The Octopus

Winner of the 2015 Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Competition.

Published August 2016 by Gertrude Press.



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The Octopus caught my attention and imagination immediately. I could not stop reading. Every poem unleashes a new understanding and way of seeing what it is to live in a world with others, and perhaps, most strikingly, the process of understanding your individual self apart from “the other.” Beal uses language that is vibrant and calculating, while at the same time never taking itself too seriously. While the idea of an octopus living a human life (eating oatmeal, being Monday Snack Parent, getting a divorce) is inherently surreal and comedic, it is this humor that makes Beal’s work so powerful as it allows us as readers to see what it really is to be human in a startling new light.”

–Allison Tobey, Poetry Editor, Gertrude Press