Hi Everyone,

Even though I am mostly working on “Let’s Deconstruct a Story” these days, every now and then I still like to feature a stellar poet! Today’s post includes a reading by Michigan poet, Ken Meisel, from his new book, Studies Inside the Consent of a Distance published in January by Kelsay Books.

Poems in the recording include “Fatherhood,” “Two Portraits of Hunger, South Carolina” and “The Angel of the Wonderful “ all published in the San Pedro River Review. “Studies Inside the Consent of a Distance” was first published in Third Wednesday.

Please enjoy the recording on Anchor here:

Or you can access it on Spotify:

Apple, or wherever you enjoy your podcasts.

Ken’s new book is dedicated to another legend in the Michigan poetry world, Joy Gaines-Friedler! They will be reading together on April 19th at 7pm on zoom through the Royal Oak Library. Register here.

Happy weekend, everyone!


Bio: Ken Meisel is a poet and psychotherapist, a 2012 Kresge Arts Literary Fellow, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and the author of eight books of poetry. His most recent books are: Our Common Souls: New & Selected Poems of Detroit (Blue Horse Press: 2020) and Mortal Lullabies (FutureCycle Press: 2018). His new book, Studies Inside the Consent of a Distance, was published in 2022 by Kelsay Books. He has recent work in Concho River Review, I-70 Review, San Pedro River Review, The Wayfarer, and Rabid Oak.

Ken’s new books are available here at Kelsay Books.

My Personal Favorite: Dawn McDuffie

At this moment in time, which of your own poems is your personal favorite and why?


What the Moon Says About My Shoes

You don’t have a choice.
Not with those feet–proud and demanding
at the arch, flat and hopeless
behind the toes–they hate bondage.
I see you walk on polished concrete,
cinders, lake stones, oak boards
that moan, especially at 3:00 a.m.
You will never wear glass pumps,
but remember my opal sandals
walk everywhere and trouble the twin hearts
of right and left. I leave no footprint
but a cool spot small as a nickel.
Your mean little shoes, rigid and dead,
shoes that resist lining up at night–
I’m watching them for you.
Sometimes I need to write a poem that doesn’t take place in this world we witness every day, a world more surrealistic and magical. I like the combination of moon magic and tired feet. I also loved the challenge of writing a poem on a topic I’ve never seen before. This poem always makes me smile.
Dawn McDuffie moved to Detroit in 1968 and has drawn on the city for inspiration ever since. She has published poems in Pearl, Feminist Studies, CT Review, and Third Wednesday. Two of her chapbooks, Carmina Detroit, and Flag Day In Detroit, were published by Adastra Press. A third chapbook, Bulky Pickup Day, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011. Her latest book is Happenstance and Miracles, published by Finishing Lin Press, 2018.