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Michele McDannold

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Michele McDannold (b. 6 December 1974) is an American poet, editor, publisher and literary activist. She is the current editor/publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature Press, a project of The Literary Underground and co-editor at ppigpenn.blogspot.com. Michele was the Director of Print and Special Projects (2012) at Red Fez Publications, having joined the site initially as a reviewer in 2006 and serving as the Editor-in-Chief from 2007-2012. Under her direction Red Fez has added many new issues and features, greatly expanded the editorial board and published the first Red Fez ebook (Bradley Mason Hamlin's Vulcan Gang Sign) and print anthology (Red Reader #1). She was one of the organizers of the Zyfez literary fests, a collaborative effort between Red Fez and Zygote in my Coffee and now acts as co-organizer of the Nothing to Lose literary/arts events. She was the founding editor/publisher of the now defunct Rural Messengers Press and a former member of the Guild of Outsider Writers.

Michele has been active and a foundational part of several online underground literary adventures, including creating and managing theliteraryunderground.org.

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[edit] Biography

Born in Jacksonville, Illinois, Michele McDannold grew up in the nearby village of Meredosia, population nevermore than 1200. She has lived in west central Illinois most of her life except that one year in Vegas and a short stint in Nebraska. Michele started writing poetry in grade school and maintained a connection with writing as an occasional pastime and coping mechanism. It was not until her early thirties that she began pursuing her poetry seriously and seeking publication. Since then, her poetry has been published in a wide range of print and online publications and anthologies.


Having only recently returned to university to further her education, her writing style is self-taught, developing over time and life experience, aided by a sick love for books. Her poetry tends toward the narrative–daily and life observations told in colloquial speech. Her perspective comes from that of a marginalized artist struggling with poverty, mental illness, motherhood and society’s expectations of a woman and wife living in a small Midwestern town.


Michele was the Editor-in-Chief at Red Fez Publications for over five years, about as long as the most awesomest director Leopold McGinnis could stand for it. She is the founder of The Literary Underground, a grassroots effort committed to supporting independent artists, promoting diversity in creativity and fostering community in the small press. Michele is currently the editor/publisher for Citizens For Decent Literature Press, actively working on the “This Is Poetry” project with co-editor Brian W. Fugett of Zygote in my Coffee and proud as hell to have published the book of poetry Random Acts of Terror by Luis Rivas. In her spare time (haha), she helps Catfish McDaris out over at Ppigpenn--a literary arts blogzine and those folks over at Blotterature Literary Magazine pretend to listen to the rambling on occasion. Punk Hostage Press will release Michele’s first full-length collection of poetry Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days on August 9th.


Michele currently resides in Jacksonville, Illinois with her two teenage children and occasionally the wayward twenty-year old child. She is a full-time student and does a massive amount of hustle to keep the dream alive. Her cat’s name is Ghost. He leaves her dead things as “offerings.”

[edit] Select Works

[edit] Author

[edit] Editor/Publisher

  • Serials
  • Collections
    • Online
      • Vulcan Gang Sign Bradley Mason Hamlin
    • Print
      • Red Reader #1 anthology
      • Dinosaur Ditch Tim Murray
      • Random Acts of Terror Luis Rivas
      • This Is Poetry Volume I: Women of the Small Press anthology
      • This Is Poetry Volume II: The Midwest Poets anthology
      • This Is Poetry Volume III: Poets of the West anthology

[edit] Further Reading

[edit] Interviews

[edit] Official Website

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