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Author Photo: Rebekah Sommer

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From an American laundress reprimanding Degas, from a child’s butter and sugar sandwiches, from the persona of the New England Smokestack speaking elegantly of her decommission, Colleen Michaels fashions an intelligent, compelling, and far-ranging

debut collection. At turns, surreal as well as wildly real, the poems in Prize Wheel are unflinchingly honest.

-Susan Rich, Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Selected Poems

Sometimes if you’re lucky a book is so perfect, so true, so detailed and moving that you don’t want to put it down. The poems stay with you for a long time because they look at the world with such clear and loving eyes. Prize Wheel by Colleen Michaels is just such a book. I love it and I guarantee you will too.

-Maria Mazziotti Gillan, American Book Award winner

The poems in Michaels’ debut collection, Prize Wheel, are as thrilling and dangerous as a carnival. Fanned out into six sections, the book is as breathtaking and as specific as fate; the poems guide us through and out of a funhouse maze, one filled with creativity, costume, danger, and a mother’s love.

-Mom Egg Review

Small Bites Press

ISBN: 979-8-218-11138-0



Modern Simple Minimalist Frames

Upcoming Events


Saturday, January 21st - 6:30 pm, Chianti , 285 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA - Community Launch Party

Saturday, February 4th - 1:00 pm, The Poetry Center at PCCC, Paterson, NJ - Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award Reading

Thursday, February 16th - 7:00 pm, Gloucester Writers Center, 126 East Main Street - Montserrat Reading

Friday, February 17th - 7:00 pm, Readers and Writers Guild at Christ Church, 149 Asbury St. South Hamilton, MA - Reading

Wednesday, March 8th - 7:30 pm, Walnut Street Cafe, 157 Walnut Street, Lynn, MA - Speak Up Feature

Thursday, March 30th, Salem State Writers Series, - Reading with P Djeli Clark

Modern Simple Minimalist Frames

Installation and Video Collaborations

Line Break (detail) - 2014

Poetry Installation with artist Lilllian Harden

Peabody Essex Museum, Mass Poetry Festival

Align (detail) 2008

Public Art Commission

Trustees of Reservations

Crane Beach, Ipswich, Massachusetts

Line Break (Detail) 2014

Poetry Installation with artist Lillian Harden

Peabody Essex Museum, Mass Poetry. Festival

Maggots and Milk, Short Film, 2016

Remix of my poem by filmmaker Adriane Little

Just Spring (detail) 2017

Community Writing Prompts with artist Stacy Thomas-Vickory

Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Peabody Essex Museum

About the Author

Colleen Michaels was born in Waltham, Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Buffalo and the State University of New York - Fredonia. Her poetry has been published widely, anthologized, and made into public installations for the Trustees of Reservations and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. She serves on the board of trustees for the Beverly Public Library, is the creator of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, and directs the Writing Studio at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, where she lives with her family. Prize Wheel is her first collection.

Photo Credit: Greg Cook

For inquiries regarding readings, workshops, permissions, etc., please contact me at