Waterbound, April Pameticky’s debut poetry collection, is now available.Until the end of October 2019, purchases made direct from this website will not pay shipping.  Be sure to include any special instructions and your shipping address.


Cover for Promo material

Anatomy of a Sea Star–Reimagined

Last fall, students from the Wichita State University dance department responded to artists from the community in a collaborative exchange.  In the clip below, students of Cheyla Clawson-Chandler choreographed duets in response to April Pameticky’s Anatomy of a Sea Star.  Students discussed the poem with Pameticky, created the duets under strict choreographic boundaries [ex: dancers had to be in contact 80% of the time], and then teach that choreography to their dance partners.



In the Fall of 2019, students will again collaborate with the poet, the time performing in the

Welsbacher Theatre of The Wichita State University Metroplex
[5015 East 29th St N, Wichita, KS 67220]
on Thursday, October 3rd @ 4:00pm

Full versions of the poem [15 sections] will be available at the afternoon performance but the first three sections are shared here:



Anatomy of a Sea Star
A Love Song

On the nature of the ubiquitous sea star: a defense mechanism against predators, these creatures can regenerate limbs.  Near the turn of the twentieth century, angry oysterman, fed up at sea stars eating their catch, cut the sea stars in half, tossing the bodies back overboard.  Ultimately, the sea star population doubled in less than a decade, decimating the oysters in the process.1

Covered in tiny white spines, members of the phylum echinodermata can excrete their stomach out of their mouths, oozing into partially open clams, digesting the interior, and finally returning to their bodies.2

1 From National Ocean Service, NOAA
2 From National Geographic Online



Two minutes from now he will tell you again about his day.
The words feel familiar, taste like sediment,
but he can’t be sure if it was you the first time through,
you that laughed about that mishap during his meeting,
you that mirrored his frown at all his frustrations,
you that he made love to against the hollow office door.
Three minutes from now,
you will nod and release a braying laugh,
the sound spilling like milk between you.
Making excuses and backing away,
you slide into shadow.


The first time he spoke to you,
you can’t remember it,
pretend it happened at the Connestoga truck stop off of 1-35,
create whole fictions from scraps of memory.
Maybe you talked poetry,
Bill Clinton,
cheese fries,
the endless burnt coffee,
smoking your way through so many great ideas.
This will not be the last thing you lie over.


You offer a small morsel from your own plate,
the steak meat succulent red,
watch his mouth tighten, close.
His head tilts away
as he explains the he doesn’t eat from another’s plate,
though he will eat at your flesh later.
You feel he has hacked a limb,
tossed you back
into the sea,


A Night at Fisch Haus

I’m excited to get to be part of the Fisch Haus Tuesday Night Jazz Series–

A group of ten or so poets will read their work, and then will be accompanied the second time through by musicians improvising based on our reading.  I can’t imagine how that’s going to work out, but part of me is tempted to read my poem like Flo–

Don’t worry.

I won’t do it.


Why don’t you come see?

Fisch Haus @ Tuesday, April 11 : 7:30pm

River City Poetry

buffetI like the buffet as much as anyone.  I can stack my plate as high as I want.  If I don’t like it, I don’t have to finish it.  And if I can’t eat it all, who cares?  I’ll just dump it and go back for something else.

I actually hate buffets.  Human-horse troughs of congealing food.  All the precious smells get swirled together, and people take pride in that stack of plates.  I typically feel guilty, too, if I don’t eat enough to equate out to the value of the price of all I CAN eat.

But I do like the idea that my life is like a buffet plate.  I can put as much as I want on that plate.  I can shuffle things off if it turns out that I don’t like the taste of something.  And I have gotten to taste some great experiences over the last ten years.

I have also realized that I have a larger appetite than I gave myself credit.  For years, I’ve dreamed of running my own poetry anthology.  When I was in the Wichita State MFA program, I began to map out my own aesthetic for such a journal.  But I never did anything with it.  I worked for other people’s journals, reviewed submissions, worked out publishing budgets with submission fees, juried contests for youth and adults, and went through my own struggles as a poet to get published.  The whole time, I felt a great inadequacy for starting anything myself.  I’m too busy.  My teaching load is too heavy.  The girls are just at that age.  I’m committed to this or that at church.  And it’s not like I have time to write my own poetry.  My plate’s just too full.

But it really came down to the idea that I’m just not qualified.

It’s the same feeling I carried around for years about poetry.  It’s why I got an MFA in Fiction instead of Poetry.  It’s why I’ve avoided being labelled the ‘teacher poet’ that writes ‘mommy’ poems.  And I suppose there are folks out there that would agree that I’m NOT qualified and that my poetry remains two-dimensional.  But at this stage, I would just encourage those folks to head on down to the other side of the buffet where the wasabi peas and cucumbers are kept so that they could get something on their plates more to their tastes.

River City Poetry will be several things, but first–a poetry website.  We’ll use the model of small independent presses everywhere, but the internet will be our primary media.  We’ll showcase ten poets in the fall and ten poets in the spring.  We’ll run a summer writing marathon with daily posts and prompts in June.  And we’ll make it a special point to review chapbooks–because these little golden minutes of work never get the kind of attention they deserve.  We’re also going to be active collaborators in the Wichita area, tapping into the energy so inherently part of this place.

The website is currently under construction with a ‘soft’ open in May.  Want to be considered for our summer sampler of poetry?  You can submit up to three poems to rivercitypoetrysubmissions [at] gmail.com .  Our summer sampler will be a one-time issue meant to high light the aesthetic we want to encourage in future submissions.  Our first full reading period will be in August and September.

I sure am looking forward to it.  Come be a part of River City Poetry with me.

The Poet’s Companion

This blog post was recycled from the original post in July of 2013.

While I have taken any number of fiction courses, and I definitely remember the hours I spent in survey courses as an English undergrad, I took no poetry classes.  I did manage to take one poetry workshop, but I remember little of it.

During the Tallgrass Writing Workshop [2013], I was excited to get to spend time with Amy Sage Webb.  Not only did she critique ten of my poems, she gave me a list of suggested reading to help me broaden my education and understanding of poetry. As I work my way through the list, I’ll be sharing some items here.

Poet's companionThe first is probably familiar to many poetry students in workshops across the country: The Poet’s Companion.  This book has been both insightful and accessible.  While I have experience with literary criticism, I was looking for something more along the lines of The Art of Fiction.  While instructional, it is definitely NOT dry.

What are your favorite ‘writing manuals?’ Do you have volumes that you return to over and over?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.