krista Cox can be found in Indiana, where she lives with two precious patience-testers (children) and works with three of them (lawyers). Her poetry has recently appeared in Stirring, Words Dance, cahoodaloodaling, Rogue Agent, and Menacing Hedge, and she was the recipient of the Lester M. Wolfson Student Award in Poetry in 2015. She received her first Best of the Net nomination this year and nearly died of excitement. Someday she’ll probably write a book.



Some pieces (with links):

Fill in the Blanks with Lennart Lundh


After realizing that only women had been featured so far on Fill in the Blanks, I was happy to get some responses from Lennart Lundh, a generous and vital member of the Chicago area poetry scene who I met two years ago at the launch of my first book. Len’s poems, which you can sample here, are diverse in form and subject, but all touched with a tenderness and palpable sense of longing.  His extensive bio is listed below, and many of his chapbooks are written during National Poetry Month to raise funds for cancer research. Find out more about Len as he fills in the blanks.

If I could have written the inauguration poem for any former US president, I would have chosen Dwight Eisenhower because he’s the first President I remember, taking office when I was four.   
The light source that would best describe the impact of my writing is that of the full moon, since it illuminates things we’d miss seeing in the night. 
If I could start my own cable network, it would feature readings of works by poets and authors both living and dead, and interviews; the cartoons of Crusader Rabbit, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and The Animaniacs; and the works of Ernie Kovacs, the Marx Brothers, and Robin Williams.
When people tell me to grow up, my first inclination is to tell them I’ve already triedand failed several times. 
A sense of humor is the best gift I have ever received.

Lennart Lundh has been published as a poet, short-fiction writer, photographer, and historian since 1965. He served a blue-water deployment with the Navy’s Amphibious Ready Group Bravo in support of Marine Corps operations in South Vietnam during 1968 and 1969. In late 1970, he was discharged as a conscientious objector. Both events continue to influence his life and writing.

Len and Lin, his wife of forty-seven years, have three grown daughters, six grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. The space in their northeastern Illinois home that was once filled by the daughters is now given over to dogs, cats, and an awful lot of books, music, and movies.

To find Len’s books of aviation history, search his name at the Web pages of Schiffer Publishing ( and Squadron/Signal Publications (, or at

Examples of his short fiction can be found in the archives of the original Liars League (; Arachne Press’ 2013 Weird Lies anthology (; and Issue 6 of Jet Fuel Review ( A chapbook of short stories is due from Writing Knights Press in December.

His poetry can be found online in venues such as Poetry Storehouse (, The Lake (, and Postcard Poems and Prose ( In print, his poetry and photography can both be found in several of the Squire anthologies produced by Writing Knights Press ( WKP is also the publisher of three of Len’s six chapbook: Four Poems, Pictures of an Other Day, and So Careless of Themselves.

Three self-published chapbooks (Poems Against Cancer 2014, Poems Against Cancer 2015, and Fifth April 1973) are available by contacting Len at The annual Poems Against Cancer volumes are written during National Poetry Month to raise funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which sponsors research into childhood cancers, and all proceeds from sales of them continue to go to the Foundation.

There are readings of several poems, and the full text of an interview done for Arachne Press, on YouTube. And, if that’s not enough, there are scores of other print and online venues that have included his work over a period of fifty years. Perhaps Len’s favorite among the print journals his work has appeared in is The Binnacle, published by the University of Maine at Machias, which has the sensibility, look, and feel of issues of Poetry Magazine from back in the Seventies.

Len keeps promising to create a Web page, but so far has managed not to. Find him as Lennart Lundh on Facebook, or contact him at

Fill in the Blanks with Sarah Winn

I was reading the poems of Sarah Ann Winn before I met her. And now that I’ve met her and had several chances to experience her work, I’m convinced that she is one of the most genuine and original writers I’ve had the pleasure of encountering in recent years.
Let’s see how Sarah filled in the blanks…
If I could grow any inanimate object (other than money) in my garden, I would grow blue Bic pens sprouted on vines in clusters like hot peppers because I am constantly losing my pens, and I’m particular about what I like to use. (But also because I suspect they’d make pretty good jam if they were a fruit.)
My writing would provide the perfect platitudes for a superhero named The Masked Gerund (He’d have drive a MG. Because puns.) The line he/she/ze would use as a catchphrase would be“Just add -ing!”
I have more charging wires than I should, but never enough power (My husband can attest to this. I am constantly running intensive programs simultaneously. Who doesn’t use Pinterest, Pages and Ingress at the same time?!?)
Rewrite this old folk song for today’s world:  “Oh give me  back roads where the traffic is low, so the poets can safely speed.”
If I could have a narrator for my daily life, I would choose Frank Oz because I can imagine how my retracing my steps, singing along, and flailing hand gestures would be translated in to a Wonder Years-esque back story to how I will one day grow up to become a muppet.
Damn. I forgot to return my library books again. (Ripped from the headlines.)
Portage (available as a free e-chap!)
Extended bio:

