What Even is Lunch?: An Interview With Poet Jamie Mortara

Author: Shelby Joy Leone

I first came across Jamie Mortara (they/them) in a YouTube video entitled “Things You Need To Know Before Dating Me”  on the famed poetry YouTube juggernaut, Button Poetry. Mortara was charming, funny, and real. Some lines made me laugh, others had me reaching for the tissues. I found that many of Jamie’s poems are like this. Manic pieces of literature that expose the rawness of their soul, paired with a grin and some My Little Pony stickers. Needless to say, I was hooked. My mother even bought me all three of Mortara’s chapbooks for Christmas, which I instantly devoured; I became fond of Jamie’s honesty. Throughout this interview, which took place early in the morning over the phone as Jamie was in the car, returning from the first leg of their book tour, I saw that honesty and charm first hand.

Below is a transcribed phone call between music reporter Shelby Leone and Poet Jamie Mortara, with (…) where words, pauses, or sentences have been omitted for content.

SHELBY LEONE: First of all, Thank you so much for interviewing with KXSU and congrats on your new book “Good Morning America I’m Hungry And On Fire”! Can you tell us a little about this release?

JAMIE MORTARA: Thank you! Yeah, it’s cool, it’s actually just about to have its official release [May 15th] and I just traveled the country for six weeks doing all these performances and workshops and stuff. A lot of the book was written three years prior to now when I was also living out of my car for two and a half months. I was traveling and performing and writing and I was getting–in the way that like, my first book, Some Planet, was very cerebral and experimental and quiet, I think this book is pretty loud and out in the open about mental illness, about queerness, about being trans and being a survivor of abuse. And being kind of–this like weight homesickness for things that don’t exist anymore. It’s like pretty big for me. Trying to figure out where you belong. I grew up in New Jersey and I feel like I’ve been constantly searching for my own home since then. So yeah, I think those are some primary themes. It’s a lot louder and a lot more direct than my first book which is like, yeah, very quiet and geared way more visually on the page. All these are like, “I’m on stage yelling about my feelings” poems. For the most part, there are some quieter moments for sure.

SL: That actually relates to my next question which is: how do you think you’ve grown since your last full-length release, Some Planet?

JM: I think I’ve grown in interesting ways. I don’t ever see it as, like, a straight line or like a “this one is more mature than this other one”, I just think I change interests and part of my personal being has changed in three years. I got way more into spoken word poetry and slam… I have a more academic and experimental background and my first book is geared toward–I was very into objectivist writing and I was really into computer science and interactive mediums and I feel like there’s a lot of astrology and cosmology. I feel like it is a much nerdier book, and that’s cool. Like this one, I think–essentially, I think my queens and mental illness, a lot of that about me was suppressed early in my life. I didn’t get behavioral health care until I was 25, even though I have bipolar and I’ve been through a lot of s**t. I didn’t really feel like I could get help until I was 25. And similarly, I didn’t really come out as queer until that time either, so when I was writing the first book, I was very internal, and I was hiding a lot, or trying to tell my truth through all these secret subliminal metaphoric, like, shields, you know? And in this one I’m just like “f**k it, I’m gonna say it. I’m gonna say it, really, right now, and live.” And I’m not saying that either is better or more evolved, but it’s all really cathartic to strip down a lot of artifice, and to just say the thing.

SL: You said this all came to fruition when you were 25, do you mind if I ask how old you are now?

JM: I’m 30!

SL: Okay, so this [release] is five years in the making.

JM: Yeah, it’s this big five year stretch of my–probably close to six. So I kind of went a lot of places–and around 2010… or around 2013 I lived in North Carolina where I went to grad school at UNCW, and I’m also an alcoholic and I had a really bad drinking problem and it has definitely made my bipolar even worse and it was a really rough time. But I was able to kind of work myself out of it with my poetry and with my peers in grad school and I kind of, like, I feel like I really, really developed in those three years and during that time I was writing Some Planet as my thesis in that graduate program. Two years later, in 2015, it finally came out. So that was five years in the making. And I was already writing this one when that one came out in 2015. This one came out in 2018–it’s like a three to five year cycle…. I have a feeling I’m going to release a book every three to five years. 

SL: Sounds like it!

JM: Catch the next one in 2021, I guess.

SL: Jamie Mortara 2021: I’m Still On Fire.

JM: Still alive, who knew? Yeah, think this one is at least three years in the making. I think I was already heading toward this book when I was finishing Some Planet and I think you can see, if you knew, you’d be able to tell which poems were added to Some Planet right before it came out cause those ones are less abstracted–I think the world I was looking for was abstracted–I would take the feeling and then I stepped back two steps and said, “This is what I am safe to say” and this time I’m stepping forward two steps and now this is really, really, really what I’m trying to say.

SL: Okay, so this may be just me, but I am interested in what you said about what you are safe to say. Especially in 2018, I’m wondering what this thought process is.

JM: And also, like, you know, safe from what?

SL: Exactly.

JM: Like, a lot of us artists that live publicly have to balance their artistic life with their professional life or familial life and their relationships, you know? And like, there isa lot about my queerness and mental illness and, like, being a survivor and all that, there’s a lot of that too… a lot of my personal did not understand or know about. And there was still a lot that I was trying to understand, so it was actually, for a while in my life, even though I knew I was queer, I had a hard time owning it publicly. I knew I was trans for a long time before I was able to say, “Hey these are my pronouns, this is how you should treat me, this is who I am.” All that is a development, and in a lot of ways, people figure that out while writing, which is really good. But there is a period where we are not sure if we are safe to be out and we are not sure that if we are kind of out in our work, that it will publicly be seen by people that, maybe, we are not safe to have them see. There is still a lot of stuff that I am not sure my family or my extended family, or even people personally and professionally, I don’t know if they saw it and if they did see it, what they would think of it and how it would shape their perception of me. And then, like, writing about your abuse is a scary thing and you know, being afraid that it will get back to your abuser and what they will do in retaliation. So, safety is kind of a hard thing. And also, is it emotionally safe for me to even talk about this with myself? Like, and I being safe with myself? …. I have a long history with self-hatred and, like, am I being cruel to myself by writing certain things? I think that answers your question?

SL: It definitely does! And it leads me to my next question. So, you gained a lot of notoriety for your poems on the Button Poetry YouTube channel, “Things You Need to Know Before Dating Me” and “Cornflake Girl” and I was wondering how you felt about being apart of this kind of new age of media based poets? And this kind of goes along with what you were saying about having everything out there and I don’t know what people have seen and it’s also kind of about how this new era of poetry, art, and expression is utilizing online platforms. So, I don’t know how do you feel about being a part of that?

JM: Yeah, that’s the whole big conversation. One thing I could speak of from my own personal experience is that those videos on Butter where like, huge for my career. All those people who didn’t know I existed were like, “Who is this? I want read their books, I wanna see more of their poems” you know, it made it easier for me to travel the country and perform poems in front of people I have never met in places I have never been. All that is incredibly useful and there is, like, this level of credibility you get as an artist for having a well viewed poem on the internet. But also, I definitely wasn’t prepared for it, because suddenly, you are very, very exposed to the public and they know personal things about you through your poetry. I wasn’t prepared for how many Instagram followers and Twitter followers and friend requests and you know, random DMs [direct messages] in the middle of the night. But one of the best parts is that a lot of those DMs are like, “Hey, I’m queer/I’m trans/I have mental illness, finding you was super important to me and I’ve read your books and not only have I read your books but I gave them to a friend.” And that would not have happened if it wasn’t for my poems being on YouTube, and that is really cool. It does so much for someone’s career. I think poets that do have their poems on YouTube should be paid for all that add revenue that is generated. I’m a really strong believer in artists being paid for their work–I think that can be a little better. I know a lot of YouTube channels that publish poems are like trying to make that happen, which is cool, cause exposure only goes so far, but it definitely helps…. I think it is rad, it definitely exposes you in ways you are not prepared–it can be really overwhelming. Especially if you are an introverted person, if all of a sudden there are a lot of people who want to know you better or think that they know you. But my career wouldn’t be what it is today without [the internet].

SL: Okay so, side note. It is so interesting hearing you talk about this, because I recently had a poem published and I read it at the release party. But now, I walk around campus and people know very vulnerable things about me…. What to you, as a writer, is the balance between “I am giving myself” and “I am protecting myself”?

JM: That’s a really, really good question. That’s, like, the eternal question as an artist, right? Like, once you start to be a public person, you are kind of like this exposed, open wound of a person…. All this is really hard to talk about because if it is not portrayed properly in the interview, it’s gonna make me sound like an a**hole.

SL: Got you, okay. Noted.

