National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month 2024

At Brain Mill Press, we like to celebrate poetry all month long by sharing featured poets, which we are excited to do again this year along with “reprise” poetry from some of our prior-year contest winners. We are also excited to announce a new collaboration with the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets for a chapbook contest. The contest is open to all Wisconsin poets for an unpublished chapbook. Contest entries will be judged by poet Tracy Mishkin. The winning chapbook will be published by Brain Mill Press, with an expected publication date of Spring 2025.


“A Phoenix First Must Burn” Has Fiery Passion and Imagination

Latonya Pennington reviews A PHOENIX FIRST MUST BURN, a fascinating, fiery anthology of sci-fi fantasy short stories by Black authors

My 2024 Black YA TBR

Latonya Pennington talks about the books they’re most looking forward to reading in 2024.

The 2023 Black YA Holiday Gift Guide

Latonya Pennington recommends the best books to buy for Black readers this holiday season.

“A Crown So Cursed” Is a Thrilling Conclusion to the Nightmareverse Trilogy

Latonya Pennington reviews A CROWN SO CURSED, the thrilling conclusion to L. L. McKinney’s NIGHTMAREVERSE trilogy

The Afro YA

The Afro YA promotes black young adult authors and YA books with black characters, especially those that influence reviewer Latonya Pennington, an aspiring YA author who believes that black YA readers need diverse books, creators, and stories so that they don’t have to search for their experiences like she did.

It All Belongs to You: A Review of R. B. Simon’s The Good Truth

C. Kubasta reviews R. B. Simon’s THE GOOD TRUTH

Disgusted & Enthralled & In Love: A Review of Louder Birds by Angela Voras-Hills

C. Kubasta reviews Angela Voras-Hills’s LOUDER BIRDS, a poetry collection that engages ideas of home, the corporeal, life, and loss.

“Sisters Always Love Each Other the Most of Anybody”: A Review of Leslie Pietrzyk’s Silver Girl

C. Kubasta reviews Leslie Pietrzyk’s SILVER GIRL, a rule-breaking book about sisterhood that broke through Kubasta’s COVID-induced reader’s block.

We Are Made of Woven Memory Circles


My House of Mysterious Compartments

C. Kubasta reviews Tara Burke’s ANIMAL LIKE ANY OTHER

#SaferAtHome or #AloneTogether Reading: Poetry When We’re Craving Proximity

C. Kubasta reviews CRUSH by Richard Siken and THE DEAD ANIMAL HANDBOOK, edited by Cam Awkward-Rich and sam sax.

So Much of a Mother Is Liquid

C. Kubasta reviews Callista Buchen’s poetry collection LOOK LOOK LOOK.

A Lean-To Upon a Once-Was

C. Kubasta reviews Paula Cisewski’s poetry collection THE THREATENED EVERYTHING.

The Negative Space of the Page

C. Kubasta reviews Emily Bowles’s poetry collection HIS JOURNAL, MY STELLA.

Prove Something Happened

C. Kubasta reviews Sara Ryan’s poetry collection, NEVER LEAVE THE FOOT OF AN ANIMAL UNSKINNED.


Portaging celebrates new writing from the Midwest with a particular focus on experimental and hybrid work from small presses.

C. Kubasta writes poetry, fiction, and hybrid forms. Her most recent book is the short story collection Abjectification. She supports her creative work as Director of Education at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Find her at and follow her @CKubastathePoet.

Makers on Making

Makers on Making features printmakers, writers, knitters, crafters, painters, photographers, textile artists, and anyone else involved in art. These pieces delve into the psychology of making, the lessons we learn from success and (often more usefully) failure, and what it is to be a human authentically and emotionally involved as a maker in our world.

The Clash of the Titans: Beading, Art, and Incarceration

Writer Michael J. Moore on the power of art in incarceration.