This month, the museum welcomes a new Executive Editor, Allison Blevins. We’re thrilled to introduce her with this brief questionnaire about her work, reading life, and thoughts on the museum’s mission, as well as what’s in store for this exciting new chapter.
How did you find your way to the museum of americana?
the museum of americana published my poem “Everyone Waits at the DMV” in issue seventeen and also nominated the work for the Best of the Net. I found the magazine because my dear friend Josh Davis received his MFA at the same school as our Poetry Editor, Karrie Waarala. Josh and I went to Pitt State together years earlier while working on our MA’s. He is my writing partner and suggested I submit a few years ago.
When I saw the job announcement, I knew I had to apply. I wasn’t looking for a new position, but the museum feels like me. Justin’s vision of celebrating American culture while also acknowledging that “not all aspects of Americana ought to be praised or celebrated” but that “there is still great value in holding even that which is embarrassing or difficult up to the light to see what it is made of—and what could possibly be made of it,” feels reminiscent of my life. I am an Army wife, and I live in the bible belt. I’m also queer, disabled, and neurodivergent. I want to help bring voices to the world that both praise us and hold us up to the light.
What are you reading right now?
This is a difficult question! I’m almost always reading a few things at a time. I’m finishing Disability Aesthetics by Tobin Siebers. I’m also always reading a poetry book. Right now, I’m reading Wound from the Mouth of a Wound by torrin a. greathouse. In the car, I’m reading Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. I love a good vampire/witch book. I read Anne Rice all through grade school and middle school, and she clearly shaped my reading and viewing habits!
What was the most interesting thing you did during COVID?
We didn’t do anything during COVID! I am immunocompromised, so we were and still are quarantined. I did finish my third full length book of poems. This is more of a miracle than something interesting. The most interesting thing we did was homeschool our 3rd and 5th graders while trying to keep our toddler from killing us all!
Allison Blevins is the author of the chapbooks Susurration (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), Letters to Joan (Lithic Press, 2019), and A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). Her books Slowly/Suddenly (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021) and Cataloging Pain (YesYes Books, 2022) are forthcoming. Her collaborative chapbook Chorus for the Kill (Seven Kitchens Press, 2020) is also forthcoming. She is the Director of Small Harbor Publishing and lives in Missouri with her spouse and three children. For more information about Alison’s work, visit her website.
Watch for the museum’s Issue 24, coming in June, which will include Allison’s introductory foreword as Executive Editor. You can keep up with the all museum’s news and opportunities on Facebook with a page like, and on Twitter, follow us at @museumofamerica.