Jacob Schepers

Jacob Schepers (Calvin ’12) is the author of A Bundle of Careful Compromises (2014), a winner of the 2013 Outriders Poetry Project competition. His poetry has appeared in Verse, The Common, PANK, The Destroyer, and others. He lives in South Bend, IN, with his wife, Charis, and two sons, Liam and Oliver. He is both an MFA student and doctoral candidate in English at the University of Notre Dame.

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Finding Fungi

Oh, Lordy, those morels. In my estimation, they are the pinnacle of umami, of savory taste, with all of the satisfaction of a Sunday roast in a single bite.


I’m stepping into church council. Humility knows no bounds. What can I reciprocate? I grovel, lying prostrate, prone.

Wizards in Wisconsin

In my afternoon with wizards and troll farts, I collected electronic sparkles, almost broke my neck, and unknowingly imprisoned myself and my younger brother.

Mystery Over Mastery

To name without claiming full understanding and possession is to adopt an attitude of humility, subscribing to mystery over mastery.

Touchdown Jesus

Certainly the most popular selfie-spot on campus, Touchdown Jesus overlooks the football stadium with Christ and his perpetually upraised arms.

Water and Blood

It takes two to tango. If the mosquito gets off scot-free, successful and without need of a getaway car, this robber has engorged itself with three times its weight in blood.

Puppy Love

I have never had a dog, let alone a puppy, before, so I’m very much a novice with this new family endeavor. But the time now is right to take the puppy plunge.

Ocean Breathes Salty

So on back. Back to the music video. Back to the lyrics that make the video all worthwhile. It’s not that I’m expecting everyone to get this.

Scaling Down Giants

I’m not painting out such writers, or any writers, for that matter, to be dull; rather, what’s been more fascinating, and all the more reassuring, is that such giants were people first and writers second.

Semi-Charmed Life

We found a bike he fell in love with and, you guessed it, it’s pink and princess-emblazoned. He does not yet realize that this is not what is “expected” of him, and more power to him for it.

Busy Reading

If I sound whiny, forgive me. I’m cloistered amongst literal stacks of books with an academically sanctioned excuse just to read. That’s gotta be one of the most bourgy complaints imaginable.

Life Hacks and Road Trips

6. Bribes are more than okay. I’ve trained my kids to think that tic-tacs are the holiest of grails in terms of possible rewards for good behavior.

Kindergarten Roundup

“Daddy, when you and Mommy go to heaven, who will be our new Mommy and Daddy?” Just another dinner conversation. I stop mid-bite and look up to see him watching me curiously.

Elements of a Banned Book

So let’s celebrate the fiery element of those banned books which smoke out the assumptions and biases we hold. The catalyst they provide is a Pentecost of perceptions, the beauty of flaming tongues affixed to the mind.

Office Hours

Mondays & Wednesdays 3:30-4:30, and by appointment, my syllabus says. It’s as if I typed it in my blood, signing a pact with my students.

Releasing Your Hounds

Seeing them encounter the world at large while still protecting them from the worst of it is a balance of restraint on my part as much as it is on theirs.


I show you a hero and someone can find a fault; I show you an anti-hero and we see resemblance, some shared condition, a double bind that binds us yet. And yet.


These are the newfangled priests and priestesses. White lab coats their robes, surgical masks and safety glasses their phylacteries.


I was four or five when I ran away from home. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision stemming from my preschool sense of injustice.

The Room

I won’t give away The Room’s plot (what little there is of one). I want to champion the film as an exemplar of side-splittingly cringe-worthy, schadenfreude-propelled group viewing.

Trivia Crack in My Mind

In my mind I’m goin’ to Trivia Crack/Can’t you see the questions?/Can’t you just feel the Wheel spin?/Ain’t it just like a friend of mine/To beat me from behind?


The epigraph is probably the grandparent to the murky boundaries between the content and not-quite-content sandwiched by a book’s front and back covers.

Little Inconveniences

Our car—our little-sedan-that-could—broke down last month. Yes, it seems our green Chevy Impala finally uttered those three fateful words: “I can’t even.” Requiscat in pace.