Archive for the ‘RIOT INK News’ Category





Come, come! Writers! Readers!Lovers of finely composed and messily arranged words! Come to RIOT Ink’s first meeting of the fall.  Meet new people, make new friends, bring pieces you have been working on, bring books that you have read this summer and loved–tell us what you have been really enjoying about language lately.





DATE: Thursday, September 10, 2009
PLACE: Cafe Medici (across from UT on Guadalupe Street), look upstairs for a sign that reads RIOT Ink



Categories: RIOT INK News

Back to School Update

Wow, school has already started again…


Well, welcome back to school.  Welcome back to Austin.  Welcome back to a community of writers.  A lot of things happened over the summer.  For one, there is a significant line-up change for RIOT Ink.  Ever since its birth in the fall of 2007, Paula Mendoza-Hanna has led RIOT Ink, and she has done a tremendously-amazing job.  She brought writers together who probably never would have met otherwise and removed us from our cavernous bedrooms or indie-rock coffee shop hideouts.  She has been a large help from making RIOT Ink what it is today and without her none of this really would be happening.  Well, she graduated from UT this past spring and now is pursuing an MFA degree at the University of Michigan.  But don’t worry folks! She isn’t gone for good, just for a couple years or so.  I mean, come on, weather in Michigan has the potential to make people feel cold…and there might be snow. 

In a similar fashion, other core RIOT Inkers have moved on and away to different states and schools and ways of living.  Runjini now teaches kiddos in New Mexico under the program Teach for America and Miles is getting his PhD in History at Indiana University.  And well, Zack has been gone for awhile, living it up in San Francisco.  It is sad to see these people leave, and we wish them all of the best.  Hopefully they will return, if not forever! then at least for a nice stay.

But with all of these departures, it is also time for fresh blood, for new writers and new ideas.  Leadership for RIOT Ink has been passed to me and I look forward to taking on the role.  I hope this fall semester and new year can be the best yet for the group.  In the past we have done reading series, litzines, poetry postcards, collaborations, and other projects.  I hope to continue with those traditions as well as adding new things based off the next generation of writers in the group.   I am excited for the opportunity to work with new writers as well as the veterans from the past couple years.  I want to continue the legacy of RIOT Ink as it has started.

With all of this transitioning, please bear with me.   With school starting and all the other crazy end-of-summer-beginning-of-school stuff happening, it has been kind of hectic.  But I promise to have RIOT Ink mostly-operational sometime this week.  So don’t fret if you haven’t received an email! I will get to you.  I just opened the mailbox today.  I also will have a specific time and place for our first meeting soon.

If you are interested in joining or want more information, just send an email to:

because (dot) words (at) gmail (dot) com

For now, good luck with classes and the first week of school.  I am already brewing my Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and reading Dante’s Inferno.


Ryan Bender-Murphy

Categories: RIOT INK News

Ars Notoria features JESSICA PIAZZA


jess poster3 

You can read Jessica Piazza here, here and here.

Also, check out a clip of her reading last here:

This is going to be a stellar reading, so y’all be sure to make it out. Enjoy a cool drink in Austin Java’s patio and soak in the awesomeness that is Jessica Piazza. This time around, our good friend George Leake will be hosting the event.

Also, new issues of Maker III will be available at the reading. A LOT of great writers in this issue, so don’t miss out.  Pick up a copy at the reading, and stay tuned for Maker IV, as well as a special RIOT reading featuring the contributors sometime late July.

2009, jigga whaa?

01.01.09 1 comment
Year of the Ox

Year of the Ox

It’s that time again, the New Year.  And while most people are probably waking up just now, wearing the stench of cologne mixed with champagne mixed with their last bad decision for 2008, here at RIOT Ink headquarters we are diligently planning out what is in store for the new year.  2009 is going to be a biggie, even more impressive and spectacular than the previous one.  Remember those warm-blooded and cheery summer readings (even the hurricane came to one!), well more of that is in store for the spring time.  Details are being worked out, mainly the location and the frequency of the readings, but DO be on the lookout.  Fall semester was crazy with grad applications, teacher assisting, and the overall winter doldrums.  BUT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, we shall begin this new year with a bang.  How, might you ask?

Well, aside from a brand spankin’ new reading series to quench your poetry thirst, the RIOT Inkers will be putting together their THIRD Maker, the Voyeur edition, which will be edited by the lovely Ms. Paula Mendoza-Hanna.  It will feature work from newcomers and veterans, ranging from short stories to poetry to explorations into the nature of beekeeping.  This new Maker should come out late January or early February!  Just think! VOYEUR, and no not like those Girls Gone Wild videos, sheesh, who do you think you are!  Classy and sassy and maybe a bit trashy.

Oh wait! there is going to be a FOURTH Maker, too.  The COLLABORATIONS edition of Maker.  Yes, we are allowed this.  Basically, we will release a Maker with the poetry collaborations written and performed over the summer.  But that’s not all!  We will also explain the prompts, method, and overall process for creating poetry with multiple people who, let’s not kid ourselves, write in completely different ways.  I mean, rhyming couplets meets Godzilla — how does that work?!?!?!?  IT DOES!  And we will enlighten you.  Because nothing is more fun than writing, unless you are writing with people you really really like.  And well, don’t be upset if there are a couple pizza stains and mentions of the infamous P’Zone throughout this Maker.  It is full of love and…well, that other stuff.  (BURNT PIZZA anyone?)

And if a freaking reading series and new litzine issues combo wasn’t enough for you in 2009, then get ready for this!  One of the newest members of RIOT Ink, Runjini Raman, will be releasing her first chapbook of poems through our high-tech publishing house (aka the Hanna House, aka the best place for nutella and peanut butter sandwiches).  Runjini was found in the barren lands of university poetry workshops one day and we have loved her ever since.  BACK OFF SAN FRANCISCO.

Okay.  Lemme guess.  YOU STILL WANT MORE.  That’s fine.  Because if those four BIG things weren’t enough.  Then be ready for poetry to explode in your veins and your heart and when you are on the bus and when you are craving Japanese food and when you are waiting in line at Amy’s Ice Cream.  Yes, poetry postcards might creep into your napkins or your bus seat or that book about marsupial mating patterns that you have to read for ecology class.  Just saying, what goes better with animal sex than a poem by Sylvia Plath or Robert Frost or Anne Carson or Kenneth Koch (“tigers in my genitals”!).

What I am trying to say is that RIOT Ink is alive and kickin’ like a baby about to shoot out of the womb.  So, to loyal fans, friends, and family members.  Stay on board with us as we look toward the new year, for 2009 will beautiful like a freshmen entering college or a pack of gum just opened from the wrapper.

OKAY.  Fine.  Go back to reading your Christmas presents or cradling that bottle of Alka-Seltzer.  It was a great year.  Let’s have an ever better one.


Categories: RIOT INK News

Long Overdue Updates

Just a note to remind whoever might be dropping by that RIOT Ink is still alive and kicking, and will be recharging our batteries after Fall semester. There were many things we’d intended to do, but hadn’t the time for. That said we’re all itching to get back in it, and put on some shows and put out a few publications

A couple of projects to keep an eye out for:

– A RIOT Ink Yuletide reading. (Maybe we’ll even sing some carols? A poetry Santa? )

– A RIOT Ink Spring reading series

– The release of MAKER III : Voyeur.

– MAKER IV : Collaborations, A collection of RIOT Ink collaborations, complete with our prompts and methods

– The release of a new chapbook by fellow RIOT Ink’er, Runjini Raman



In the meantime, please enjoy this video clip of the incomporable Jill Alexander Essbaum:

Categories: RIOT INK News

Summer’s over and Halloween is coming!

Pictures from our final summer reading with the wonder Jill Alexander Essbaum as our featured reader.  She did a very nice job of keeping the harlots at bay and bring the Swiss Alps to all of our hearts.

And once again thanks to our lovely friends for being supportive!  It was a great final summer reading.  Thanks for coming to rock the mic week after week.  We REALLY appreciate you guys and gals coming out.  It was a really fun time and hopefully we can keep the dream alive through the fall and spring.

Now, on to the future, the up-and-coming: HALLOWEEN!!!!!  Here at RiotInk headquarters the diligent poets Paula, Matthew, Ryan, and Travis are coming together for a collaboration and plans for an of October reading at Jo’s Coffee Shop.  More details to come.  It is going to be AWESOME.  Just think:  zombies, vampries, ho-bunnies, and mummies!!!!



 Jill Alexander Essbaum is the author of several books of poetry, including, Bakeless Prize Winner, Heaven, Oh Forbidden, Harlot, and her latest opus, Necropolis. She has been published in, among others, Poetry, Black Warrior Review, The National Poetry Review, The Best American Erotic Poems, Coconut and No Tell Motel. She has taught at Concordia University in Austin, and at the University of Texas (where I and a few other fellow members of RIOT Ink are proud to call ourselves her students). 

I first became a fan of Jill’s at ACC when, my professor at the time, Lyman Grant, gave me a copy of Oh Forbidden. I had spoken to him about the trouble I had expressing the erotic in poetry, of heeling that fine tightrope line between virtue and vice, that is–the sublimity of sex. Up until then, all I encountered seemed either too abstract or austere (think: blooming peonies, stiff reeds) or too Harlequin and gaudy (think: things that ‘throb’ or ‘moisten’).

 The answer I received that semester in Jill’s book was the beautiful and complicated music of desire, wherein the notes of metaphor, imagery and rhyme shimmer. Its sonnets are so lush, so unabashed and yet, even for all their ecstatic gush, elegantly and deftly composed. It wasn’t long afterwards that I sought out all her works. She is tremendously witty and clever, and there is nary a pun she cannot polish to sparkling, nor a line of hers that does not astonish an ear in its aural acrobatics. Since that serendipitous semester, I have met Jill and am honored and blessed to call her my friend. She is a writer of true grace.

Do read this interview with her by editor and poet Reb Livingston, and this feature on You can also read her poetry here and here. Do come out and join RIOT Ink in celebrating a summer of amazing poetry with this amazing poet.

All you need to know:

What: RIOT Ink’s Finale Reading


Jill Alexander Essbaum


Special Guest Readers


RIOT Ink’s performance collaboration


the debut of our litzine MAKER II


When: September 11th, 7pm-830pm

Where: Austin Java Coffeehouse, 1206 Parkway (12th and Lamar)