Essay Series on Ploughshares Blog

I'm a 2016 blogger for Ploughshares! Approximately once a month, I'll progress query-by-query through Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, seeking poetic connections. This month is all about water (and villanelles).

The recurring image for this series is the Fry-Jefferson map of 1753. This map was produced by Peter Jefferson (TJ's father!) and Joshua Fry, both accomplished surveyors. Their work became the definitive map of 18th century Virginia, and Thomas Jefferson often refers to it in his Notes. 

The recurring image for this series is the Fry-Jefferson map of 1753. This map was produced by Peter Jefferson (TJ's father!) and Joshua Fry, both accomplished surveyors. Their work became the definitive map of 18th century Virginia, and Thomas Jefferson often refers to it in his Notes. 

Interview on the American Short Fiction blog

I'm grateful to Nate Brown for inviting me to reflect on Baltimore for the American Short Fiction blog. This piece is part of their "Things American" feature. Other Baltimore writers who have contributed include: Jane Delury, Michael Downs, Derick Ebert, Kenneth Morrison, Lia Purpura, Deborah Rudacille, D. Watkins, and Khaliah Williams.

For my part, I decided to interview my mother, Patricia Petrosino, a former teacher/administrator in Baltimore City Public Schools. Scroll down for her wonderful / terrifying description of Baltimore's meat wholesale district in the 1970s!

Essay on the Iowa Review Blog

I wish to put my blackness into some kind of order. My blackness, my builtness, my blackness, a bill. I want you to know how I feel it: cold key under the tongue. Mean fishhook of homesickness that catches my heart when I walk under southern pines. And how I recognized the watery warp of the floor in my great-grandma’s house, when I dreamed it. This is what her complaining ghost said: Write about me.

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