poet & writer

William Bortz is a husband, poet, writer, and editor living in Des Moines, IA. He currently is a volunteer curator for Button Poetry and volunteer reader at Longleaf Review. His work has appeared in Ghost City Press, Oxidant Engine, Okay Donkey, Empty Mirror, Turnpike Magazine, and others. William is the author of two books of poetry, The Grief We’re Given (Central Avenue, 2021) and Many Small Hungerings (Andrews McMeel, 2023). Growing up, William spent time in foster care, in homelessness, and in shelters. His aim in writing is to explore how joy lives in uncertainty and mourning


“All We Know of Death is its Music” in Random Sample, September 2020

He Has Forgotten Himself and Found Only Appetites” in Versification, July 2020

Letter To A Younger Me, My PTSD, And The Fish Hook” in Variety Pack, June 2020

Midwest Summer Twilight | 2009” in Perhappened, June 2020

Piety” in Detritus, December 2019

[fiction] “Gliding Over All” in Little Death Lit., Fall 2019

“In Remebering” in [Dis]Connected, Print, Central Avenue Press, October 2019

October, and Everything is Breathing” in Kissing Dynamite, October 2019

Tonight Nothing’s Worse than this Pain in My Heart: For Marty Robbins” & “Little Cloud” in Back Patio Press, September 2019

Mother’s Day | Northwestern Iowa” & “Some Would Argue that the Simple Act” in Oxidant Engine, September 2019

Thrush” in Turnpike Magazine, July 2019

Not About a Gun” & “Shifting Gold to Virtue” in Semicolon Lit, June 2019

In All My Memories Flowers are Taking Places of Faces” in Okay Donkey, May 2019

Night Moisture” in Honey and Lime (Oceans of Time), May 2019

Outcomes” & “There’s Got to be More to a Human Being” in Royal Rose Magazine, May 2019

How I Love those Enchanting Things” in The Shore, April 2019

“Control” in Unvael Journal, Print, March 2019

Selected Poems, in Luck Magazine issue II, Print, Winter 2018

“Master of Nothing” in Lyrical Iowa Anthology, Print, 2018

in coping with an empty chair” in 8 Poems, November 2018

birthday” in Empty Mirror, June 2018

Selected poems, in Luck Magazine, Print, Fall 2017

“For Other Reasons” in Revival Magazine, Print, Fall 2016

Selected poems, in Siouxland Magazine, Print, Spring 2016

“Infinity” in The LOVEbook, Print, February 2014


“The Male Poets of Instagram Know What You Think of Them”, Mel Magazine

“Review of The Grief We’re Given”, Publishers Weekly