Cindy Frenkel

Writer | Teacher | Editor


The Plague of the Tender-Hearted

Cindy's chapbook

"With her three-part alchemy of plain speaking, suddenly perfect metaphors, and explosive, morally anchored last lines, Cindy Frenkel portrays a family in The Plague of the Tender-Hearted. From the witty to the elegiac, the poems quest for the why beneath a brother’s suicide and examine the underside of prosperity. But the marvels of this collection are the sassy buoyant poems of love for a daughter and unexpected love after divorce. Frenkel uses memory, the dynamics of aging parents, and the legacy of the holocaust to pierce us with her bullseye poetic one-liners. The Plague of the Tender-Hearted, with its gem-like rhymes, is both an exploration and a revelation."

Molly Peacock

author of The Analyst and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems

"The poems in Cindy Frenkel’s chapbook The Plague of the Tender-Hearted sear and delight. There are the brave, wrenching poems reanimating her beloved brother who took his own life. There are poems that sing with painful memory and even more painful love. There is the poignant poem spanning three generations of women, a trefoil of “roles reversed, everything askew.” Frenkel’s four-line “Elegy” is as powerful in its brevity as her "Anatomy of Color,” an ode to spring that unfurls over two pages. I cannot decide which I favor more, “This has been” or “Raising her is better than.” The former is a poem to her lover; the latter a love poem to her daughter. Fortunately, I don’t have to choose. The Plague of the Tender-Hearted will rest on my nightstand for quite a while."

Debra Darvick

"In The Plague of the Tender-Hearted, Cindy Frenkel makes her way through the maze of family death, divorce, and even a brother’s suicide without ever losing the ability to embrace joys small and large. Despite heart-rending troubles, there is still beauty in the natural world, the discovery of an unlikely new love, and moments with a beloved daughter when night 'stars spill out, / enough to occupy the universe.'"

Mary Jo Firth Gillett


Featured Work

Switching Gears: Less Teaching, More Writing

The New Yorker Magazine

Cindy's poem 'Pit' was published in the September 26, 2022 edition of The New Yorker.

Articles on Wired

"How to Set Healthy Boundaries Around What You Share Online"

“Teaching Classic Lit Helps Game Designers Make Better Stories”

About the class, Creative Writing for Video Gamers, she helped design with help from faculty at Lawrence Technological University.

Divining Dante

Cindy's "Still, Above Grass" was one of 20 poems selected from Divining Dante, an anthology from Recent Work Press, to be included in The Poetry Jukebox, a European street art project, with poems for listeners to hear. Her recording will be up and running this winter, in time to celebrate the 701st anniversary of the great poet's death.

Featured Work

Switching Gears: Less Teaching, More Writing


Coat, House, Watch

Cindy's poem about thugs, including The Purple Gang

"The Art of Observance"

Cindy read poems that focused on delighting in the smallest detail: Seeing the world's marvel closely helps usher in joy. She also briefly read about the darker side, including suicide awareness and prevention. The reading was for Detroit's First Unitarian Universalist Church on April 28th, 2022.

Watch Cindy read via Zoom with Dennis Hinrichsen to kick off National Poetry Month at the Royal Oak Public Library on April 4th, 2022.

Two of Cindy's poems are published in the newly-released anthology Poets Speaking to Poets: Echoes and Tributes.

Prose Related to Poetry

“Fifteen lessons from nine years of teaching" from Writing in EducationIssue Number 76, published overseas by the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE).

Sharing Voices, Acting Crazy (excerpted from the anthology To Light A Fire)

Galway Kinnell and the Blue Button-Down (from The Southampton Review)

Questions about how Cindy can help you? Drop Cindy a line to find out more!

Teaching, editing, writing, and more.

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