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2019 Sealey Challenge Kicks Off

Published August 01, 2019 Posted by

sealey challenge booksAugust is here and with it comes the third annual Sealey Challenge. Started by Nicole Sealey in 2017, the challenge is to read a poetry book or chapbook every day for the month of August.

I participated last year, and it felt like such a satisfying way to round out the summer months as I brushed off the cobwebs and dove into a new book each day.

I managed to end the 2018 challenge learning new things about myself, my reading habits, and my tastes in poetry. I practiced getting out of the house with a new book, the changes in setting feeling like a fresh new adventure. Where would I settle in to read that day, and where would the poet bring me after that?

After a few days, it became clear I simply wasn’t reading enough poetry throughout the other months of the year and there wasn’t a good excuse. If I could read thirty-one books in just as many days, I could carve out more time to read poetry the rest of the year. (Did I stick to this? Not as much as I’d like, but hey—baby steps!) This year, I’m stocked up on chapbooks for a more manageable approach to the challenge for myself. Somedays it is definitely difficult to make time, and chapbooks make the work load a little easier to handle.

Along with learning about my own reading habits, I was also introduced to new favorite poets and books, the magic my body becomes by Jess Rizkallah, Acadiana by Nancy Reddy, and WASP QUEEN by Claudia Cortese among these.

Give Nicole Sealey’s Twitter a scroll-through to learn more about the challenge and see what other readers are up to during the month. I’ll be back later this month with updates on how the challenge is treating me as I move through my picks, which you can see below.


All the Times We Passed McDonald’s Between Chapel Hill and Tuxedo, North Carolina, Andrew Dally, New Michigan Press

American Samizat, Jehanne Dubrow, Diode Editions

Bad Anatomy, Hannah Cohen, Glass Poetry Press

The Death Metals Pastoral, Ryan Patrick Smith, Black Lawrence Press

Diary of a Ghost Girl, Shay Alexi, Glass Poetry Press

dolores in spanish is pain, dolores in lolita is a girl, Ashley Miranda, Glass Poetry Press

The Empty Season, Catherine Bresner, Diode Editions

Even the Saints Audition, Raych Jackson, Button Poetry

Every Bird is a Miracle, Tara Roeder & Arman Safa, New Michigan Press

Every Present Thing a Ghost, Rebecca Doverspike, Slapering Hol Press

Fake News Poems, Martin Ott, BlazeVOX

Ghost Exhibit, Melissa Atkinson Mercer, Glass Poetry Press

Ghost Moose, Margo Taft Stever, Kattywompus Press

Girl Paper Stone, Laurie Filipelli, Black Lawrence Press

Girldom, Megan Peak, Perugia Press

Goodbye Toothless House, Kelly Fordon, Kattywompus Press

Grimmening, Daniel Blokh, Diode Editions

Hemlock, Emilia Phillips, Diode Editions

How to Tell If You Are Human, Jessy Randall, Pleiades Press

Leading with a Naked Body, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon & Leela Chantrelle

Life on Dodge, Rita Feinstein, Brain Mill Press

Lot For Sale. No Pigs, Sandy Green, BatCat Press

Past Lives, Future Bodies, Kristin Chang, Black Lawrence Press

Pomegranates, Robin F. Brox, Xexoxial Editions

Prey, Jeanann Verlee, Black Lawrence Press

Sink, Desireé Dallagiacomo, Button Poetry

Still Seeing a Dead Soldier, James Deitz, Turning Point

To Those Who Were Our First Gods, Nickole Brown, Rattle

The Unbnd Verses, Kwame Opoku-Duku, Glass Poetry Press

When the Bird is Not a Human, HR Hegnauer, Subito Press

The Witches of Lila Springs, Sabrina Ito, Plan B Press

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