Author Archives: bopdeadcity

About bopdeadcity

Bop Dead City is an independent, quarterly literary magazine. We are seeking new writers who have a great story to tell. Sound craftsmanship couldn't hurt either. All of our issues are available for purchase here on the site through Paypal. If you’d like to know more about what type of work we publish, reading a back issue would be the best way to do it.

Come buy an Issue 21!

We’ve got poems by Sarah Joyce Bersonsage, Devin Koch, Arja Kumar, M. Stone, Michelle Tinklepaugh, John Thomas Wetmore, plus stories by Becca Borawski Jenkins and Mike Lee.

The cover art is a photo by Pearse Anderson, titled “Cryptids of the College Arboretum.”


(it’s supposed to be sideways. I got artistic.)

A little about the artist: Pearse Anderson is an environmental portrait photographer and speculative fiction author based out of Ohio. He is currently studying Creative Writing under Dan Chaon and Food Studies under Tom Newlin at Oberlin College. His work has previously been featured in Bad Pony Magazine, Weird Fiction Review, Jellyfish Review, and the Instagram of one of America’s best chefs. Pearse is interested in the places people pass through, like parks, boarding schools, and prison. He can be found on Instagram at @pearseanderson, or on his website

SO, if you’d like a copy of Issue 21, just head to this link right here or go to the Buy page.

Issue 22’s reading period is open!

I’m a slacker. Sorry everyone. Issue 21’s contributors and cover will be released tomorrow. But today, please start sending your poems and stories and cover art. See you tomorrow!

Issue 20’s submission period is open and everyone gets paid!

First, please go on and send your poems and stories and photos to bopdeadcity at gmail dot com. Just follow the submission guidelines we’ve got listed and you’re good to go. We’ll keep reading and replying until October 1.

Now, I liked doing contests. I like writers getting paid for their work. But lately it’s been harder and harder to find submissions that fit what we do, are up to the standard we try to set, and fit whatever wack theme I’ve chosen for the issue.

So, instead of giving $20 to two people or $40 to one, from this issue on, everyone accepted piece gets $5. Sorry for your prose writers, but your 1000 word story gets the same amount as someone’s 50 word poem. All life is suffering.

But, this means that everyone who gets into Bop Dead City can proudly call themselves “paid writers,” though many of you have already been paid (and probably paid much, much more). Everyone’ll still get a copy as well. Plus, I don’t have to figure out a theme every issue and worry about no one winning the contest and feeling bad.


That’s all I got. I look forward to seeing what everyone sends in this go-around. Oh, and if you want to help fund the $5 awards, you can do so three dollars at a time by buying a copy of Issue 20.

Buy Issue 20 (and read it too)!

So close to the deadline, per usual, but please come buy Issue 20 of Bop Dead City! You can click the link or go to our buy page.

The contents:
Elspeth Jensen—Leave Myself
K.D. Rose — My Life Become a Kafka Mirror of Cockroach Moments
Daryl Sznyter — 3 Boys in Front of Me at a Wonder Woman Screening
Rachael Hershon — Mill
Grace Day — Whiskey Water
Daryl Sznyter — Small-Town Famous
Laura Hoffman — An American Prom Night
Jane-Rebecca Cannarella — Eraserhead Pizza
Ryan Shoemaker — High Times in Zion

And here’s the cover:

The author is a young and up-and-comer named…me Got tired of digging and digging for cover art every three months and decided to just make some. It’s called
“Dealing” and it’s an analog collage. Hope you don’t hate it!

As for the contest. Nobody won! I’m going to stop doing themed contests; I get a lot of submissions that way, but many of them aren’t what we’re looking for. I blame myself for shitty themes. So, for this issue, I’m splitting up the $40 in prize money to everyone, so all the contributors will be receiving a crisp (or wrinkled) five dollar bill in their issue. (Or five ones). (Probably not coins though).

Next issue, I’ll have to decide how to do the contest. Maybe best poem and best story in general? Maybe just keep cutting $5 checks? If you’ve got an opinion, don’t hesitate to reply here.

New issue opens on Tuesday! See you then!

Buy Issue 19! Oh, and send your work in for Issue 20 too.

We’re open to submissions until July 1, so send your poems and stories in until then, and of course follow the submission guidelines.

I’m also happy to announce that Issue 19 is available for purchase on our buy page, or just click this link to go to our Paypal and buy yourself a copy. It’s just three dollars and I promise it’s worth it.

Check back later today to see what the contest theme will be!

Issue 19 Announcements!

Well, per usual, we’ve only got one winner for the contest…. and it’s Ellen Denton, with her story “Hypochondriac.” Congratulations to her and her newly earned $40.

Our other contributors include Kelli Simpson,  Alex Ledford, Jack Freeman, James Jackson, Mary Kasimor, Janet Reed, Krista N. Davis, and Daniel Paglia. Thanks to you all for letting this piece of trash literary magazine publish your beautiful work, and thanks to everyone else who took the time to submit their pieces and didn’t make the cut this time. Even the people who failed to follow the guidelines, like, at all.

Also today, might as well reveal the cover as well:

The photo is titled ” The Drive-in Bank” by the upcoming photographer Rebecca Wadsworth at Fay Belle Photography. When asked about the photo, she said ” I have never seen another bank like this in my life. I wanted to capture something unique and I think I did with this photograph.”


