Octoberguest! Michelle Brooks

I met the delightfully vibrant Michelle this past summer when she was teaching the poetry section at the Tinker Mountain Writer’s Workshop. Her work is raw, honest and provocative and it was a privilege to hear her reading it (poetry is best enjoyed live, don’t you think? maybe with cocktails afterwards?). She’s also at work on a memoir, Second Day Reported, which she’s been teasing folks with on her wildly popular Michelle’s Spell blog (she always has cocktail suggestions!). The Iowa Review will publish her essay The Ceiling Or The Floor, which she calls “the springboard” for Second Day Reported. Though it’s amazing that the poor thing can work at all–She tells me she’s still reeling from the end of the Sopranos!

Michelle’s Spell is also her love letter to the city of Detroit. She’s brought us a poem today, and some photos from Detroit.

Be sure to check out her books on her website.

Welcome, sweet Michelle!

[First published in Permafrost]

Make Yourself Small

God will come in later, of this I feel certain.
Let’s consider the nurse Richard Speck
didn’t kill, the one that he bound who still
managed to hide under a bed, only to find
all the others stabbed in the eyes and breasts.
You wanted details, right? Hide under
whatever you can find, make yourself small.
Everyone finds something horrible in time.
Best to close your eyes. Keep them closed.

This picture is at the Heidelburg Project, an outsider art project done by Tyree Guyton to educate people about the decay and inspire hope in inner-city Detroit.

Love Detroit — taken in the Old Miami, a fixture of the Cass Corridor — Vietnam Vet hangout, the name stands for Missing In Action In Michigan

Me at my former place of employ, Macomb Community College

my old bedroom — not exactly a Detroit historic site, but 🙂

Thanks for visiting, Michelle!

Tomorrow: Erotic suspense writer Jennifer Talty!

[Remember–Everyone who comments is entered to win $100 Godiva Chocolatier and Harry & David giftbaskets, plus books from several Octoberguest! authors! Drawing held November 2nd.]

12 thoughts on “Octoberguest! Michelle Brooks”

  1. What flavor of Michelle one does not get here or at her blog is that she has inspired a few thousand young people to write. If not to want to write professionally at least to write expressively.

    She’s moved away from teaching now…it is time. after all there is repetition in every job and you can only read so many “dark and stormy night” openings before you go a bit nuts.

    It amazes me still that a small town west Texas chica can be such an ardent supporter of Detroit, among her many claims to being weird is that while half the population of Michigan is striving to relocate to Texas, she made the move in reverse.

    Detroit is better off for her presence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m still reeling from all of Michelle’s support of the show.–Tony Soprano. That Richard Speck was a nasty guy, too( P.S.-wise).

  3. Hey beautiful Laura,

    I’m so grateful to be in the handbasket! And thanks to my favorite buddy Mark for his sweet words (Tony Soprano too!). xo, Michelle

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here’s looking at you, kid. We’ll always have SCS. Don’t forget to email.–Humphrey B.

  5. Pinckney says:

    Awesome poet. Awesome teacher. Awesome blogger. Awesome grrl.

  6. Daniel Mueller says:

    Michelle Brooks is brilliant. Buy her chapbooks. Read her poems, stories, and essays online and in literary journals. Her voice is utterly her own, distinctive as a signature and unforgettable. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks, Laura, for featuring my favorite writer on your site.

  7. Maggie Caldwell says:

    Wow – what a provocative poem. I read it this morning and it stuck with me all day. Thank you Michelle.

  8. Laura says:

    Maggie–this poem has haunted me, too, since I read it. I love that a poem can do that so powerfully–it has a thrill factor that one doesn’t find often in contemporary poems.

    I can’t believe I forgot to link to Michelle’s website! Dan, you’re absolutely right–everyone should check out her books. I’ll try to do that now….

  9. Laura says:

    Michelle’s site link is now on the post. Please do check out her chapbooks on her website!

    Thank you so much for being here, Michelle. (And for bringing your friends!)

  10. jodi says:

    Michelle is not only my friend, but an inspiration. She lives passionately and deserves all kudos! xo

  11. Joe P. Frick says:

    Hey! I thought I was supposed to be your only “sultry” Octoberguest.

    I feel used.

    But, her poem is better than any poem I’ve ever written, and I’m not saying that because I’ve only written three. I could probably write 300 that wouldn’t be as good as that.

  12. Brielle says:

    I was watching Criminal Minds 4×25 (the finale) and the location ‘Cass Corridor’ in Detroit came up. I used to live in Windsor and went to the D enough – so I had to look for some pix of Cass on Google. That’s how I came across this post. I quickly went to your website – writer’s intuition I guess, and saw The Chicago Trib quote about your book Isabella Moon. Wow. Anyway, sometimes I have to relate these little path/meanderings cuz I think it’s so curious how we find things. I’ll check for your book on Amazon – I just happened to be putting a shopping cart of books together tonight. It’s funny, today I looked at the clock both times at 9:11 and it didn’t register ’till later that it’s todays date. I also picked up a 10:55, but that’s another story. I like your bio line on Myspace. “I make stuff up.”

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