Catching Up with Emily Mohn-Slate

Where can we read some of your recent work? 

My chapbook, FEED, came out last spring with Seven Kitchens Press: You can find it here. I have a new poem, “People at Yellow Lights Scrolling,” out soon in AGNI and another recent-ish poem, “Landscape with iPhone” at New Ohio Review.  

What are you reading right now? 

I’m reading a bunch of books in fragments at the moment because I’m suddenly home all the time (as we all are!) with two small children, who are always vying for my attention. 

To Know Crush by Jennifer Jackson Berry, just out with YesYes Books, is blowing my mind. It’s a memoir-in-verse that examines life, love, sex, and the body as a fat woman in our culture. I love the way these poems make a call for radical visibility by examining small moments that speak to larger political landscapes in our lives. I admire the way Jackson Berry brings lyricism into such raw emotional territory.

I’m also reading Al Abonado’s debut poetry collection, Jaw, also just out from Sundress Publications. I’m so taken with this book, which is sharp, funny, poignant, political—often all in a single poem. I love how Abonado explores race, identity and family in poems that are driven by an often surreal imaginative energy. 

I’m also reading The Illness Lesson by Clare Beams (Doubleday) and I’m completely hypnotized by it. Her prose is stunning and utterly poetic. She brings you into this magical realist world with horror bubbling under the surface, and creates characters that feel so real. Novels are necessary to me right now as I need more sustained ways to escape my daily reality which is often quite stressful. Beams also has a short story collection called We Show What We Have Learned by Lookout Books that I highly recommend. 

What’s next for you? 

My first full-length poetry collection, THE FALLS, is coming out this fall with New American Press. I’m very excited to share it with readers. What’s next in terms of writing? Well, I’m teaching middle & high school English right now and that is very consuming, especially as I try to figure out how to do that online because of the coronavirus closures (& my own kids literally hanging on my neck while I try to lead online discussions!). Come summer, I’ll be working again on my second poetry collection, which delves into technology, attention, and parenthood, as well as a developing essay collection on motherhood, aging, and the body. 


Emily Mohn-Slate is the author of THE FALLS, winner of the New American Poetry Prize, (forthcoming, New American Press, 2020), and FEED, winner of the Keystone Chapbook Prize (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). Her poems and essays can be found in AGNI, New Ohio Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. She lives and teaches in Pittsburgh, where she is part of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops.

my website is: https://emilymohnslate.com/

Twitter: @MohnSlate

IG: @mohnslate


Emily’s poem “The Traveler and the Sheep” appeared in issue 2:1 of Tinderbox.