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 AAS in Menswear Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, his BA in English Literature from Brooklyn College, and his MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago, where he is a Part-time Instructor in the Creative Writing Department. 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.
As a fashion writer, Jacob has published articles for GRAILED's "Dry Clean Only" and produced content for high-end boutiques such as Notre and MEYVN. As a literary reviewer and critic, he has written essays for Publishers Weekly and Poets' Quarterly and served as a Book Reviewer for Muzzle Magazine for five years. 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.
Jacob currently lives in Chicago with his wife, Sarah, and their cats, Gilgamesh and Sita. FLAMMABLE MATTER (Elixir Press, 2016) is his first book. His second manuscript, Dear Anne, Dear Sarah, Dear Melita was a semifinalist for the 2016 Fordham University Press POL Prizes.
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
Habitat Magazine, Issue 2
Columbia Poetry Review, Issue 28
“Dear Anne, September 18”
Matter: A (somewhat) monthly journal of political poetry and commentary, Issue 9
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)
Q&A Response to "Beyond Ideology: Creative Writing's (New?) Political Imperatives" in Howlarium
PAST READINGS (SELECTED)
Saturday May 13, 6:30pm, reading at 7pm
Sector 2337, 2337 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL, 60647
Featuring: Tara Betts, Ben Clark, Hannah Gamble, C. Russell Price, Kenyatta Rogers, & Jacob Victorine
Saturday, May 20, 2017, 5-7pm
Uncharted Books, 2620 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL, 60647
Featuring: Savon Bartley, Cornelius Fortune, Anna Holmquist, Billy Tuggle, Jacob Victorine, plus great weather editors David Lawton and Jane Ormerod
Saturday, March 11, 2017, 7pm-9pm
Sector 2337, 2337 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL
Wednesday, November 1, 2016 at 7:30pm
Featuring: Ariana Nadia Nash, Jay Besemer, Daunte Henderson, and Jacob Victorine
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