S P A C E M A N : D A D A : R O B O T


 Hey folks, just wanted to let you know about an upcoming multimedia art show by the artistic collaborative Electronic Planet Ensemble.  The group includes Sergio R. Samayoa, Chad Salvataand David Jewell, an artist and poet RIOT Ink has had the pleasure of featuring at a couple of events. 

We here at RIOT Ink know great work, so believe us when we tell you this is going to be a spectacular show.

So GO!

Be blown away!

And tell ’em RIOT Ink sent ya!


 ê ê ê ê ê
 via email, David Jewell:

 There will be a mail-art exhibit at the VORTEX THEATRE from JANUARY 9th to JANUARY 24th 2009. We will display all art received before the closing on Jan. 24th.

The THEME is Spaceman:Dada:Robot.
You can send something about one or all three of those words.

Mail art is the sending of original art, which you create, (i.e. a postcard, a poem, a collage, a drawing, anything) through the mail. We will display all mail received and also show it on the web. If it gets to us soon enough we may use it as part of the video for the show.

The show is a multimedia show: Music, Spoken Word, Big Video Screen, creating an environment of entertaining
sights and sounds. Stories and thoughts and music that has a beat and you can dance to.

It is fun based. Not serious based. It is serious.
But not boring. It is lively and enlivening and the text of the show contains actual astounding Facts About Space and Time.

So send us some art to this address:
8003-B Tisdale Dr.
Austin, TX 78757

The Performance will be at the Vortex.

Starting Friday January 9th at 8 p.m.

and every Thur. Friday, Saturday and Sunday after that until the 24th.


Vortex Theater is at 2307 Manor Rd. 78722 


For more info. click here

mail art will be displayed at

Categories: Upcoming Events

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 Poets.org. 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)










08.23.08 1 comment


Ken’s been a regular reader at our events and we’re really excited to get a chance to hear a full set from this wonderful poet. Ken Fontenot has an M. A. in German Language and Literature from UT Austin and has taught German and Introduction to Humanities at ACC. Having published two books of poems, the second of which, All My Animals and Stars, won the 1988 Austin Book Award, his poems and translations of poems from the German have appeared in such journals as the American Poetry Review , Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Poetry International, and the New Orleans Review. He has been poetry editor of two literary magazines in New Orleans and most recently, in 2006, edited Di-verse-city, the annual poetry anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival. Presently he is taking time off from coursework at Texas State’s MFA program in San Marcos in order to get more of his own poetry-writing done.


  Joe Ahearn is the author of Five Fictions (poetry, Sulphur River Review Press) and sin-thét-ik (poetry, Firewheel Editions Press). He has recently published poetry and essays in Sentence, Flashpoint and the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry. Fiction is forthcoming in the Sonora Review.  Ahearn currently holds a James A. Michener Fellowship in poetry and fiction at the University of Texas at Austin. We at RIOT Ink had had the pleasure of reading and hearing Joe’s work before. Joe Ahearn in his essay  “The Freedom Principle: First Notes Towards a Poetics of Liberation” says “the first purpise of the liberated poem is to provide exactly what is lacking in general culture, a zone of real emotion…” This was one of my first impressions upon reading his book, FIve FIctions. The language in it is not only exciting and crafted, it is genuinely moving. There is an integrity and honesty in his verses, true poignancy that is not always comfortable by undeniably beautiful. The stories these poems tell are distinctly humane and have a reverence for the sublimity of human experience. His poetry is charged, not only emotionally, but stylistically and intellectually as well. The tone is at once familiar and rarified. We’re happy to have him back on our stage.

Come out for an evening of some fine poetry!

(All you need to know):

When: Thursday August 28th, 7-8:30

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

What: A RIOT Ink poetry event featuring

Ken Fontenot and Joe Ahearn



Also coming up, for our finale reading:

author of Heaven, Oh Forbidden, Harlot and Necropolis

Jill Alexander Essbaum


“Don’t Go Ahab on Me, Man!”

Finally have the David Jewell vid-clips up.

It was an utterly luminous evening, all aglow with moongirls and spacemen.

We had the usual suspects–the talented John Herndon, Ken Fontenot & George Leake–grace our stage during the special guest reader segment, along with a couple of “new” readers: Pattabi Seshadri and Wayne Alan Brenner (editor at Austin Chronicle, poet & performer). Lincoln and cataclysm. Dig it.









RIOT Ink at Ruta Maya was-let’s see, what are the kids sayin’ these days?–neato, boss, aces, groovy, off da hook? Anyway, it was tremendous fun. The RIOT guys and I had a fuckin’ blast and the Ruta Maya folk even got to hear sexy soneeter Jessica Piazza, and whale-man David Jewell himself. Beautiful, beautiful evening. I think Marty got a few vid clips of the event, so I’ll be posting those too soon’s I can. David Bates and Marty Lloyd do it up right, folks. If you’re a poet craving a mic, (perhaps staggering out of Exposé on a Tuesday evening after visiting your ladies) and looking for your poetry fix, head down to Ruta Maya’s open mic.

We’re looking forward to our upcoming readers: Joe Ahearn and Jill Alexander Essbaum. I’ll be posting more features and news soon.

RIOT Ink also has BIG plans for the Fall, so definitely stayed tuned. (Subscribe to this site, or shoot me a note at because.words@gmail.com and I’ll get you on our mailing list. Don’t worry, I only send out really, really important and relevant emails (like, where da poetry be at?) and would never trade or sell or do anything inappropriate with you email address. (Unless, of course, you’re into that sort of thing…)