About Melissa Adamo

Melissa Adamo received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University, and her essays, poems, and reviews have previously appeared in journals, such as Mezzo Cammin, Per Contra, and The Rumpus, among others. Teaching various English courses at Montclair State, Ramapo College, and Rutgers-Newark, she gets to enjoy the best the NJ parkway has to offer due to her love of language and try-hard students. Follow her word-thoughts on writing, feminism, and pop culture on Twitter @mel_adamo

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Working Title 7 Reading Series

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Monday, June 22nd, 2015 | 1,493 views

The Working Title 7 writing group and reading series held their most recent event at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ. The group, comprised mostly of Montclair residents, has been together for over twelve years. They meet monthly to workshop drafts and discuss craft. Once a year, they host a reading, calling it “grass roots fiction at its best” that’s open to the public to showcase their latest efforts, try out new material, or promote new titles. On June 10th in the back corner of Watchung’s children’s section, Nancy Burke, one of the founding members, emceed the evening of stories, which ranged from creative nonfiction to young adult to sci-fi.

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An Interview with Poet Amy Pickworth, Author of Bigfoot for Women

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Monday, June 15th, 2015 | 2,227 views

Amy Pickworth’s debut poetry collection Bigfoot For Women was the winner of Orange Monkey’s book prize in 2013 and was released in November 2014. The book explores the mythology of Bigfoot by applying his stories to relationships with the self, men, and family. In her author’s note, Pickworth writes that “a number of internet addresses are included in this manuscript, but the internet, like any healthy forest, is constantly changing. New things spring up as others die off. The links included here are breadcrumbs on the path.”

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An Interview with Poet Roberto F. Santiago.

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Monday, May 4th, 2015 | 1,772 views

Roberto Santiago

Roberto F. Santiago, an English Kills Review contributor, is a 2014 Lamda Literary fellow and a recipient of the 2011 Alfred C. Carey Poetry Prize. His debut poetry collection, Angel Park, came out this April.

Congratulations on your debut poetry collection! I had such a great time reading it. The moment I finished, I started writing love poems and food poems (your work made me pretty hungry), and I just kept going back to your lines. I wanted to stay in the world of Angel Park for as long as possible.

Thank you so very much! That is high praise. I didn’t fully realize my words had the power to make people hungry. I thought they only worked on me. Y’know, it wouldn’t be the first on my list of desired superpowers…but I’ll take it!

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The Cross Review and Reading Series

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Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 | 1,949 views

Jen DeGregorio, curator of The Cross series and Review at WORD in Jersey City

The Cross Review and Reading Series cross-pollinates New York and New Jersey writers west of the Hudson in Jersey City’s WORD Bookstore. Each reading showcases at least one writer from Jersey and one from New York. Founder and curator of Cross, Jen DeGregorio, mentioned at the last reading that WORD was the ideal host since it has two locations, one in each state, thus making it the perfect symbol of the series’ mission: “a bridge between the New York/Brooklyn and New Jersey poetry worlds.”

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The Disagreement, an Edited Reading Series

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 | 2,486 views

Bryant Musgrove and Melissa Swantkowski, founders of the Disagreement series

The Disagreement, an edited reading series, recently hosted “I kept telling myself you’re ok; you’re not that bad” at The Hi-Fi Bar in the East Village. The Disagreement’s founders, editors and hosts, Bryant Musgrove and Melissa Swantkowski, seek work for their series that “demands to be read aloud.” They aim to present “the funny in the sad, grotesque, and the perverse.” On Janurary 13th, they certainly met that criteria.

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ARTS By The People and Warrior Writers

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 | 2,006 views

ARTS By The People (ABTP) is a nonprofit organization based in Northern New Jersey that runs workshops in the fields of visual and performing arts as well as creative writing. ABTP also holds reading series throughout the year and an open mic event, The Platform, the first Wednesday of every month at Drip Coffee in Morristown, New Jersey. Most recently, ABTP collaborated with Warrior Writers (WW), a national nonprofit that works with servicemen and veterans, hosting a reading at Drip on Tuesday, October 14th. Paul Rabinowitz, the founder of ABTP and a veteran himself, read alongside six Warrior Writers. The reading was the embodiment of ABTP’s belief that “the arts can bridge social divisions and strengthen understanding, collaboration and acceptance in communities.”

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Free Water Reading Series

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Monday, October 13th, 2014 | 2,301 views

English Kills Review contributor Britt Melewski launched a new poetry series entitled Free Water. These readings occur every other month at the KGB Bar in New York City’s East Village. With Free Water, Melewski strives to bring together various voices to a place that is both welcoming and captivating. This young series already delivers on that intention. The environment at a Free Water reading is engaging, smart, and funny. It seems to call out to us: Come on in; the water’s fine.

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A Poet on Bombing Or Pretending to be a Comic

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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 | 2,185 views

People aren’t often taught how to deal with failure. Even watching interviews with famous people chat about missteps doesn’t seem to hit home because we never saw that part. Their disappointments seem cute as opposed to career questioning. For writers, failure is most evident on stage. Unlike piles of rejection slips one can stuff in a draw, light on fire, or scrapbook, in front of a crowd, a person has to respond. They must get comfortable with silence or deal with too much noise. This too is true of comedians and is why I sometimes pretend I’m a standup comic rather than a poet. Although maybe it’s because comics are the more socially acceptable of the low-paid artists. If you tell someone you’re a poet, they look confused; say you’re a comic, they fervently discuss Louis CK. Of course, a poet bombing looks rather different than a comic, but that image is fun to examine, and it still explores ideas of failure and heckling that are necessary for any artist.

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