Caryl Pagel

Poetry | Cleveland State University
Gif of the various faces of Caryl Pagel


Phone | (216) 687-2177 
Email |

Recent Publications


Twice Told. University of Akron Press (reprint), 2018.
Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death. Factory Hollow Press, 2012.


Paul Revere’s. Essay Press, 2015.
Mausoleum. WinteRed Chaplet Series, 2013.
Visions, Crisis Apparitions, and Other Exceptional Experiences. Factory Hollow Press, 2008.


What Remains To Be Seen.” Brick Magazine, 2019, Essay.
Lost in Thought.” The Rupture, 2018, Essay.
Saturday.” The Paris Review, 2018, Poetry.
Séance.” Apartment Poetry, 2018, Poetry.
Alphabet.” Entropy, 2016, Essay.

About Caryl

Caryl Pagel is the author of two books of poetry, Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death (Factory Hollow Press, 2012), and Twice Told (H_NG M_N Books, 2014). She has taught creative writing and literature courses at The University of Iowa, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Carthage College, and Columbia College Chicago. Her essays have appeared in AGNI, Devil’s Lake, Jacket2, The Mississippi Review, and Thermos; Caryl is the co-founder and editor of Rescue Press and a poetry editor at jubilat.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Iowa and grew up in southeast Wisconsin and the Chicagoland area.

What is one of your favorite places in Cleveland?

Mac’s Backs bookstore in Coventry (Cleveland Heights) is a beautiful independent bookstore that supports new, used, small press, and poetry collections. I’m also a fan of Hart Crane Memorial Park (in the Flats), a bizarre tribute to a poet who had very mixed feelings about his home town.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

For some reason I don’t have a nightstand but an awkward pile on the floor. Currently, the pile is composed of Inger Christensen’s The Condition of Secrecy (tr. Susanna Nied), Lorine Niedecker’s Lake Superior, Nicholas Gulig’s Orient, and WG Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn (tr. Michael Hulse), a book I’m in the habit of carrying around the house with me, regardless of whether I’m reading it.

Your best piece of advice for a young writer?

Be stranger!

What was the best reading you’ve ever been to? Why?

The first reading I ever attended featured Cole Swensen and Claudia Rankine and was held in a small conference room in the then-new (Frank Lloyd Wright designed) Monona Terrace in Madison, WI. I was an undergraduate and the two students I went with became life-long friends. Swensen and Rankine read beautifully, and Rankine was accompanied by a series of cool poem-films. Can you imagine? Very little since has topped the magic of those two writers.

What do you secretly hope someone else will bring to a potluck?

Cheese curds.

What things make you cringe? cry? laugh?

George Oppen’s “The Forms of Love,” HD’s Notes on Thought and Vision, Howardena Pindell’s “Free, White, and 21,” Emily Dickinson’s Master Letters, James Merrill’s The Changing Light at
Sandover, Hendrick Avercamp’s Winter Landscape with Iceskaters, Renata Adler’s Speedboat, PJ Harvey and Björk’s cover of “Satisfaction,” and Teju Cole’s Known and Strange Things are a few pieces I turn to for (with) feeling.

Do you have any pets? Tell us a story about one.

I live with a very good boy named Satchel. He stars on the cover of jubilat 27 and makes guest appearances in this poem, and this one, and, tangentially, this one.

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Kent State University
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Kent, Ohio 44242