All posts by Jonathan Greenhause

About Jonathan Greenhause

I live and work in New Jersey - the land of plenty - and am married to a brilliant comedy writer, who should probably be proofreading all of my poems, though I'm too stubborn and anxious to let her do it. The two of us have spawned two ridiculously-wonderful kids, both of whom will likely be increasingly-embarrassed by us as the years go by.

“Symbolic,” on Michigan Quarterly Review’s Facebook page

Poem written to promote MQR’s upcoming issue “Fractured Union: American Democracy on the Brink,” which includes my poem “At my niece’s birthday party, 1,431 miles north of Guantanamo”


Cupping Our Palms, Winner of Meadowlark Press’s 2022 Birdy Poetry Prize!!!

A million thanks to publisher Tracy Million Simmons, publicist Linzi Garcia, and judge Bart Edelman, who has chosen my manuscript Cupping Our Palms as the winner of Meadowlark Press’s 2022 Birdy Poetry Prize!!! Thank you as well to all the finalists and semifinalists and all the poets and readers out there, without whom we’d all just be writing and reading by ourselves.

Here’s the link to the wonderful Birdy Poetry Prize announcement and reading:

And here’s a breakdown of the event so you can skip right to:

2:21 – 8:55: A reading by Ruth Maus (“Valentine”)

9:30 – 17:47: A reading by Brian Daldorph (“Kansas Poems”) and 17:47 – 22:51: Brian’s reading of poems by the late Antonio Sanchez-Day (“Taking on Life”)

24:09 – 40:23: A reading by Alison Hicks (“Knowing Is a Branching Trail”)

40:40 – 44:30: Announcement of the finalists and semifinalists

45:10 – 46:15: Tracy’s introduction of Bart Edelman (“Whistling to Trick the Wind”)

46:15 – 48:00: Bart’s introduction to “Cupping Our Palms” and subsequent commentary (48:00 to 50:00)

51:55 – 53:48: A few words (or rather, loss of words) from me, followed by 7 of my poems:

53:48:  Thanks a lot, Shakespeare, for the Starling

55:30:  Beacons of Light

56:33: Damn Our Shortsightedness

57:53: The fire-escape, no longer weighed down

59:30: To Sugarcoat the Truth

1:01:24: A poem written in my past life as a 15th century Georgian monk

1:02:33: Cupping Our Palms


“You Once Felt Gigantic”, New Ohio Review, Fall 2019, recent audio recording

“Consoling The Whims Of The Tiniest, Whiniest Dictators”, highly-commended for the 2021 Welsh Poetry Competition

My tiny whiny dictating children and I would like to thank Kathy Miles for selecting this poem for 10th place — obviously in honor of the greatest soccer player in the world, Lionel Messi — in the Welsh Poetry Competition. Congrats to the winner Estelle Price for her wonderful
ekphrastic poem “iii”.

“Babu Bangladesh!” by Numair Atif Choudhury

You should order this novel RIGHT NOW. It is BRILLIANT.

“Outside Greater L.A.”, highly-commended for the Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry, from The Poetry School

Boundless buckets of gratefulness to judges Simon Armitage and Jade Cuttle for selecting my poem “Outside Greater L.A.” as one of the highly-commended poems to be published in The Poetry School’s Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry! And congratulations to Jane Lovell for her prize-winning “Ming” 🙂

And you can download and peruse at your leisure the entire 2020 anthology here:

“Unwrapped”, from Fourteen Hills’ Zoom reading on May 28th, 2021

A huge thank you to Rachel Huefner and the rest of the editing team at Fourteen Hills (especially the poetry editors, Sen Ruiz and Trianne Harabedian) for a wonderful virtual reading last Friday for Issue 27, Summer 2021! The following is a link to my reading of “Unwrapped”, which can be heard from 33:22 to 35:30, and be sure to catch Olive Maurstad’s fantastic story “Last One” right after it 🙂

“How to Raise a Young Child”, longlisted for Regal House Publishing’s 2021 Terry J. Cox Poetry Award

Many thanks to Regal House Publishing for longlisting my manuscript for the 2021 Terry J. Cox Poetry Award!  And congratulations to the winner, Sunu P. Chandy, for her collection “My Dear Comrades”!  Please check out more regarding Ms. Chandy’s upcoming book and Regal House Publishing by clicking the following:

My “Positively Poetry Reading Series” performance for the Hoboken Public Library’s National Library Week!

Yes, here are those promised cows, daffodils, and the absence of Holocaust poems:

You can almost smell that I-78 highway extension through the thin gloss of YouTube.

