I pluck their ripe names.
Hold them on my tongue til they redden.
How many fires can I fit in my mouth
before I burn, too?
Last week my father told me
A body’s bones can become
sets of stones rubbing against each other in sparks.
I didn’t believe him.
Is this how reporters feel?
Jacob Victorine was born and raised in New York City. He earned his MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches a class on performance poetry. His poems appear in places such as Columbia Poetry Review, Vinyl Poetry, Matter, DIALOGIST, Phantom Books, and PANK, which nominated him for a Pushcart Prize in 2013. He has published essays in Publishers Weekly and Poets Quarterly and serves as a Book Reviewer for Publishers Weekly and Muzzle Magazine. As a competitive slam poet, he has twice been a Grand Slam Finalist at the Mental Graffiti slam in Chicago and was a member of the 2011 Jersey City National Poetry Slam Team. He currently lives in Chicago with his girlfriend and their cats, Gilgamesh and Sita. FLAMMABLE MATTER (Elixir Press, 2016) is his first book.
Winner of the Elixir Press Editor's Prize FOR POETRY
"Victorine wants to bear witness, and to make bare his voice so that oppressed bodies might, before they give way, give testimony. He knows that his speakers are striving, urgent, and aflame. Therefore, he writes more than elegy, more than remnants of bone and ash; he writes his speakers in the midst of living, in the midst of living trauma."
-CM Burroughs, author of The Vital System
Columbia Poetry Review, Issue 28
“Dear Anne, September 18”
Matter: A (somewhat) monthly journal of political poetry and commentary, December
Vinyl Poetry, Volume 11
DIALOGIST, Volume I, Issue II
Columbia Poetry Review, Issue 26
“Flammable Matter,” “Richard Pryor” & “Tommy Boy”
Phantom Books, 7, 2013
Reviews & Essays (Selected)
Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 7pm
Featuring: francine j. harris, Ryan Collins, Emily Jungmin Yoon, and Jacob Victorine
JC Slam Featuring Wil Gibson and Jacob Victorine
Thursday, April 21 at 7pm
Brooklyn Release for FLAMMABLE MATTER with Rico Frederick and Justin Woo
Wednesday, April 20th at 7pm
Sunday, April 17th from 4pm–6pm
Featuring: Martine Bellen and Jacob Victorine
Chicago Book Release for Flammable Matter
Tuesday, March 22nd from 6:30-10pm
Featuring: Tony Trigilio, Marty McConnell, Emily Rose Kahn-Sheahan, and Aricka Foreman
R. Mona Gallery
Point Blank Open Mic Featuring Jacob Victorine
Tuesday, February 23rd at 6:30pm
Quincy Wong Center
Thursday, February 25th at 6:30pm
Featuring: Jacob Victorine, Kenyatta Rogers, Daniela Olszewska, Steve Halle, and more
Below are a few of the many worthwhile charities that work to resolve some of the myriad of social and political injustices that are explored within Flammable Matter. Please consider donating your time and/or resources to one or more of them.
International Campaign for Tibet
1825 Jefferson Place NW
Washington, DC 20036 USA
Kids First Village
185 Ly Thuong Kiet Street
Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam
+84 53 3858445 (ext. 114)
Women for Women International
2000 M Street, NW
Washington DC 20036