JM: One thing I know–too speak frankly about it–is a lot of people don’t know that when they approach an artist with questions and shared experience, the act of them wanting to be listened to is a request for unpaid emotional labor. And I have had people approach me, for instance, after a performance when I’m all raw about my feelings–not only am I trying to sell books to pay for gas for the next day (which is also work and labor) I have to field potentially triggering questions and support someone emotionally. Like, what I do resonates with them and they wanna talk about them, and potentially say something when I am already sensitive from a performance and they will say something that triggers me and I might have to support them emotionally. And like I said, even listening is an act that I am not getting paid for….

And I really want to go back to school for social work because I think I am a really empathetic and helpful person and I think I can do a lot of good supporting people and validating them. I think that’s why people often gravitate towards me because I am sensitive and kind and gentle and I am good with them. But I think emotional labor is expected of artists, no matter when or where they are. And there are really respectful ways of doing that, that a lot of people do, you know? Consent is not just about–We talk about consent in all things, and just like “Hey, do you feel like talking?” or “Hey, can I ask you a question about one of these poems?” and actually extending that option to someone instead of just launching into conversation is something that I have seen people do. Even something like, “Hey, can I have a hug?” or “Can I have a picture with you?” and I will be like, “That’s cool. Can we do that after this other thing?” or “You know, I’m not feeling super great right now, but thank you for asking”. There are ways to treat people like people and I think there are people who do it really well, approaching me not only as a public artist but as a person with boundaries. People need to be mindful of that at all times.

SL: Do you think that this pain, this shared pain that makes people gravitate towards you is inherent to artists? I know that is a bit question that everyone tries to answer, I’m just curious–

JM: Like, there is this perception that you need to sustain trauma in order to be an affective writer?

SL: I guess? [Laughs]

JM: Right, I don’t believe that [laughs]. I think that art is too good to require suffering. I think it is not fair to art to think that you need to suffer for it.

SL: That is a brilliant way to put it.

JM: Like art, there is so much sh*t, there is so much you can do, and that is not just with the English language. Like, it’s so cool. I also have love poems, I have happy poems, I have poems about all sorts of sh*t. I have like… [sighs], I wish I could do this more… you know, it’s funny, I’m not an eloquent person.

SL: [Laughs] I think you’re doing great! 

JM: I like to see interview videos of artists talking and they have such succinct, solid perceptions of things and I’m just like, “I don’t know, it could be this, it could be that.” My partner jokes about like, “you wanna go to lunch?” and I’ll be like, “Well, what even is lunch? We could eat a sandwich or I could get us lettuce. Or I could go to the store, and by the time we get some it would be dinner time. And yesterday I had a bagel” and they will be like “DO YOU WANT TO GO TO LUNCH?” and, like, it’s just more complicated than that! There is so much nuance and detail than… do I wanna go to lunch? Do YOU wanna go to lunch? Are we all moving towards… a… lunch?

ANYWAY, I reject the idea that artists need to suffer, I think it is unfair to art to imply that art is only used for suffering…. One of the coolest things about art is that it is an empathetic medium in which you can connect to people, you can feel shared experiences, you can learn things from other people about your own thing…. Those are all really amazing attributes of art in any medium.

SL: I was wondering what your process was for creating your art, kind of, where does a lot of your work come from? I know it’s probably different for every piece but… 

JM: It definitely is a piece by piece basis. i am really suspect of people who say they have a really specific method and that they only use one method every single time. I think they are liars.

SL: [Laughs]

JM: That is extreme, I don’t think they are liars, I think it is not that simple. I feel like there is this establishment of poetry, like the establishment of… well… what do you call it? like the big stuffy old people?

SL: Ah, white male academia!

JM: Yeah! Okay, okay yeah! The white male academic writer tells you that–often tells you–you have to wake up at six in the morning, make tea, sit at the kitchen table, look out the window and write about whatever you are feeling. And that is great if  you don’t have mental illness or trauma or a job or live under the poverty line. Like, I love the challenge of National Poetry Month, you know, write thirty poems in thirty days… I love that challenge! But that is not possible for so many people. If you have really difficult mental illness or work all the time because you live under the poverty line or you are a parent, or you know, the millions of other ways… I don’t want people to think that they are not good writers because they didn’t write thirty poems in one month. I write maybe two poems in three months, I’m pretty slow. And I used to beat myself up about how prolific I was, and now I have just kind of accepted it. If you are not careful, you can see this kind of urgency. Other people seem to have this urgency, and that’s legit, that’s their urgency, but some people beat themselves up about it.

SL: That is a very, very good point. I was just reading a book called A Different Beat and it’s edited by Richard Peabody and what it is, is writing from women of the Beat Generation. And reading it, you realize that many of them aren’t as famous because they spent their days working at like, shipyards so their husbands could sit around all day and write.

JM: That’s f**ked!

SL: Yeah! Like Kerouac’s girlfriend (maybe wife?) and other famous writers, had these women working to pay for them, and we all do not have that. So, what would be your process? 

JM: Can I say something about that too?

SL: Absolutely.

JM: ... I am really lucky. Like, my poems are on Button because I was in the right place at the right time for that show. There are so many people that have much better work–and I am not being modest–much better work that isn’t on YouTube getting the amount of views… I mean there are people with poems on YouTube that are not getting the views they should have… there are so many people that need to be heard. And sometimes I think of someone I’d rather be in my place, in that spot… I just really feel for those women.

Anyway, back when I was a big drinker, I had this thought–I had a lot of thoughts of having to feel pain in order to write and a lot of my drinking was purposeful self-harm, which is a whole other discussion. But I thought I had to be drunk and upset and out of my mind to write a poem, and that is just how I thought. even with performing live, I thought I had to be drunk. And I am so glad I was able–through a lot of work–to get sober because I am a way better writer sober and I am a way better performer sober. Which I did think–because I have a lot of anxiety and I’m afraid of everything, and when people try to memorize things, and when I was drunk I couldn’t remember my s**t, ever. But as soon as I stopped drinking, I [could] remember my lines…. It was hard, because I had to learn how to write in other ways that wasn’t drinking. It is hard for me to carve out uninterrupted, intentional time. Whenever I do, I try to value it as much as I can.

Starting three years ago, when I was living out of my car and driving from city to city, I had to take a lot of notes on my phone and a lot of these actually were just typing an idea into Twitter and going back, and getting it later. Two of my chapbooks are just from my Twitter account (S**t I Said on the Internet While Taking Prozac and ANYONE can paint their nails because GENDER is imaginary EVERYTHING is meaningless LOVE is a myth SEX is gross we all DIE ALONE and our STUPID BONES will soon return to THE DUST from whence they came).

The only amount I was able to write at a time was like little snippets. But that also happened for full length poems. I had collected notes that I had accumulated over a long period of time and whenever I did have that intentional hour, I’d look at some things and remind myself of some feelings I had at that time, and maybe I’d even fuse them with whatever I was feeling then. I really like combining disparate elements–like, there’s this one note I had from when I went to an art institute in Chicago. I used to go to a lot of museums and there is this note I had from when I was up at, I don’t know, three in the morning or while I was driving or watching my car drive out of the rainstorm on a highway, and what if I fuse these notes together. Or like when I was bullies, back when I was bullied as a kid… I used to, kinda, describe people as Legos and that, like, if you have this bag of Legos, there are all different shapes and all different, you know, you have blue, green, yellow, whatever… and you have this big bag and you reach in and you have these, like, kind of disparate elements–these things that don’t really seem like they belong together and you put them together and make the shape of a building or a car or a person. You can take all these pieces of how you feel and put them together and make a whole picture of what that big collage of existing is. I really do think very few of my poems go from point A to point B or have a narrative or thesis statement and conclusion. Most of mine are collaged together because I like that ability, that how we feel and process and remember are all simultaneous things and are always changing from time to time. At least a lot of my memory I try to piece together chronologically–I am really good at remembering dates and years, but when I see it, it’s all at the same time. Like, you are this simultaneous conglomeration of everything that has happened to you. So, I think there are all these elements that get crunched together, and they become–like, this thing I did yesterday and this thing I did ten years ago and how I feel about them are all gonna get crammed together and become one. You know… they’re gonna be like, you know how composite characters work?

SL: Yeah [for readers: composite characters are characters formed from or based on two or more individuals].

JM: They are like composite feelings, and I feel everything–for the sake of the poem–is it’s own reality, so you can morph and mix and try to find connections between things just to find the truth in it. I think a lot of poems are me discovering how I feel; I am trying to discover how I feel versus prove what I think I feel. I feel like when I grew up, a lot of emotions were suppressed, either by adults around me or even by myself. I was raised Catholic, I didn’t receive any behavioral health care, I didn’t know I was queer, I was bullied really heavily when I was young, I really just had the internal retreat towards books and video games and I really didn’t express out for a really long time. So, it takes me a while to figure out and express how I feel. I am really envious of people who know how they feel right away… I think writing helps, so I can take time with the feeling and then come back to it.

SL: Do you have a specific poem you are super proud of?

JM: Unrelated to that particular process, poems I perform a lot on tour… I’m really proud of this pretty short one, and this one kind of is an aid to the construction, but I think it kind of came about with throwing things together and seeing what stuck. It’s called “Even Though I Am Trans”…. “Even though I am transgender, I have no transformation photo collage success story for you” and it’s about being non-binary.

SL: What does that poem mean to you?

JM: Being non-binary means you do not have the ability to become something people deem as legitimate.

SL: Right, there is no before and after picture.

JM: Yeah, exactly. That actually is in the poem. Like, I don’t have a side-by-side or a gradual timeline of myself slowly starting to exist… It’s also about the erasure and invisibility of non-binary people. There is a line about, “my only improvement would be my death”… cause you just leave.

I didn’t come out as wanting to feel better in my body, I came out as not wanting to have a body at all. There is this perception that trans people want to be in the body they feel like, because of how the erasure of non-binary people go, is a body that does not exist at all. Because I feel like I do not exist. The conceit of the poem implies that the only way I would feel exactly like how I exist is if I was dead, if I was buried, and I think that description speaks for itself. We are transgender just because we don’t have a binary gender that is perceived to be legitimate. Just because we have no gender we are seen as nothing in the world’s eyes. And because we are treated like nothing, we might as well just disappear and be invisible… and that’s the poem. I have been performing it a lot because it is really important to me right now.

SL: If not writing chronologically, how did you start writing poetry?

JM: I think we kind of touched onto having an outlet for when I was hurt

SL: Right, video games and books…

JM: Yeah, I was  just like, I don’t want it to ever come off like I don’t love my family. But it never felt super safe to talk about how I felt. Not in fear of any actual violence of any kind; I didn’t feel like I was going to be heard. When I was trying to talk about being depressed, a lot of it was mind over matter replies like, “just think happy thoughts”. There was never any thought like maybe this person has something more than they are just “bummed”.  And similarly, when I was bullied, I was told to not let it get to me. All this was like, “you are just not trying to harness your feelings, you’re not controlling your feelings, they are just a detriment to you, if you didn’t get so worked up about things you wouldn’t get into arguments, if you didn’t have such high expectations you wouldn’t be bummed, if you weren’t so sensitive you wouldn’t hurt so bad”.

So I didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to and I felt that way for a long time and so naturally you just start journaling, and you start to read books and those books hear you and you hear those books. And then you start trying to emulate in your own way. And then a big thing for me was like, teachers.

SL: Yeah [snaps].

JM: They read s**t that I wrote and were like, “This is real and you are a really good writer”. I can’t remember exactly who said it, but someone did, and that was all I needed to hear as a kid, “you’re good at this thing”. When I teach or do workshops, I want people to know, “Hey, you are good at this thing, you are doing it, and it’s a thing you are capable of doing” and I received that from teachers that encouraged me to write when I was in high school.

Surprisingly, it was an art teacher that taught me what a chapbook was. I just hung out in the art room I would cut class and go there. [The art teacher] would give me paper to draw on and was like, “You should make a book if you are a writer”. He gave me this printed copy of Adobe pagemaker, which is like a book layout program, and was like, “Take this, design your own book” and I made my own chapbook when I was in high school. Even then, I was like, “I guess I’m a writer… maybe”. There is a lot of talk of like, “What are you ever gonna do with that, you’ll be poor and unhappy” which is true, but it’s not really… When you are an English major in college there is a lot of “what are you gonna do with that”.

SL (an English major): YUP YUP… yuuuuuppppp. 

JM: And like, that’s between me and God, okay? I will figure it out. I think people for a long time had this idea that education is a straight line, like it’s a through line to your destination. Like, I’m gonna go to college and after that I’m gonna get a really well-paying job because I got that education, and it’s like that for some people, I guess. But for a lot of people, it’s this weird squiggly line journey, trying to figure out where their place is, and like… dude, I can’t draw a direct line between my English major and who I am now, but I feel it was important.

