Caryl Pagel

Poetry | Cleveland State University


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Recent Publications


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


It Is with A Pattern as With A Fortress.Jellyfish Review, 2019, Poetry.
A History of The Color Orange.The Journal Petra, 2019, Poetry.
“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.

About Caryl

Caryl Pagel is the author of the essay collection Out of Nowhere Into Nothing (FC2) and three books of poetry—Free Clean Fill Dirt (University of Akron Press), Twice Told (University of Akron Press), and Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death (Factory Hollow Press)—as well as the chapbooks Paul Revere’s (Essay Press), Mausoleum (WinterRed Press), and Visions, Crisis Apparitions, and Other Exceptional Experiences (Factory Hollow Press). Pagel’s writing has appeared in Brick, Conduit, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, and The Paris Review, among other journals, and she is the recipient of grants and residencies from the Headlands Center for the Arts, The Hermitage Artist Retreat, and the Ohio Arts Council. Pagel is a publisher and editor at Rescue Press and the director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. 

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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English Department
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Ave., RT 1815
Cleveland, Ohio  44115