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Jubilations preorders are now open at Weem Adrift Publishing and the blog has been migrated to its new home. This site will no longer be updated. Thanks for following my adventures here and i hope to see you again soon!

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In the Year of Jubilation

Two years ago during Lent i discovered a poem cycle that has carved itself into my bones.

It appeared in the Rabbit Room‘s first installation of their annual literary journal, the Molehill. i had been reading along, a piece here and a piece there—fiction, essay, recipe, poetry—and when i came to this particular work i could read no further. It was called “In the Year of Jubilation,” and was comprised of an introduction and fourteen poems. Somewhere in the reading of these poems i started crying. i had no idea why.

The next night i picked up the Molehill again, intending to read the next piece, but i couldn’t. i reread the Jubilations, and again i wept through them. i read those poems every night for a week. Every night the tears started at a different place, but they always started. Over the last two and a half years they have broken and healed me countless times. They inform my prayers. And i still cannot express what they mean to me or why i am crying.

This year at Hutchmoot i brought (and within a half-hour had sold) a little stack of paperback Budge-Nuzzards. i have been selling these for a couple of years now, at first by accident and now on purpose. But nustled within my sidebag i also packed a little handbound hardback of the Jubilations for the Mootmaster and Jubilations-poet, Pete. (Is it any wonder that he is my Patronus?) He marveled over it, called his wife over to see it, and then asked the question i had been hopefully and nervously wondering if he would ask: “Are you going to bind and sell these?” i fumbled through turning the question back to him. They’re his. The Budge-Nuzzard is freely available online, but the Jubilations are out of print. i wouldn’t think to sell them without his consent—but the world needs these poems. i need them. i will be needing them for a long, long while yet. And he gave me permission.

These perfect little flickers, these candle-flames, will not be lost. i am so grateful.

Coming in November from Weem Adrift Publishing

In the Year of Jubilation (from the Book of Found Verse)
by A.S. “Pete” Peterson

Henry and the Chalk Dragon (a review)

Henry and the Chalk Dragon cover large

Henry and the Chalk Dragon, by Jennifer Trafton (Rabbit Room Press, 2017).

TIE YOUR SHOELACES.

i am not an impartial reviewer of this book. i’ve been agonizing over this, because i want to write a review worthy of the book itself, but the truth is that i adore Jennifer Trafton. She makes me want to be brave, and sometimes, with her whispered kindnesses in my heart, i can be.

Be brave. Be brave. Be brave, says Henry’s chivalry. It’s hard for him to be brave, too. He is a knight, but he is also an Artist, you see, and his wild imagination is hard to contain, and just as hard to let out. When he tries to draw nice brown bunnies calmly eating lettuce, the Work of Art inside him aches to draw bunnies that jump so high they tear holes in the clouds and land on Mars, or a rocket-powered bunny with laser eyes. His teacher and principal don’t know what to do with him. He has one best friend, but is afraid the other kids won’t understand—even his best friend doesn’t always. So when one day he draws a magnificent jungle-green dragon on the back of his blackboard-painted door and it runs away, Henry is more worried than anything, even though his dragon thrills him. Suddenly, the Work of Art he has been hiding is out in the world for everyone to see.

i don’t know what i love best about this book—the chivalry, which is often funny (“Don’t feed girls to dragons”) and often cuts right to my own fears as an Artist; the golden trumpets of Jade’s bardic songs; the way Henry’s conflict with his best friend, and his dragon, and his Art, and his principal, all collide and swirl toward and past and around each other to resolve into beauty (the one moment with his dragon—oh! i might cry right now); Oscar and his pet octagon; their wonderful teacher Miss Pimpernel with her beaver-teeth hair (she was a superhero, you know)… i could go on for days.

My copy of this book has already been colored in. i couldn’t help it. After reading Henry, the colors won’t hold still. i am going to stop writing and go back to coloring—and then later today, i am going to go back to my own writing. Because when i am tempted to think i can’t, Henry’s chivalry tells me Tie your shoelaces.

Illustration by Benjamin Schipper. Coloring by me and Henry.

Henry and the Chalk Dragon releases April 4. You can preorder at the Rabbit Room—preorders come signed, and with two free coloring pages (but i do definitely recommend coloring in your book!).

Jennifer is also the author of The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic. At last count i had bought twenty copies of this book so far. i love it with my whole heart. You should read that one, too.

Heresy Revealed: The Capstone Paper

This spring semester i had the hilarious and deeply satisfying experience of writing heresy—Budge-Nuzzard fanfic in biblical Hebrew—for seminary credit. It was an immensely engaging and creative endeavor, and i took no end of pleasure in offhandedly mentioning “my heresy” in my advanced Hebrew exegesis class and citing Thaddeus Glapp in the biography of my capstone paper. It’s crazy to think that i was permitted to get away with this nonsense. Classical Hebrew spec-fic? Inventing words in a dead language? Graduate-level Budge-Nuzzard scholarship? Weench midrash? Gosh. i am the luckiest nerd alive.

Those of you who’ve somehow stumbled through a wormhole and into this website may already have fallen victim to The Yaunsi Heresy. If you haven’t, you’re about to. The attachment that follows contains the complete text of that heresy—with commentary, on both my work and the Budge-Nuzzard. (It isn’t all heresy. The first half of the paper teases an entire semester’s study on Hebrew narrative style and literary devices.)

Enough piffle and blather! With very great thanks to Deirdre Brouer, Hélène Dallaire, Thaddeus Glapp, and A.S. Peterson, i present to you:

Narrative Criticism in the Hebrew Bible: Capstone report


The Yaunsi Heresy is a new work of fiction in classical Hebrew based on A.S. Peterson’s lobidious tale of the Budge-Nuzzard. It will be published in serial. Click “Yaunsi Heresy” above to read from the beginning—or to hear the story read to you. 🙂

Yaunsi 18: Hello

וַיּאׁמֶר יָעוּנְסִי בְּלִבּוֹ אֲבָל זֶה הַבֻּד־נֻזָּרָד : וַיִּקְשֹׁר לָגֶשֶׁת לָאִשָּׁה כִּי אִוָּה אִתָּהּ לְדַבֵּר : וַיּאׁמֶר אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה שָׁלוֹם וַתַּרְאֵהוּ וְהִנֵּה עֵינֵיהָ יָפָה : וַתּאׁמֶר לוֹ שָׁלוֹם : ס

Yaunsi said in his heart, “Surely this is the Budge-Nuzzard!” And he conspired to draw near to the woman, for he desired her to speak. He said to the woman, “Hello.” She looked at him, and behold, her eyes were beautiful. She said to him, “Hello.”


The Yaunsi Heresy is a new work of fiction in classical Hebrew based on A.S. Peterson’s lobidious tale of the Budge-Nuzzard. It will be published in serial. Click “Yaunsi Heresy” above to read from the beginning.

Yaunsi 17: Arrival

וַיְהִי כְּבוֹא יָעוּנְסִי בְּעִיר הָאִישׁ וַיֵּשֶׁב בִּבְאֵר כִּי יָמֵצ : וַיָּרֶם אֶת־עֵינָיו וַיָּרְא בַּבְּאֵר אִשָּׁה וְהִנֵּה הִיא יְפַת־תֹאַר וִיפַת מַרְאֶה : וַתֹּמֶר אֶל־הָאִישׁ שֹׁאֵב אֵת־הַמִַּים לֵאמֹר מַה תַּחְשֹׁב כִּי הָאִישׁ הַנּוֹדַע־לִי קָנָה־לוֹ נֶכֶד־רֶשַׁע : וַיּאמֶׁר הַשֹׁאֵב שָׁמַיִם טוֹבִים : פ

When Yaunsi had come to the city of the man, he sat at a well, for he was thirsty. He lifted up his eyes and saw at the well a woman, and behold, she was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.

She said to the man drawing water, “What do you think? The man known to me has gotten himself a wicked progeny!” The drawer said, “Good heavens!”


The Yaunsi Heresy is a new work of fiction in classical Hebrew based on A.S. Peterson’s lobidious tale of the Budge-Nuzzard. It will be published in serial. Click “Yaunsi Heresy” above to read from the beginning.

Yaunsi 16: Hanging around

וַיֵּשֶׁב יָעוּנְסִי מְסַחֲרוֹתָיו שְׁבוּעַ אֶחַד יָמִים וְהָאִישׁ לֹא יָצַא מִבֵּיתוֹ : וַיִּתְמַהְמַהּ יָעוּנְסִי שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים וַיִּתְמַהְמַהּ שְׁנֵי יָמִים וַיִּתְמַהְמַהּ יוֹם אֶהַד גַּם וְאַז לֹא־יוּכַל לְהִתְמַהְמֵהַּ עוֹד : וַיֵּצֵא : פ

Yaunsi dwelt in his mercantile for one week of days, but the Man did not go out from his house. Yaunsi hung around three days, then he hung around two days, then he hung around one day more, and then he could hang around no longer. He set out.


The Yaunsi Heresy is a new work of fiction in classical Hebrew based on A.S. Peterson’s lobidious tale of the Budge-Nuzzard. It will be published in serial. Click “Yaunsi Heresy” above to read from the beginning.

Yaunsi 15: Gloating

וַיִּצְחַק בְּצֵאתוֹ : וַיּאׂמֶר הוּא תַּם וִיםִי כְּסִיל כְּסִיל לָרִיב בְּפָן כָמוֹנִי : וַיָּבֹא אֶל־מְסַחֲרוֹתָיו וַיְחַךְ לִרְאוֹת מַה־יֵּעָשֶׂה : ס

He laughed when he had gone out. Then he said, “It is done! Foolish Weem! Foolish to contend with such a Pan as i!” Then he went to his mercantile and waited to see what would happen.


The Yaunsi Heresy is a new work of fiction in classical Hebrew based on A.S. Peterson’s lobidious tale of the Budge-Nuzzard. It will be published in serial. Click “Yaunsi Heresy” above to read from the beginning.

Yaunsi 14: Verily!

וַיָּסֶר יָעוּנְסִי אֶת־שִׁנּוֹ מֵאִישׁ מִוִּים־תִי : וַיָּסֶר אֶת־כֹסֵה־רֹאשׁוֹ וְתַחְתָּיו רְבוּעַ־בָּד : וַיְמַלֵּט אֶת־הָרֶגֶל מִפִּיהוּ וְהוֹבִישׁ אֹתוֹ : וַיּאׂמֶר יָעוּנְסִי לָאִישׁ אֲבָל וְאֶל־עֲנָן־חֹשֶׁךְ וַיָּפָס וַיָּסָר : פ

Yaunsi removed his teeth from the Man from Vim-Ti. He removed his head-covering, and under it was a square of linen. He let slip the foot from his mouth and dried it. Then Yaunsi said to the man, “Verily!” and in a cloud of darkness he vanished and departed.


The Yaunsi Heresy is a new work of fiction in classical Hebrew based on A.S. Peterson’s lobidious tale of the Budge-Nuzzard. It will be published in serial. Click “Yaunsi Heresy” above to read from the beginning.

Yaunsi 13: Good heavens!

וַיְהִי בְּרֶחֶם־הַשָּׁחַר וְשֶׁן־יָעוּנְסִי עוֹדָהּ בִּבְשָׂרוֹ וַיֶּחֶרַד הָאִישׁ וַיִּלָּפֵת וְהִנֵּה יָעוּנְסִי עֹרְקָיו : וַיִּזְעַק הָאִישׁ לֵאמֹר שָׁמַיִם טוֹבִים : וַיִּתְרָאוּ הַשְּׁנֵיהֶם וְשֶׁן־יָעוּנְסִי בִּבְשַׂר הָאִישׁ : ס

In the womb of the dawn, while Yaunsi’s teeth were still in his flesh, the Man was startled awake and twisted himself up, and behold—Yaunsi was gnawing him! The Man cried out, saying, “Good heavens!” They looked at one another, the two of them—and Yaunsi’s teeth were in the man’s flesh.


The Yaunsi Heresy is a new work of fiction in classical Hebrew based on A.S. Peterson’s lobidious tale of the Budge-Nuzzard. It will be published in serial. Click “Yaunsi Heresy” above to read from the beginning.

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