We believe that poetry (read: writing that exists art-first) is the biggest hope and best proof that humans are not simply the most violent ornaments of a perplexing planet. Poetry is how we may exclaim, buttress, and boast of the largess of our spirit, a spirit we trumpet in all of art’s forms but which, in poetry, rises to raw song and rallying cry. And that cry is a call to attention: an exhortation towards precision, toward a spirit realized out of clarity of vision, not obfuscation, even as it struggles with subjects beyond conception. We believe in poetry as the most admirable vice, we love its scholarship, its music, its quietudes and violences, the way it seems to mean, and the way it escapes paraphrase. And we believe there are more of us out there, who see poetry the same way: who yearn to be saved by the same songs. Therefore, we’ve created this space for the soul-fulfilling work we love, to curate, study, and comment upon it at the same torrid pace as any other art form. At Ovenbird we believe that whether the poetry is written in celebration, in lamentation, in self-defense, or as a threat, we need to see more of it. Once it exists, we need to discuss its meaning, function, and effect (whether it holds tight or all falls apart). Each issue will feature new works that cry out to that largess of spirit, as well as conversations—actual conversations—on books or works with enough weight to knock us around. We hope to raise the blood of poetry, to spark life in its readers, and to learn to better understand our own dramatic connection toward the enlightened art.
Darren C. Demaree (Founding Editor and Managing Editor)
Darren C. Demaree is the author of thirteen poetry collections, most recently So Clearly Beautiful, (November 2019, Adelaide Books). He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louis Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.
Christopher Michel (Founding Editor)
Christopher Michel has written for the websites of magazines like Parenting, Saveur, and Bon Appetit. He’s an avid runner and a novice gardener, as well as a voracious reader.
John McCormick (Guest-Editor for Issue #2)
John McCormick lives, writes and teaches in Superior, Wisconsin. He works with the Spirit Lake Poetry Series and the UW-Superior Visiting Writers series to set up readings of regional and national poets and authors throughout the year. He has also edited or advised several student literary journals. His own work has appeared in Arsenic Lobster and several regional anthologies.
Chris Mink (Guest-Editor for Issue #3)
Chris Mink was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Chattahoochee Review, Hobart, Construction, Storyscape, and It Was Written: An Anthology of Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop, among others. He currently teaches English Language Arts & Reading to the truly extraordinary students at N.Y.O.S. Charter School in Austin, TX.
Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick (Guest-Editor for Issue #4)
Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her first full-length book, Before Isadore, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications. She is an associate poetry editor for The Boiler Journal. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the following: Stirring, Versal, The Texas Observer, Devil’s Lake, Four Way Review, among others. Hardwick also has chapbooks out with Thrush Press and Mouthfeel Press. She writes in the deserts of West Texas.
Donna Vorreyer (Guest-Editor for Issue #5)
Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as eight chapbooks, including The Girl (forthcoming from Porkbelly Press). She serves as the reviews editor for Stirring: A Literary Collection and teaches middle school in the suburbs of Chicago.
Adam Gellings (Guest-Editor for Issue #6)
Adam J. Gellings is a poet & instructor from Columbus, Ohio. His previous work has appeared in Best New Poets 2017, Prelude, Salamander, & elsewhere.
Leah Umansky (Guest-Editor for Issue #7)
Robin Gow (Guest-Editor for Issue #9)
Robin Gow is a trans poet and young adult author from rural Pennsylvania. They are the author of Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy (Tolsun Books 2020) and the chapbook Honeysuckle (Finishing Line Press 2019). Their first young adult novel, A Million Quiet Revolutions is forthcoming March 2022 with FSG Book for Young Readers and their first essay collection Blueblood is forthcoming 2021 with Nasiona Publishing House. Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, New Delta Review, and Washington Square Review.