Most Cherished TNB Readers, From the Farthest Reaches of Outer Mongolia to Some Starbucks Wi-Fi Setup in Downtown Peoria:


I’d like to take this opportunity to whole-heartedly welcome you to the finely tuned, hopped-up, fuel-injected, engine humming, all pistons popping Poetry section of The Nervous Breakdown, in glorious 3.0.

My relationship with TNB started back in the original 1.0 days. When Brad Listi first asked me to write for the site, I wasn’t quite sure how to begin. Around that time, however, a dear friend passed away. So I decided to honor his passing by taking a stroll from Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, down to the ocean. Armed with only my camera, a notebook, and my dear friend’s favorite food—a corndog—in tow, I marked his passing in photos and various remembrances. That became my very first posting.

Since then, I’ve seen the site go through various incarnations. I’ve seen my own life go through various changes, as well. I’ve become a better writer, a better person; a lot of that having to do with all the wonderful folks I’ve met through TNB. As you’ll witness in either the Poetry section, Fiction section, Arts & Culture, or wherever the site takes you, we have a lot of heart, humor, and intellect to offer.

And we the forever faithful and fearless Poetry team; Associate Editors Uche Ogbuji, Jennifer Duffield White, and Milo Martin and I, as Editors, will do our best to hold the Poetry section to those high standards of quality. Each week, we’ll bring you the most thought-provoking, soul touching, mind melting poetry we can find from those farthest reaches of Outer Mongolia to that Starbucks wi-fi setup in downtown Peoria.

This week we offer you poetry from such varied talents as Iris Berry, Jackie Sheeler, Lisa Johns, Kenneth Shiffrin, Jerome Dunn, Doug Knott, and this week’s Featured Poet, Michael O’Keefe.

So wherever you are in this big old world of ours, most cherished TNB readers, strap on your seatbelts, rev your engines, shift into overdrive, and get ready to take a ride on the TNB Poetry section in grand and glorious 3.0.


Onward and upward,

Rich Ferguson

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , ,

RICH FERGUSON has performed nationally, and has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, T.C. Boyle, Jerry Stahl, Bob Holman, Loudon Wainwright, Ozomatli, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, South by Southwest, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, Stephen Elliott’s Rumpus, and with UK-based poetry collective One Taste. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (the sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film 1 Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, Krishna Das, and others. He has been published in the LA TIMES, Opium Magazine, has been widely anthologized, spotlighted on PBS (Egg: The Art Show), and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, LA. His spoken word/music videos have been featured at poetry film festivals throughout the world. Ferguson is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and a poetry editor at The Nervous Breakdown. His poetry collection 8th & Agony has been published by L.A.’s Punk Hostage Press.

10 responses to “A Welcome Letter From the Good Folks at the TNB Poetry Section”

  1. I’m going to hold the TNB Poetry Team personally responsible for my poetic education. It’s something I’ve never really sunk my teeth into, but I’m looking forward to those first delicious bites.

  2. I can’t wait to submit for this coolness as well as to read the works of the fine poets of this land. Rich, glad to see you have a major role here.

  3. Ducky says:

    I’d love to submit, too. I’m no Neruda, but I did trade coats with Ferlinghetti once. So glad to hear you’re on top of this, Rich. Couldn’t think of a more appropriate person.

  4. So, Rich, I’m confused…I thought this would be a section designated for poetry by some of your non-fiction members who, like me, have been grudgingly writing creative non-fiction in lieu of their native tongue, the poem. But now it appears that you are going to be selecting the poems based on their kick-assedness (which is decidedly biased). I’m not aware of writers being asked to submit stories for approval, but I could be wrong. I was never asked to do this as a writer. Yet why am I asked to post my strongest poems? Why does poetry require supervision?

    Have I misunderstood?

    • Hey RD:

      I guess you’ve misunderstood a little bit. First off, let me begin by saying that you should remember that *you’re* in here. I didn’t forget you, my friend. In fact, you were one of the first people that I came to when Brad said that he wanted to start a Poetry section.

      And in regards to there being Poetry gatekeepers, well, that decision was created by the higher-ups. But I’m all for it. It’ll give our humble section a bit of respectability; not such a free-for-all. Mind you, I love mixing it up. That’s the way TNB was back in the old days. But things are changing here at TNB, and I want to keep an open mind, and an open heart to embrace those changes.

      All this said, we’re not total snobs here in the Poetry section. We’re really doing our best to let as many poets as possible play in our sandbox. In fact, if you can think of some TNB-worthy poets, please send them our way. They can either submit through the site, or you can have them submit to me personally.

      Hope this helps to answer your questions.


  5. Erika Rae says:

    Fantastic poetry team – I’m looking forward to this ride. Vroom!

  6. Megan DiLullo says:

    This is going to be a great section. Erika and I will send baked goods because you are awesome.

    Get ready for greatness.

  7. Milo Martin says:

    baked goods? with magical goodness and super powers? now these are bona fide perks, ladies and gentlemen…
    yeah, this has been an interesting endeavor thus far, especially being on the other side of the page…
    writers choosing writers whose work they admire…sorta like picking out your favorite candy from the corner store…

  8. Diana Manister says:

    Looking forward to reading more nervy breakdown poetry!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *