• 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
                                                          spontaneous combustion.

    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 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. He has published essays in Publishers Weekly and Poets Quarterly and serves as a Book Reviewer for 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 fiancée, 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.



Flammable Matter

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

Recent Publications


Columbia Poetry Review, Issue 28

“Dear Anne, September 18”

Matter: A (somewhat) monthly journal of political poetry and commentary, Issue 9

“Dear Anne, August 30”

“Dear Anne, September 1”

“Dear Anne, September 3”

Vinyl Poetry, Volume 11

“It’s Like There’s Ash Everywhere” 

DIALOGIST, Volume I, Issue II

“Respect for Fire Is a Respect That’s Been Taught”

Columbia Poetry Review, Issue 26

“Flammable Matter,” “Richard Pryor” & “Tommy Boy”

Phantom Books, 7, 2013

“Everywhere People Move into Darkness—Alleyways that Run Arms Between Them” 

The Bakery


“I Know Why My Father Says Spontaneous Combustion”

PANK, 7.08

“Waist Deep” & “What We Bury”

Muzzle Magazine

“Because the Bullet”

Reviews & Essays (Selected)

Coldfront Magazine

Song of the Week, August 31, 2015: “‘Hip Hop’ by Yasiin Bey”

Poets’ Quarterly 

November 2015

“Review: if you turn around I will turn around by Ben Clark”

July 2013

“The Problem(s) with ‘Twenty Little Poems That Could Save America’”

Publishers Weekly

“How to Translate a Map: Clare Cavanagh: Poetry 2015” 

Muzzle Magazine

Issue 18

"Thief in the Interior, by Phillip B. Williams: A Review by Jacob Victorine"

Issue 17

"Boy with Thorn, by Rickey Laurentiis: A Review by Jacob Victorine"

Issue 16

“Blood Work, by Matthew Siegel: A Review by Jacob Victorine” 

Issue 15

“Dear Hero, by Jason McCall: A Review by Jacob Victorine”

Issue 14

“Supper & Repair Kit by Nicole Wilson: A Review by Jacob Victorine” 

Issue 13

“Revising the Storm by Geffrey Davis: A Review by Jacob Victorine”

Issue 12

“Butch Geography by Stacey Waite: A Review by Jacob Victorine”







Of Flesh and Gasoline: Jacob Victorine on Poetry, Politics, and Personhood Editorial in MEYVN

Jacob Victorine Illuminates Real Matters with Fire by Julia Ahtijainen in LESS Magzine

Review of Flammable Matter in Publishers Weekly

Interview with Lit Bridge for National Poetry Month, April 4, 2016

Review of Flammable Matter in Newcity Lit

New Publications

"Remembering Nom De Guerre..." on Grailed

Three poems in Issue 2 of Habitat Magazine

"Curating His Own Reality: Vincent Hung's The Rose That Grew From Concrete" in MEYVN

"A Removal of Hand: An Interview with Artist Stephen Eichhorn" in MEYVN

"Indigo: Hue and History" in MEYVN

Q&A Response to "Beyond Ideology: Creative Writing's (New?) Political Imperatives" in Howlarium

Review of a slice of the cake made of air by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram in the Fall issue of Muzzle Magazine


the real, the between: A group reading in response and connection to "This Land Again"

Saturday May 13

Doors at 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


great weather for MEDIA Midwest Reading

Saturday, May 20, 2017


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


CM Burroughs, Phillip B. Williams, and Jacob Victorine Read at Sector 2337

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 7pm-9pm

Sector 2337, 2337 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL


Monthly Open Mic Night at Volumes Book Cafe

Wednesday, November 1, 2016 at 7:30pm

Featuring: Ariana Nadia Nash, Jay Besemer, Daunte Henderson, and Jacob Victorine


The Dollhouse Reading Series #49

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

Word Brooklyn

Wednesday, April 20th at 7pm

RSVP on Facebook


Great Weather Presents Spoken Word Sundays NYC at The Parkside Lounge

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

RSVP on Facebook


Point Blank Open Mic Featuring Jacob Victorine

Tuesday, February 23rd at 6:30pm

Quincy Wong Center

RSVP on Facebook


The Logan Salon Series at City Lit Books

Thursday, February 25th at 6:30pm

Featuring: Jacob VictorineKenyatta RogersDaniela OlszewskaSteve Halle, and more 

RSVP on Facebook






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

(202) 785-1515




Project RENEW

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

Global Headquarters

2000 M Street, NW

Suite 200

Washington DC 20036

(202) 737-7705





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