Publishings by R A Riekki


Shorter bio: Ron Riekki's books include U.P. and The Way North (2014 Michigan Notable Book & finalist for a 2014 Midwest Book Award, 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award, Foreword Book of the Year Award, and 2014 Eric Hoffer Book Award).  His screenplays have won best screenplay in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category for the International Film Festival in Los Angeles and been a finalist for the Terror Film Festival.  His fiction, non-fiction, & poetry have been published in ShenandoahPrairie Schooner, Bellevue Literary ReviewNew Ohio Review, Spillway, Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America, Verse Wisconsin (Best of the Net nomination for poetry), Sibling Rivalry Press, New Issues Press, WSU Press (Pushcart nomination for poetry), Juked, decomP, Connotation Press, Blue Fifth Review (Best of the Net nomination for fiction, chosen by Robert Olen Butler for The Best Small Fictions 2015), BluePrintReview, Blue Hour MagazinePANK, Prick of the Spindle, H_NGM_N, Thick With Conviction, Drown in My Own Fears, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, Chantarelle's Notebook, DMQ Review, Cease, CowsOne Ghana One Voice, Red FezPithead Chapel, Moonshot Magazine (Pushcart nomination for fiction), Sundog Lit, B O D Y, Crack the Spine, and many other lit journals.  Here: Women Writing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula was published by Michigan State University Press in May 2015.


Here: Women Writing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, May 2015, Michigan State University Press [ORDER HERE --] [peaked at #2 on the Upper Peninsula Bestseller List & #10 on the Michigan Bestseller List]

The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works, May 2013, Wayne State University Press, [ORDER HERE --] [peaked at #2 on the Upper Peninsula Bestseller List & #12 on the Michigan Bestseller List]

How To Kill Yourself with a Gun and a Bottle of Pills, Oct 2012, Original Works Publishing,

Your Map is Wrong: a Collection of Plays Set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Jul 2012, the Center for U.P. Studies,

Dandelion Cottage, A Play, Jul 2012, the Center for U.P. Studies,

She Took God: a memoir in 34 poems, March 2012, Gypsy Daughter Press,; Poems about Love, Death, and Heavy Metal, Feb 2011, Gypsy Daughter Press (nominated for 2012 &NOW Awards for innovative writing),; Leave Me Alone I'm BleedingOct 2010, Gypsy Daughter Press (nominated for 2012 &NOW Awards for innovative writing),

U.P., Oct 2008, Ghost Road Press (Great Michigan Read Series and Sewanee Writers Series nominated), out of print,

I Wish This Feeling was Stronger Than Codeine, 1996, Alpha Beat Press, out of print

Longer bio: Ron Riekki has an M.F.A. from Brandeis, an M.F.A. from Virginia, and a Ph.D. from Western Michigan.  He has also taken classes at Central Michigan, Charles (Prague), Québec à Chicoutimi, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa, Orlando Medical, and B.U.  He edited The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works, which was a 2013 Foreword Book of the Year finalist for the Anthologies category and received a 2014 Michigan Notable Book.  His writing and editing has had two nominations for Illinois Press Awards for journalism (Personality Profile and Feature Writing), four UWire Today awards for music/film journalism, a Henry Hoynes Fellowship, a Ragdale residency, a Charles F. Pfeiffer Award for Excellence in Writing, two Alpha Psi Omega Playwriting Awards, two WMU Best Play Awards, a WMU Best Short Story Award nomination, two WMU Best Poem nominations, a Spectrum Theater Best Play Award, a WMU Graduate College Funding award for playwriting, a Sewanee Writers' Series nomination from John Casey for the novel U.P., a Sewanee Tennessee Williams Scholarship, a finalist for Stageworks/Hudson's 2007 and 2011 Play By Play Festivals, two Pushcart Prize nominations, a Best of the Net nomination, and a 2008 National Collegiate Scholars' Inspire Integrity Award.  U.P. was nominated for the Great Michigan Read series.  He has three poetry chapbooks, which include Leave Me Alone I'm Bleeding (Gypsy Daughter, nominated for 2012 &NOW Awards for innovative writing) and Poems about Love, Death and Heavy Metal (Gypsy Daughter, nominated for 2012 &NOW Awards).  His fiction and poetry have been in numerous literary journals including Spillway, Verse Wisconsin, New Ohio Review, Juked, Moonshot Magazine, and Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America.  His plays have been performed throughout the U.S., including Carol (equity production, Stageworks/Hudson, Best Ten-Minute Plays 2012), All Saints' Day (Ruckus Theatre, Elizabeth Bagby nominated for a Chicago Theater Beat Award for Best Actress), and Dandelion Cottage (Lake Superior Theater). He toured with the 2007 National We Can Make You Laugh Comedy Tour and has trained at The Groundlings, Annoyance Theater, Second City (Detroit, Chicago, and L.A.), io, SAK, Upright Citizens Brigade, Dad's Garage, and Improv Asylum.  He's represented for TV writing through DSA in Beverly Hills and has worked on The (White) Rapper Show and I Love New York II: Detroit Casting Special for VH1.


For Good Behavior, 2015 Marquee Lights Screenwriting Competition finalist

The Knife Association, 2014 Terror Film Festival finalist, 2015 The International Horror Hotel finalist, 2015 Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest finalist, 2015 Fantasmagorical Film Festival finalist

The Christmas Millionaire, 2015 Logline to Movie Screening selection

The First Real Halloween, 2014 International Family Film Festival best screenplay in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category

Teeths, 2015 Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival screenplay finalist

U.P., 2015

FICTION AND NON-FICTION (due to the list getting lengthy, I have limited listing only lit journals that have won or been finalists for Best of the Net, Pushcart, or Best American, or have nominated me for those awards):

"Stray," Bellevue Literary Review, 2015

"The Family Jewel," Blue Fifth Review, 2014 (nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Short Fictions 2015)

"Dart," Prairie Schooner, winter 2014

"I Volunteered to Teach in Prison, But I Was Paid So It Wasn't Really Volunteering," "Less," and "YHWH" in Sundog Lit

"Acquired," decomP magazinE, 2014

"Air," "The Baby in the Air," Connotation Press, 2014 (featured writer for the month of April)

"The Ecdysiast," Liars' League NYC, April 2014 (performed at KGB in NYC)

"Forty Years Later: You Probably Heard about It on the News," Cease, Cows, 2014

"He Knows What It Means," Pithead Chapel: a journal of gutsy narratives, 2014

"A Bunch of People Who've Died," SLAB, 2013 (non-fiction)

"Hatred of the Lantern Festival," Pithead Chapel: a journal of gutsy narratives, 2013

"'But, Be Honest, the Qur'an is a Piece of," BluePrintReview, July 2011 (non-fiction)

"Fiction," PANK Magazine, for their This Modern Writer series, July 2011 (non-fiction)

"Heroes," Moonshot Magazine, 2011 (Pushcart Prize nomination)

"Cousin Jay," an excerpt from U.P., published in New Ohio Review

"30 Foxtrot" in The Smoking Poet, summer 2010

"Fontanel" in Prick of the Spindle, 2010

POETRY (due to the list getting lengthy, I have limited listing only lit journals that have won or been finalists for Best of the Net, Pushcart, or Best American, or have nominated me for those awards):

"Poem about a Werewolf that I Copied from Shakespeare," B O D Y, 2015

"The Qur'an at Auburn, a Lesson," Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America, 2015

"Dr. James Crow," Crack the Spine, 2014

"Lille," "On Men," and "I Ask the Poet for His Top Three Poems of All-Time," Blue Hour Magazine, 2014

"Corpse Mistaken for Halloween Decoration," Red Fez, 2014

"Masturbation," Drown in My Own Fears, 2014

"The Unemployment in Palmer," New Issues Press, Poetry in Michigan/Michigan in Poetry, 2014 (2014 Michigan Notable Book)

"I Get Up at the Open Mic" and "The Boxer at the Bonfire Sits Quietly Listening to My Story," Verse Wisconsin, 2014

"My Ex-Girlfriend Wouldn't Let Me Celebrate Halloween," Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, 2013

"The First Line from Answers to Questions Posed by Terry Gross," Split Lip Magazine, 2013

"The Blood I've Seen (a memoir)" and "Daffodils and Hos," Thick with Conviction, 2013

"This is the Poem That's Going to Get Me Out of the Mines," Juked, 2013

"Love Poem, Cincinnati," Toe Good Poetry, 2013

"For Victoria Nunoo," "For Jacob Osae," and "For Novisi Dzitrie," One Ghana, One Voice, 2013

"China (What If I'd Stayed in Alabama at the Plantation University?)," Spillway, 2013

"Reading a Chinese Dictionary," Into the Teeth of the Wind, 2013

"Reap I" (re-publishing) and "Working the Night Shift in the E.R.," Chantarelle's Notebook, 2013

"Noon in the Garden of Queer Theory and Alabama," This Assignment is So Gay: LBGTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching, Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012 (an American Library Association honored book)

"After They Leave," WSU Press anthology (2014 Michigan Notable Book)

"Dominos," Goddard College's Clockhouse Review

"The Upper Peninsula Talks to Lower Michigan in a Bar in Wisconsin," Verse Wisconsin (online edition), Spring 2012, and "My Dad Tries to Be Kind to Me after My Suicide Attempt," Verse Wisconsin (print edition), 2012 (nominated for Best of the Net)

"Hext, Texas, Right Now," Country Music, 2011

Special audio feature of the poems "And I Still Want This," "My Uncle Paul Calls from Baltimore to Tell Me about His Dreams (A Found Poem)," "A List of Famous Mustaches," and "Shooting" set to music by Dan Wrzesinski, Verse Wisconsin, July issue 2011

"Her First Name Began with J and She Would Hate This Poem Even More Than She Hates Me," St. Sebastian Review, Mar 2011

"Why Is It All That All the Republicans I Know," Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, 2010 (selected as the issue's Editor's Pick)

"Ann Beattie," "Kendrah McKay," and "Everybody, Open Up Your Hymn Books," Melusine, 2010

"Villanelle: Aghast," Tilt-A-Whirl

"The Taxi Driver in Singapore" and "Maybe, in Our Own Way, We Were Both Morons," Verse Wisconsin, 2010

"Ontology: I was Talking with a Student Who Went to Auburn University" and "I Might Get in Trouble for Writing This Poem," Pemmican Press, Sep 2010

"And Let God," DMQ Review, 2010

"Cross Road," Word Slaw, May 2010

"Submission Guidelines Torn from a Magazine," Emprise Review, 2010


   Sacred and Immoral: on the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (U.K.),

   Audition Arsenal for Men in their 20s: 101 Monologues by Type, 2 Minutes and Under, Smith & Kraus,

   Open Windows III, a long time bestseller for the publisher

   The Best Ten-Minute Plays, 2012, Smith & Kraus,




 JOHN CASEY, author of Spartina, "I wish Kurt Vonnegut were alive to read 'U.P.'  He'd love it.  He'd love it as much as he loved Breece Pancake and Deborah Eisenberg.  I'm not just guessing.  On my own hook I can say that R.A. Riekki's novel is a brilliant fierce rush--sometimes harsh, sometimes funny, always so immediate you can hear it.  This book is alive."  (for more on John Casey, go to
 LAURA DAVE, author of London is the Best City in America, "People throw around the word 'original' to mean a lot of things, but 'U.P.'--R.A. Riekki's fighting new novel--is original in the best sense.  It constantly surprised me, and made me want to keep reading, and made me more sure of it.  This novel is a winner.  You won't read anything else like it this year." (for more on Laura Dave, go to
 MC SERCH, of Third Bass, "R.A. Riekki is a talented and heartfelt writer who puts you not only in his world but in his neighborhood through his words and writing.  His story is one of finding your self and figuring your place in the world.  It is brilliant, funny, and sharp.  A great read." (for more on MC Serch, go to
 DJ SCULLY, from WFNP radio in New York, "R.A. Riekki's new book 'U.P.' is available on Ghost Road Press.  It's really the best book that I've read since the first time I read 'Choke'  I'm not just blowing smoke up his ass.  It's really that good." (for more on DJ Scully, go to



GOOD BEHAVIOR--tragedy; 2 male, 1 female, 1 set; a lawyer has a Jeff-Award winning actress come in to teach his client how to cry on the stand
HOW TO KILL YOURSELF WITH A GUN AND A BOTTLE OF PILLS--comedy; 3 male, 1 female, 1 set; a comedy about suicide
HOME SCHOOLING--docudrama; 1 male, 2 female, 1 set; a grandmother tells of her experiences in the Holocaust (winner of Best Play in the Graduate Category for 2006 WMU Creative Writing Awards)
2 MICS--comedy; 3 male, 1 set; two rapper-wanna-bes need to borrow two microphones from a local drug dealer in order to record their debut basement tape demo [this play has been officially retired]

CAROL--comedy; 2 male, 2 female (role doubling), one set, black box; on a long nighttime highway drive, Alan is haunted by the memories of girlfriends past (finalist for Stageworks/Hudson's 2011 Play by Play Festival)
WAR--tragedy; 3 male, 2 female (role doubling), many sets (best done extremely minimally); an expatriate living in Montreal copes with haunting memories of the Gulf War and worries that he may have become HIV positive--could the two somehow be related?
COFFEEHOUSE PHILOSOPHY AND THE PAIN IT CAUSES--experimental/avant garde tragicomedy; 3 male, 1 female, 1 set; about a guy who goes into a coffee shop and kills everyone in it (winner of several 1996 Alpha Psi Omega Awards including Best Production) [this play has been officially retired]
NIGHTTIME CATTAIL SWANS--romantic tragicomedy; 2 male, 1 female, 1 set; a young man working a late night shift at a gas station is confronted by his girlfriend and an insightful raccoon hunter who lives in the nearby woods (winner of 2 Alpha Psi Omega Awards including Best Play) [this play has been officially retired]

ARBOR DAY (aka ALL SAINTS DAY)--experimental/avant garde; 2 male, 2 female (non-traditional casting recommended, role doubling), 1 set that consists of just a door centerstage, many costume changes; 44 scenes of trick-or-treating set in several different locations including modern day Chicago, 18th century Ireland, and Nazi Germany (chosen by Charles Smith of Victory Gardens Theatre for the 2005 WMU Playwriting Award in the Graduate Category)--can also be done as a one-act or a ten minute play.  Review:
THREE MEN IN A BOAT (TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG!)--comedy; approx 5 male, 2 female (but very flexible casting, role doubling), several sets (best done minimally); my adaptation of Jerome K. Jerome's multimillion selling 1899 novel about 3 men and their dog trying and failing to relax on a boating vacation [this play is on the border of being offically retired]
ATHEIST COMEDY--comedy; 2 male, 2 female, 4 locations (sets can be done minimally); MARY, a Christian, bets her atheistic boyfriend WILLIE on whether or not God's existence can be proven.  If MARY wins the bet and can prove God exists, she gets to marry WILLIE.  But WILLIE has his own side of the bet if he can prove God doesn't exist.
A PLAY ON THE ART OF INGENIOUSLY TORMENTING--adaptation of Jane Collier's An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting
DANDELION COTTAGE, A PLAY--adaptation of Carroll Watson Rankin's Dandelion Cottage