Poetry Reading: Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach & Sam Herschel Wein

The Bear Who Ate the Stars by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach is the winner of the 2014 Split Lip Uppercut Chapbook Awards. Contest Judge Michael Meyerhofer says: "There's a wonderful range to Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach's poems, rendered all the more remarkable by their consistent depth and polish. These poems feel meticulously crafted, despite a certain primal, sometimes sensual quality often falsely seen as antithetical to intellectual poetry. These poems smell of stars and campfires, a deeper sense of story, a mythological thread running, river-like, all the way back to the dawn of time." 

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania where her research focuses on contemporary American poetry about the Holocaust. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and TENT Conferences, as well as the Auschwitz Jewish Center. Julia is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014) and her recent poems appear in  Best New Poets, Poetry Northwest, and Nashville Review, among others. Julia is also Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine (www.constructionlitmag.com) and when not busy chasing her toddler around the playgrounds of Philadelphia, she writes a blog about motherhood (https://otherwomendonttellyou.wordpress.com/).

"To enter Sam Herschel Wein’s Fruit Mansion is to fall headfirst into a hungry labyrinth, a juicy '[g]eometry of bodies.' Queer morsels of citrus light romp here. Unruly fistfuls of spaghetti reign here. The speakers are eaters and double-dipping skinny-dippers, bitter saliva-knowers and sweet hairy secret-sharers. In every 'stairwell of your love,' these poems are world-kissers. These wet, arugula-peppery words talk back to straight roommates, concerned family members, boys with boundary issues, and a self steeped in the lonely shame of desiring the wrong, the too-much. I cried, I laughed, I flashbacked to a school trip to Quebec when I had to sleep in a room full of very straight boys. This chapbook says, 'Do not tell me to patience' when it comes to being seen as fully 'fingers and toes' alive. This poet says, 'You onions!' and 'I am tongue to tongue cool'—and we should listen with ripe, mansion-sized attention."  --Chen Chen, author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities

Sam Herschel Wein lives in Chicago and specializes in aimless frolicking. He is the poetry editor for The Blueshift Journal and is co-founder of a new journal, Underblong, with his friend and esteemed poet, Chen Chen. His chapbook, Fruit Mansion (Split Lip Press, 2017) was the winner of the 2017 Turnbuckle Chapbook prize. Recent work has appeared in Vinyl Poetry, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Connotation Press, among others. He can be found in the cheese aisle of most stores, in the middle of a hug, or editing poems at your local coffee shop.