“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

“Miles Morales: Suspended” Takes a Powerful Stand against Book Censorship

Latonya Pennington reviews MILES MORALES: SUSPENDED, which blends narrative, images, and verse to create a compelling superhero story about censorship

Essential Summer Vacation Reads by Black Authors

Latonya Pennington gives us a list of excellent summer YA reads by Black authors

“If It Makes You Happy” Is a Down-to-Earth Coming-of-Age Summer Vacation

Latonya Pennington reviews We Are All So Good at Smiling, a YA novel in verse that blends mental health and magic

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.

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month 2023

Happy National Poetry Month! For poets and poetry lovers—and perhaps for those who love poets—this is a special time. At Brain Mill Press, we like to celebrate all month long by sharing featured poets, and with our fee-free contest. This year, we’re thinking about poetry cycles, poems that speak to each other, forms that build on each other (like crowns), and the ways a poem can be a scaffold or foundation for other poems. Our words are often in response to other poems, and our own body of work is often an ongoing conversation. We speak to each other, with ourselves, and sometimes into the void—hoping someone will answer back.

National Poetry Month Contest Winners 2023

We announce our National Poetry Month contest winner & short list, along with week 4 editors’ pick

Eintou and Atari: In Conversation

Jennifer Morales introduces the “atari,” a poetic form in conversation with eintou, and shares two examples

Editors’ Pick Week 3: Poetry Cycle by Victoria Gransee

Our editors’ poetry cycle selection for week 3 is an untitled poetry cycle by Victoria Gransee

Editors’ Pick Week 2: ‘Daughter of Our People’ Cycle by Sandi K. Johnson

Our editors’ poetry cycle selection for week 2 is “Daughter of Our People” by Sandi K. Johnson

National Poetry Month Spotlight: An Introduction to Novels in Verse

For National Poetry Month, Latonya Pennington offers an introduction to novels in verse & recommends several poetic middle grade and YA novels featuring Black protagonists.

Editors’ Pick Week 1: ‘Eulogy’ Cycle by Trinity Richardson

Our editors’ poetry cycle selection for week 1 is “Eulogy” by Trinity Richardson

Poetry Month Spotlight: Mauricio Kilwein Guevara

Three poems on change and impermanence

Poetry Month Spotlight: Wendy Vardaman

Three poems on change and impermanence

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 ckubasta.com 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.