Poem: "Notes from an Epicenter"

A very fresh poem of mine, reflecting on the uncanny weirdness of life under relative quarantine in New York City, is now available over at Writers Resist in their "Viral Resistance Issue"—check it out here.

Auto shops still rollicking with laughter,
a boy walks by, dribbles his ball alone. (full poem)


Fall-Winter 2019 Poems and an Essay

I was fortunate to place several poems and a literary essay in various literary journals in the last several months of 2019, plus another poem that just went live this month and will be in print in February 2020, and one of my favorites, "Blueshift," which appeared in Cold Mountain Review early last summer but which I never got around to announcing on this site (it's been a hectic academic-job-application season):

  • "Snow-bound." [Poem.] The New Criterion, vol. 38, no. 6, February 2020, and online at https://newcriterion.com/issues/2020/2/snow-bound.
  • "To My Father, on the Table, Several States Away." [Poem.] North American Review, "Open Space" online feature, 24 December 2019, https://northamericanreview.org/open-space/my-father-table-several-states-away.
  • "Earth Room." [Poem.] About Place, "Infinite Country" issue, vol. 5, no. 4, Oct. 2019, https://aboutplacejournal.org/issues/infinite-country/east-rebirth/john-linstrom/.
  • "Symphonies and Sweet Potatoes." [Prose.] Newfound, vol. 10, no. 2, 2019, https://newfound.org/current-issue/nonfiction-john-linstrom/.
  • "Disclaimer." [Poem.] Vallum: Contemporary Poetry, "Fear" issue, vol. 16, no. 2, 2019, p. 62.
  • "On the President's Announcement of Our Hashtag." [Poem.] Writers Resist, no. 95, 19 September 2019, http://www.writersresist.com/2019/09/19/on-the-presidents-announcement-of-our-hashtag/. Previously appeared in This Week in Poetry, 9 November 2015, https://thisweekinpoetry.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/on-the-presidents-announcement-of-our-hashtag/.
  • "Blueshift." [Poem.] Cold Mountain Review, vol. 47, no. 2, Spring 2019 and https://www.coldmountainreview.org/issues/spring-summer-2019/blueshift-by-john-linstrom.

Here's a little more information about each of these pieces:


Upcoming Talks/Events

With the launch this week of The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener's Companion: Essential Writings in Ithaca, New York, I wanted to highlight a few of my upcoming presentations, with the hopes that friends along the way will stop by each of them to say hello!


Poem: "Storm's Breath"

I was so thrilled to receive my copy recently of Free State Review's newest issue, including my "Storm's Breath," a Lake Michigan poem! Thank you, thank you, thank you to Barrett Warner for bringing this beautiful collective lyrical beast into the world!

     and every time the waves hiss back
     a million tiny worms
     peek out of holes to breathe

     and then slip back.  Their world, 
     water.  And breath.  And water
     again. (read more below)


Announcing a New Book Series from Cornell University Press

IMG 1049

It's my pleasure to announce that I have signed a contract with Cornell University Press to serve as general editor of a forthcoming series of books by and about the great Progressive-Era horticulturist, philosopher, educator, poet, administrator, and naturist Liberty Hyde Bailey!

The series will feature new editions of Bailey's works that have long been out of print, including fresh editorial and other supplementary material, as well as works never before published, and it will also feature new secondary literature about Bailey's life and legacy and an online database that will begin to collect electronic editions of his writings and serve as a central hub for Baileyana online. Potential titles for the print series include The Nature-Study Idea, Onamanni, The Harvest of the Year to the Tiller of the Soil, a collection of new essays assessing Bailey's impact on twentieth-century environmental thought and his relevance today, The Outlook to Nature, The Garden Lover, and many more.

I'm thrilled that Cornell University Press has agreed to embark on this long-term project with me as we seek to reintroduce Bailey's work to a twenty-first-century readership. We are in the midst of finalizing an advisory board of Bailey scholars to help guide the evolution of the series, and so far Scott J. Peters, Daniel Wayne Rinn, and Jane L. Taylor have all agreed to join the team. Work on the series is slated to begin in the summer of 2020 (just after I defend my dissertation!), but, in the meantime, there's no need to wait—you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the anthology of Bailey's garden writings that John Stempien and I have coedited, The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener's Companion: Essential Writings, which is available for preorder now and should be hitting the shelves of your local bookstore in September. 


Image: adapted from George Silk, "Liberty Hyde Bailey and his books," Images from Cornell's Rare Book and Manuscript Collections, Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University Library, Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections, c2005, https://digital.library.cornell.edu/catalog/ss:545630.

Panel at Midwestern History Conference

At the end of this month, on May 31 at 10:30 AM in Room 107-D of the DeVos Center at Grand Valley State University, I will be participating in a roundtable discussion at the Fifth Annual Midwestern History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The panel's topic is "Placing Literary Agrarianism in the Twentieth-Century Midwest," and it will be composed of contributors to a new collection of essays, forthcoming from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, titled Mapping Midwestern Minds: Essays on the Intellectual History of the American Midwest.


Poem: "Leaving the Party"

Leaving the Party

I am so pleased to share that my dear old poem, "Leaving the Party," has just been published in the Spring 2019 issue of Alluvian! The issue theme is "The Grey Zone: Human and Ecological Triage."

     We danced like satellites, I think, last night,
     spinning, the Christmas lights in our glasses,

     our bottles. (read poem)


"Soot of a Young Star" Nominated for Pushcart

29983687 10156177562015688 4559470429997186105 o

Soot, by Sam Linstrom, b. 1992

What a perfect end to my three days in Ames for the Home Voices Festival—I was just preparing to return home when I learned that my poem, "Soot of a Young Star," was nominated by Narrative Northeast for a Pushcart Prize! This news is all the more gratifying because the poem was so important for me.


Reading in Ames, IA: Home Voices Alumni Festival

I'll be joining fellow Iowa State MFA alums Marissa Landrigan and Colin Rafferty, along with current students Eric Fisher Stone and Crystal Stone, to read from our books and other creative work, this coming Sunday, January 27, from 2:00 to 5:00 in the Ames Public Library.  I hope to see some old faces and get to know many new ones!  Details below:

Home Voices Alumni Festival poster

Poem: "Church of the Epiphany"

I was thrilled to discover today that my poem, "Church of the Epiphany," was publiPicture2shed online this week in Bridge Eight!

     whichever one had weathered best the words
     of students to their parents, old ones now

     to dead.

Read the whole thing here.