Sarah Ann Winn is Associate Poetry Editor for ELJ Publications. Her poems have appeared or will appear soon in Bayou Magazine, CALYX, Cider Press Review, Entropy, The Good Men Project, Hobart (online), Massachusetts Review, Nashville Review, Quarterly West, Rhino, as well as many other journals and anthologies online and in print. She has been an honorable mention in Shenandoah’s Graybeal-Gowen Poetry Prize, runner up in Tupelo Quarterly’s Prose Annual, finalist in December Magazine’s Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize, and runner up in Conium Review’s Flash Fiction Contest, judged by Ashley Farmer. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart Prizes. She won the Virginia Downs Poetry Prize, judged by C. Dale Young, as well as Cobalt Magazine’s Gabriela Mistral Poetry Prize. Porkbelly will be releasing her micro chapbook, Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, in Summer of 2016. Her chapbook, Portage, is available as a free download from Sundress Publications. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Poetry from George Mason University, as well as a Masters in Library Science from Catholic University of America, which she uses to dispense book recommendations as a free-range librarian in Manassas, Virginia, where she lives with her husband, two lovely beagle/lab mixed dogs, and one bad cat.

Fill in the Blanks with Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

Before I read her work, I was a little irritated with Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet. After all, she won the Frost Place/Bull City chapbook prize the year I was a semi-finalist. But then I read The Greenhouse. Irritation gone, admiration in its place. Let’s learn a little more about her as she fills in the blanks.

The song title that best describes my writing process is “Stolen Moments.” (Note: The answer was obvious, yet that didn’t stop me from crawling down a rabbit hole of online song lists. What kind of writer would choose “Superstition”… or “Copacabana,” for that matter?)

I would describe my dancing as enthusiastic/clearly 80s-inspired with a hint of klutzy abandon.

My secret celebrity crush is Viggo Mortensen, but I’d love to have a long, serious conversation with Roxane Gay. Actually, you could reverse those and it’d still be true.

The most annoying thing about clothing is laundry.

I wish I could tell my childhood self that there’s no need to choose between writing and art, or intellect and creativity. 
I would love to visit early 1990s San Francisco because the city’s current shiny death depresses the hell out of me.

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet’s The Greenhouse was awarded the 2014 Frost Place Prize and published by Bull City Press in 2014. Her first book, Tulips, Water, Ash, was selected for the Morse Poetry Prize and published by University Press of New England. Her poems have been awarded a Javits fellowship and a Phelan Award, and have appeared in journals including Zyzzyva, RhinoKenyon Review Online, Cream City Review, At Length, Quarterly West, and Blackbird and in the anthologies Best New Poets and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She writes, edits, and teaches in Oakland, California.

