All photography, except where otherwise noted, provided by Rachael Warecki at CameraRAW Photography.

artist statement

I've always been fascinated by experiences – mine, yours, the shifty neighbor across the street, the quiet coworker, the ranting homeless person you pass every morning on the way to the coffee shop.... Surely, we must have something in common, a single thread – however thin – that connects us all together. It's that thread I search for in my writing and, once found, I begin to tug at it. If I’m lucky, after I’ve finished tugging, after my reader has read what I have to say, we'll have learned something about each other and about this crazy, magical world we inhabit together.

Michael Passafiume holds nothing back in these tough and tender poems, breaking your heart while holding up his own — mad, pulsing, shouting ‘I’m still here.’ — from the back cover of ‘archipelagos’
— Jim Daniels, author of Rowing Inland and Birth Marks

about the author

Michael Passafiume has been a Brooklyn, NY-based writer for the better part of the last 24 years. He lived briefly in Chicago (too windy), Long Beach, CA (too sunny) and Philadelphia (it’s complicated) – always returning to the crowded, noisy, expensive city he grudgingly admits is (at least for now) home.

Michael grew up in upstate New York, wrote his first short story in the third grade and never looked back. In college he wrote editorials, arts reviews and feature pieces for the campus newspapers – first at SUNY Morrisville (where he graduated with an associates in Journalism), and then at Binghamton University (where he graduated with a bachelors in English and a masters in Theater). Somewhere along the way, in between the newspaper articles and stage plays, he fell into the rabbit hole of poetry.

He eventually emerged from the rabbit hole to attend the Tin House Summer Workshop for three consecutive years beginning in 2009. And then in the summer of 2012, just when he’d nearly finished paying off his undergrad and graduate student loans, Michael embarked on his MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. While at Antioch he honed his writing skills, served as co-poetry editor of Lunch Ticket, and established lifelong friendships with a tribe of like-minded people he likely never would have met had he not gone back to school. Verdict: no regrets.

Michael’s poetry has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, The Bleeding Lion, MadHat Lit, Rust + Moth and SLAB, among others. His chapbook, archipelagos, was published by Blue Hour Press in 2015. Another chapbook, I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams, was a quarterfinalist for the Mary Ballard Poetry Prize for 2015 from Casey Shay Press. By day he’s a freelancer for the corporate communications group at a large financial services firm and he also serves as faculty for Antioch University Los Angeles’ Inspiration2Publication program with a course called What the House Has to Say: Memoir as Poetry.