Margaret Bashaar

Margaret Bashaar (Poetry) | Pittsburgh, PA

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Margaret Bashaar is a poet, performer, and editor living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her first book, Stationed Near the Gateway, was released by Sundress Publications in 2015. She’s had three chapbooks published, Rungs, which was written with Laurens Eggert-Crowe (Grey Book Press, 2015), Barefoot and Listening (Tilt Press, 2009) and Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel (Blood Pudding Press, 2011). Her chapbook Some Other Stupid Fruit is forthcoming from Agape Editions. Her poetry has also appeared in a variety of publications including the anthology Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25 which was edited by Naomi Shihab Nye, and journals such as Caketrain, The Southeast Review, New South, RHINO, The Pedestal Magazine, and Copper Nickel. She currently co-organizes the annual event FREE POEMS with Rachael Deacon. She helped found the TypewriterGirls Poetry Cabaret, and was a founding editor of Weave Magazine. In 2011 she started the poetry chapbook micropress Hyacinth Girl Press, which is currently in its sixth year of publishing.


Stationed Near the Gateway (Sundress Publications, 2015). Poetry.


  • Some Other Stupid Fruit (Agape Editions, 2016). [forthcoming]. Poetry.
  • Rungs (Grey Books Press, 2015). Co-author with Laurens Eggert-Crowe. Poetry.
  • Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel (Blood Pudding Press, 2011). Poetry.
  • Barefoot and Listening (Tilt Press, 2009). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

Some souls spin like maple seeds. Some books are as haunted as a hotel. “I have found the right magic for this,” declares the opening poem, “and for speaking to the dead without fear.” Each page of Stationed Near the Gateway turns over like a tarot card, introducing us to its cast: Mary and Claire, Percy, the Proprietor, the Monster, the Doctor, the Demon Hunter. Margaret Bashaar’s gift is in making each character’s desire feel at once elusive and revelatory. Her lyric lines show how even a bruise, in developing, exhibits strange beauty. Humans are “full of torn up stamen, / petals chewed to pulp.” But we are not without humor, as when the Doctor resolves, “So I cut open ramen packets with an axe / and call myself a Viking….In every dream, my spirit animal is myself.” I love the grit and resilience of these poems which–for all their commitment to memory–are really about moving on.
—Sandra Beasley, author of I Was the Jukebox

“What fascinates me about this collection and why you should pick it up are two things. There is the voice and writing of Margaret riding that razor line describing the world in three parts: the way we want it, the way it really is, and then what the omniscient say it is. But then there is the concept of the book itself. It is built like a haunted room of an old hotel.”
—Review of Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel by Chris Bowen (Burning River blog, 12/6/2011)

“At first glance Margaret Bashaar’s poetry might seem like the self-obsessed angst that bleeds from the misunderstood hearts of so many twenty-something writers. There’s a lot of imagery pertaining to a need to be heard, a mouth full of needles, a mouth full of seeds – the typical unconscious yearnings of the poet. But read on, read further, and you realize there are messages here, secrets to prize from a stubborn clam “when she is soggy and her mouth is caving in.” Not only this, but the writing is good. It’s better than good, it’s gritty, it’s clever and it’s exhilarating at times.”
—Review of Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel by Rachel Kendall (ISMs Press blog, 4/3/2012)

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