Fill in the Blank with Jessica Goodfellow

“The skyscraper’s amber-lit windows/ are beads on a vertical abacus/ reckoning the city’s insomnia,/toting like photons up its sins.” These lines from “Night View from the Back of a Taxi” in Vinyl Poetry introduced me to Jessica Goodfellow’s work, and today we’ll get to learn more about her. Let’s see how she filled in the blanks.
A large, unfamiliar insect is crawling across the ceiling over my bed. First, I yell for my sons to come then I run for one of the butterfly nets resting on the wall next to the front door.
[Believe it or not, this regularly happens in our household in summer. Japan has a dazzling array of insects compared to anywhere I have lived in the US, and my two junior-high-school-aged sons belong to the biology club at school. Insects both inside our house and outside are regularly caught and classified and carried in a bug cage to school to share with club-mates. My sons have been catching insects since they were very small, so as a by-product I have acquired an extensive knowledge of Japanese bugs, and I even have a favorite kind of beetle, one which farmers are attempting to eradicate here, so we haven’t seen any for the past four summers. However, this summer, my sons presented one such beetle to me as a birthday gift. I am taking care of him now; his name is Captain Dice, and though it may seem cruel to be keeping him in a bug cage, if we released him, the farmers would surely get to him.]
I would win in a reality TV show entitled From Knotty to Nice where the contestants are asked to untangle jewelry chains with an ever-increasing complexity of knots and tangles. The trick is to use straight pins.
When they build a monument to honor me, it should be sure to include big dangly silver earrings.
If I were a famous fictional crime fighter/detective, I would be Agatha Christie (who wasn’t fictional herself, but was the author/creator of the fictional detectives Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot) because Christie disappeared for a short time during her life, and I sometimes have the fantasy of disappearing, but coming back later.
 If I had to work as a cook, I would quickly be fired for incompetence. (I’m actually quite a good cook, but I hate doing it, so I complain the entire time, and nobody wants to listen to that.)
Music soothes the savage beast. ‘Amid the Minotaurs’ is the best song to help me relax.
‘Amid the Minotaurs’ was composed by William Brittelle and performed by Roomful of Teeth. Actually any song by Roomful of Teeth would do it for me, but ‘Amid the Minotaurs’ is a particular favorite.
 Jessica Goodfellow’s books are Mendeleev’s Mandala (Mayapple Press, 2015), The Insomniac’s Weather Report (Isobar Press, 2014), and the chapbook A Pilgrim’s Guide to Chaos in the Heartland (Concrete Wolf, 2006). Her work has been featured in Best New PoetsVerse DailyThe Writer’s Almanac, and Motionpoems. She has received the Chad Walsh Poetry Prize from the Beloit Poetry Journal. A graduate of Caltech, she lives in Japan.
Link to Motionpoem: Crows, Reckoning

Fill in the Blanks with Melissa Eleftherion

me in woods

I first became aware of Melissa Eleftherion’s work from her 2013 dancing girl chapbook huminsect. Although Melissa’s writing style is about as far from mine as one can get, I admire her work’s vivid imagery and movement, and I feel that I learn from reading her poems. Let’s see how she filled in the blanks…

Sometimes I wish I could turn into damselfly and then I could glide in circles over lakes and rivers. Here I’d fold my wings across my upper back & trip out with my giant compound eyes.

The most memorable saying or aphorism my parents or grandparents used when I was young was Ancora! (trans. Italian – “still” or “enough”; trans. Italian-American Brooklynese – “enough! shut up already!”)

My cat is such a show-off.

The item in my junk drawer that best describes my writing is an eroded piece of sea-glass I wore all the time as a teen because it’s been distilled from so much effluvial bullshit.

If I found a message in a bottle, I would probably show it to my son & ask him if he’d like to send his own message. Then I’d coax him into co-writing a short story with me about self-sufficient, short boys who roam a deserted island & obey no sound but their own roaring.  

I would not have sex with Donald Trump or any other bloated male Republican if you paid me a million dollars.


Melissa Eleftherion grew up in Brooklyn. A high school dropout, she went on to earn degrees in film production, English literature, and library science. She is the author of huminsect (dancing girl press, 2013), prism maps (dusie kollektiv, 2014), Pigtail Duty (dancing girl press, 2015), and several other chapbooks and fragments. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, Delirious Hem, Entropy, Manifesting the Female Epic, Negative Capability, Open Letters Monthly, So to Speak, ​Tinderbox, ​& TRUCK. She works as a librarian with Mendocino County Libraries, and created, developed, and currently manages the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange.​ Follow her @apoetlibrarian & ​

Fill In the Blanks with Ruth Foley


Ruth Foley and I met (although only still virtually, which we need to remedy) through mutual poet-friend Kristin LaTour. I only knew her as a poet and editor of Cider Press Review at first, but am happy to have made the acquaintance of this beekeeping, badass woman. Let’s all get better acquainted with Ruth as she fills in the blanks.

If I was one of the castaways on Gilligan’s Island, I would be the professor because I am always overthinking things and I’m pretty handy with a coconut but not so handy that it will actually be of any use whatsoever.

If I could have a relationship with a fictional character, I would choose Jimmy Stewart’s character in The Philadelphia Story(Macaulay Connor) because he has a good job, a good sense of humor, and Katharine Hepburn, divine goddess that she is, is not good enough for him. Also, that man could smolder when he wanted to.

My favorite unnecessary item in my home is my jar of beach glass, but don’t let it hear you call it “unnecessary.”

Fill in the rhymes for this failed Katy Perry song draft:  “Baby, you’re a waaaaaaffle fry, c’mon let your freak flag fly.”

I am dangerous when someone threatens my loves but easily tamed by those same loves, who usually don’t need me to defend them.

I have the ambition of a lizard, but the agility of a kangaroo.



Five Things:

Cider Press Review:

Creature Feature

Dear Turquoise: