The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Salem covering a local writer and a Salem space(s) he associates with writing. Questions? Contact

Give us your best writerly bio.

Kevin Carey is an assistant professor in the English department at Salem State University. He has published three books – a chapbook of fiction, The Beach People from Red Bird Chapbooks (2014) and two books of poetry from Cavankerry Press, The One Fifteen to Penn Station (2012) and Jesus Was a Homeboy (2016) which was recently selected as an Honor Book for the 2017 Paterson Literary Prize. Two poems from this collection have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac. Kevin is also a documentary filmmaker. His latest project Unburying Malcolm Miller, produced with Mark Hillringhouse, premiered at the Mass Poetry Festival in May and screened at the Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA Program in August.

Tell us about your Salem Write Space.

The Salem Athenaeum is one of my favorite places to write and to be part of the writing scene. I’m a member of the Salem Writers Group (meets the first and third Tuesday of the month) and I’ve taken advantage of the open writing studio there on Wednesday mornings. It’s a very cozy spot. They offer an inexpensive membership and have a lot of great titles on their shelves. In addition to being a great place to hang and write, they offer several writing events for inspiration.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on another collection of poems and a rewrite of a YA novel called The Junkman, about twelve-year-old Junior Miles overcoming the death of his father. He and his mom live on the grounds of a junkyard. I’m also co-authoring a novel with a friend of mine based on a script we wrote together called Peter’s Song. It’s about the mute son of a fisherman who discovers an extraordinary gift.

When I’m in Salem, not writing, I love …

… to teach at Salem State University. Very cool place. I also like to eat at Life Alive and Turner’s Seafood. And you can often find me watching a movie at Cinema Salem. I recently saw Detroit there. Good popcorn!

This is a dream or I could be lying

You see me in the supermarket
and I lie about the dream,
say it was my father’s, not mine.
I’m ashamed and you know it.
I never told you this before
I say, but I remember when
I did something awful.
Then I notice my shopping cart is empty
and I think I see pity on your face.
I watch you roll away
realize the lies are failing me
and a voice in the courtesy booth
asks over the loud speaker,
America, what is happening to you?

(first published in the Swansea Poetry Magazine Winter/Spring 2017)

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