And here’s a friendly guide to jump straight to your favorite poems:

00:00 Introduction

01:02 The origin of life

02:28 A small dot appears.  A genesis.  A thing out of nothing

05:45 Thanks a lot, Shakespeare, for the Starling

07.46 Departing from Sengen Jinja

10:00 Naming Things

11:46 Why My Kid Sobs at the Ice Cream Parlor

14:18 Not a Holocaust Poem

15:53 Cows & Daffodils

17:58 Lakawa a Stat on

20:05 A Single Swallow Doesn’t Signal Spring

20:39 Animal House

22:09 A poem written in my past life as a 15th century Georgian monk

23:32 From Out of the Darkness

26:47 Beacons of Light

28:02 Post 11

29:17 Epilogue

Check out the “Positively Poetry Reading Series” through the Hoboken Public Library!

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Hoboken Public Library is hosting the “Positively Poetry Reading Series” through its Facebook page. Hoboken’s reference librarian, Ethan Galvin, reached out to me and 8 other New Jerseyans who live and breathe poetry (and several cancer-causing chemicals), and he will be uploading our videos every Tuesday and Thursday of this month.

If you love backdrops featuring the I-78 extension, you’ll love my reading, which will be viewable anytime after 7pm on Tuesday April 20th. It’s got cows, daffodils, and definitely no Holocaust poems. Welcome to Spring!

“Exit the Town Drunk”, finalist for The New Guard’s Knightville Poetry Contest

Many thanks to Shanna McNair and Scott Wolven for selecting my poem “Exit the Town Drunk” as a finalist in The New Guard Knightville Poetry Contest 🙂 And special congratulations to the winner, Amy Tibbetts, for her poem “Smooth Rock Tripe”. You can read Amy’s poem and mine in the print edition of Volume X , which will be published early next year; here’s a link to the contest announcements page and information on how to pre-order Volume X:

“Combustible”, appearing online at “The Adriatic”

Check out my poem “Combustible” in the newest issue of The Adriatic, a wonderful poetry quarterly established last year in Great Britain. The following link will take you to Issue 3, themed “Mind & Body”:

And thank you again to The Adriatic‘s fantastic team of editors 🙂

“How to Raise a Young Child”, finalist for the 2020 Codhill Press Pauline Uchmanowicz Poetry Award

Many thanks to Codhill Press for selecting my manuscript as a finalist for the 2020 Codhill Press Pauline Uchmanowicz Poetry Award!  And congratulations to the winner, Barry Sternlieb, for his collection “Sole Impression”!  Please check out more regarding Mr. Sternlieb’s upcoming book and Codhill Press’s other publications by clicking the following:

“Dear Mom”, from Paterson Literary Review’s Zoom reading on March 6th, 2021

Thank you, Ms. Mazziotti Gillan and Ms. Desai, for organizing such a wonderful reading today for Issue #48! The following is a link to my reading of “Dear Mom”, which can be heard from 1:06:10 to 1:08:00, right after “Emptyness”, by the Ghanaian poet Geosi Gyasi, and right before “Second Hand Clothes”, by fellow New Jersey poet, Fred Iucci.

“Thanks a Lot, Shakespeare, for the Starling” (which first appeared in “America”) wins the Telluride Institute’s 2020 Fischer Poetry Prize

It’s an extraordinary honor to have “Thanks a Lot, Shakespeare, for the Starling” selected as the winner of the 2020 Fischer Poetry Prize! A special thank you to judge Claire Blotter and the Talking Gourds crew for making my 2020 a little less horrible, and congrats to all the other finalists!

“Nothing in Life is Easy”, shortlisted for the 2020 Sexton Prize for Poetry

An enormous thank you to The Black Spring Eyewear Press Group and to judge Terese Svoboda for shortlisting my manuscript for the 2020 Sexton Prize for Poetry!  And congratulations to the winner, Denise Miller, for their work “A Ligature For Black Bodies”!  More information on their book can be found here:

“Not for Sale,” shortlisted for the Times Literary Supplement’s 2019 Mick Imlah Poetry Prize

Mick Imlah Poetry Prize 2019 shortlist

Not for Sale

The minimum-wage worker drags the cart
full of children, all of them
so cute, put together
so perfectly. Along the cracks of the sidewalk,
the wheels twist, popping, the ride
far from smooth. Occasionally,
couples stop him, ask how much
for the little girl with pigtails, for the boy
with the black eye. The worker
doesn’t speak much English,
tells the passersby the kids aren’t for sale
until tomorrow, & only
at the store, not illegally
like this, smack in the middle of the street.