SL: That is comforting as hell.

JM: Yeah. I will never pay the loans off, but I’m glad I did it.

SL: Sick.

BOTH: [Laugh].

SL: There have been multiple times during this interview where you have been preaching to the CHOIR. I’m like, yeah… yup… yup. Catholic? Queer? Cool, yup. Love debt!

JM: It’s weird, especially with the Catholicism thing. I talk about God a lot, but I think I talk about a different God, you know?

SL: What do you mean?

JM: I don’t know, I am still trying to sort this out and write about it. But I pray a lot more now that I don’t believe in a Christian God. I don’t believe in any God with a name or identity or history. But I feel like there is something that I am talking to, and I talk to it way more often than I ever did when I was in an organized religion. I don’t understand it, and I’m still trying to figure it out. My partner and I don’t–I used to try to own the idea that witches are everywhere and that some people are witches without having all the cultural assumptions of what a witch is. One of my friends is one of the most powerful–for lack of a better term–”witches” I have ever known; amazing empath and guide and tarot reader and astrologist and someone who has her dreams of other peoples’ dreams. And I know people are connected in weird ways, but I am not trying to read or write a book about how organized and thought out that is. I think what I’m trying to say is, intuition is more complicated and nuanced than we are told and intuition and empathy are really powerful things. I will light a candle and pray to nothing, but the act of it feels good.

Anyway, I don’t know if that is worth nothing, thought, to make part of the interview.

SL: It may not be, but it was interesting for me to hear you talk about it.

[Jamie and I then got into a discussion about queerness, which I do not feel fully comfortable transcribing in it’s entirety, but office to say that Jamie began to speak on being out as trans to certain people but not to others, and this led to the following conversation.]

SL: That is very interesting to me. You talk about queerness a lot in your work. Like, as a reader, I know you are trans, you have mentioned to me that you are trans. I know what pronouns you use because I am a reader, and that brings back up the conversation about being comfortable writing about things rather than talking about them. Like for me, I am more comfortable with a stranger knowing things about me that have been published than I am having my family know.

JM: I agree. I am like, so wildly confidently queer and trans and loud on stage. But if anyone in my immediate or extended family walked into the room I would just, I don’t know what I would do… Not out of embarrassment but out of… what even is it?

SL: Exposure?

JM: It’s so interesting because I don’t think I give a s**t what my extended family thinks, but it’s like… ah it’s so weird, why do I even care? When you are on stage you have this crowd of people who know who you are, want to know more about who you are, and they are already there for you and for who you really are. When someone from your family, or someone from outside of that world, that bubble where you are accepted for who you are they, by their very presence, cast doubt about who you are. Because they brought in who they think you are and a role that was thrust upon you and that you played along with for survival. Even when I didn’t know about and didn’t understand my queerness, I still had to play this role in my family for survival. I didn’t know why, but I knew that if I went against the gender roles, against heteronormativity, if I went against that, I would break… something. So, this person comes in and their perception of you is so jarred that it just seems like it would break everything.

My mom is really supportive and the reason why I was such a big reader is because no matter how broke we were, if I wanted a book, she’d buy me a book. No matter what book. She was super supportive of that. She is happy to see that I make my own books now and she’s read a lot of my work but we do not talk about it… because Catholicism. And that’s really unfair to just blame it all on one thing, but there are just so many complications to when we talk and what we talk about and what is something to talk about and what is something we pretend never existed in the first place, which happens a lot.

SL: Well, I have one final question for you and that is: why should people see you at Rain City Slam and what do you have going on for them to check out?

JM: I am very excited for the show at Rain City!…. I love Rain City; I can’t remember exactly when but I feature at their haiku slam, which is really cool. They do these head to head haikus and the audience decide which is better through several rounds… Sometimes people write their haikus on the spot which is really, really fascinating. It’s an awesome show, and if you are into spoken word or just a really good time, I would recommend Rain City and also the Seattle Poetry Slam. I think a particular attraction in Seattle to me is that it will probably be a while before I am in Seattle again, since I am moving to California. It’s not a last chance, but it might be a while so it’d be good to catch me while you still can. I’m gonna be doing poems from my new book and I’m going to have them for sale, I’m going to sign them, and I like to give people free Hello Kitty and My Little Pony stickers inside them. It’s gonna be fun!

Check out Jamie Mortara’s website: http://jamiemortara.com/

Buy Jamie’s latest book here.


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