Genevieve Kaplan


Genevieve Kaplan is the author of (aviary) (Veliz Books, 2020); In the ice house (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation‘s poetry publication prize; and four chapbooks: I exit the hallway and turn right (above/ground press, 2020), In an aviary (Grey Book Press, 2016), travelogue (Dancing Girl, 2016), and settings for these scenes (Convulsive Editions, 2013). Her poems can be found in Third Coast, Puerto del Sol, Denver Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Poetry, and other journals. A poet, scholar, and book-maker, Genevieve earned her MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and her PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. She co-edited Et Al.: New Voices in Arts Management (IOPN, 2022), an open-access collection of ideas, action, and inspiration from contemporary arts managers. Since 2003, she’s been editing the Toad Press International chapbook series, which became an imprint of Veliz Books in 2021, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose. Genevieve lives in southern California. Source

I stand at the front of the room and speak

At the front of the room I look out at the faces

The light is fluorescent, the faces are lit

The windows in the back of the room are dark

My mouth makes sounds like “ughh” and “thh” and “and”

My tongue shapes to the inside of my mouth and I am aware of it

At the front of the room I’m taller

I stand while others are seated

They look at me while I open my mouth, expectant, as if I will show them something

They ask a question:

The darkness comes in from outside

It seeps though the crack in the door

They ask a question

What it is about:

Behind me the white board feels uncertain, I can cover or uncover

Mosiac, I spell, “mosaic,” they say

I do not erase and replace

My mouth gets hot and makes a sound like “mo,” like “say,” like “this is where you might

second-guess yourself”

We all can hear metal being wiped in the restroom beyond the wall

We all know the cart outside waits for us to finish

They turn to the page or turn to the screen and write

I stand and write and I am aware of looking them over

My tongue folds to the edge of my mouth





Literary Movements:

Anthology Years:



Doubt & Fear

Literary Devices:


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


A word that, when spoken aloud, has a sound that is associated with the thing or action being named.