The issue should be available at the end of the week, so check here or our Twitter @bopdeadcity for the link.

Interview with Allison Emily Lee

I’m back after going away for a few weeks. I’m a bad publisher. Sorry to anyone who had to wait on an email response. I think I’m caught up now though. Tomorrow I’ll be announcing the sole contest winner, along with all the other contributors.


In the meantime, enjoy this Q+A with Allison Emily Lee, Issue 18 author and poet extraordinaire.



Describe your writing in 25 words or less.

Right now my work explores the future, confluences of technology and what happens when the world ends.

Talk about your poem “Cream.”

‘Cream’ was inspired by living in San Francisco. I work in SF’s financial district and the extremes of wealth, technology, poverty and urbanization started to make me feel alienated from the landscape. The Bay Area is blessed by an abundance of natural beauty and when writing this poem I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d even been to the beach.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Technology, the performance of the self, spaceships, women’s internal lives, camera movements, background actors, relationships, travel, quirks of language.

Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

My personal website is I also edit a literary magazine called Daphne Magazine (we’re open for submissions!), you can check it out here:

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a series of poems about space travel and the end of the world. I’m also editing the next issue of Daphne. I only started getting published about seven months ago so I’m focusing this year on sending out work and generating new pieces in a balanced manner.

Where can we read your work next?

I recently wrote an essay for The Financial Diet on having a day job. I have a poem coming out in Bird’s Thumb June issue. I blog semi-regularly for Daphne Magazine if you’re interested in advice on craft and reading recommendations.

Any advice for your fellow writers?

Keep writing, keep submitting, read other people’s work, learn how to write nice cover letters, read submissions guidelines more than once. I read an article on LitHub last year that changed the game for me: aim for 100 rejections. The idea being that if you’re sending your work out as much as possible you’ll start getting positive responses.

Closed to submissions until May 1

Day late, but we are officially closing the book on Issue 19. I’ll be finishing up going through the absurd amount of submissions we received at the deadline, and selecting the winners and the real winners, i.e those who get money.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit their work, even those who couldn’t follow the submission guidelines.

Chitchattin’ with Issue 18’s Emily Light

Just got back in from a little weekend in New Orleans, so if you’re waiting on a reply to your submission, I’m working on it, I’m working on it, Christ. Didn’t get too drunk and I definitely didn’t have to sleep on the sidewalk this time. Getting old is sad.

Here’s Emily Light, author of the poem “[…]Like Taffy in Her Teeth.” In addition to being a fascinating and thought-provoking poem, it’s a great way to get your poem listed first alphabetically, every time.


Her bio doesn’t mention it, but Emily is actually J.J. Abrams.


Describe your writing in 25 words or less.

I’ve been told my poetry is lyrical narrative. In my eyes, it’s a pendulum of experimentation.

Talk about your poem “[…]Like Taffy in Her Teeth.”

“Taffy” is a hypothetical “what would have happened if…” scenario. I recalled a dream I had as a child about a friend’s father’s empty bedroom, and though nothing nefarious ever happened to me, in this poem I imagined the girl that would have been if the dreams actually meant something about the past.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Most of my inspiration comes from reading. I feel like, when I read a good poem, it dials me into a poetic frequency that is difficult to reach otherwise.

Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

No, but I should really start one!

What are you working on right now?

I am constantly writing, revising, and reading, but my thoughts are leaning toward putting together a chapbook this summer.

Where can we read your work next?

On May 1st I have one of my favorite poems being published in Amaryllis. More poems are upcoming in Lunch Ticket and Gravel.

It’s like Interview with the Vampire, but the vampire is Eve Kenneally?

Beware the blah, blah, blah. So tired of this Julius Caesar nonsense. Quite frankly, I’m always keeping my head on a swivel to make sure I’m not getting gang stabbed by senators, not just on March 15.

Anyway, here’s another wonderful poet, Eve Kenneally. She’s the author of an excellent chapbook, Something Else Entirely, which can be purchased here. I would have published three of her poems, but some other publications that “have their shit together” and “act like professionals” got to them first. So while you can read “Daring in a Thin Voice” here, I can also personally vouch for the greatness of her upcoming poems in Crab Creek Review and Stirring.



Describe your writing in 25 words or less.

I write visceral, funny, weird, disturbing, sad poems about pop culture, things, queerness, gender, depression/mental illness, heartbreak, disassociation, and other stuff.

Talk about your poem “Daring in a Thin Voice.”

I love Anne Carson’s book of Sappho translations, If Not, Winter – it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. This past summer I was re-reading it and wrote a poem in response, starting with some of the original Sappho/Carson language. This poem brought out a fairly new voice that was exciting for me to play with.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Robyn Schiff, Ada Limón, my fellow Montana MFA poets/friends/professors, Sappho, 90s TV shows, conversations I overhear, weird advertisements, poetry Twitter, my grandma, depression

Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently trying to re-order my manuscript, compile a new chapbook, and edit a new batch of weird poems (with various celebrity cameos) that play with form more than I typically do.

Where can we read your work next?

Whiskey Island, Crab Creek Review, Mantis, & Wild Violet
Any advice for your fellow writers?

Procrastinate less than I do. And poems are everywhere – record what sticks with you when you go throughout your day and use it to spark something surprising in a new draft.