Nouns XXXV

p1240218_origI. “But it is insatiable, the tar and the earth
and the blood it demands.”

Honestly, this poem by William Evans, could be all 13 of my recommendations today. Read the whole of “Wildlife” in The Adroit Journal…you won’t be able to read it just once.

II. The new issue of Wildness is out and it has some incredible work in it. Check out this poem by Devin Kelly, this one by Logan February, and this interview with Esmé Weijun Wang.

III. Read. More. Poems. “Every person claimed to have felt chills at some point during the process, and about 40 percent showed visible goose bumps — a percentage that lines up with the responses most people have when listening to music and film soundtracks or watching emotional scenes in movies.” “This is What Happens to Your Brain When You Read Poetry”…Spoiler alert: it’s all good things.

IV. Writer Lindsay Tigue has started a website called HABIT & SPACE that an interview website that “focuses on the work/life balance, writing habits, and workspaces of contemporary writers.” Keep an eye out for the first interview coming soon!

V. “To call yourself an essayist is to confess that the story & your thoughts are not enough. There needs to be more.” Brian Oliu said this on Twitter this last week and I have found it has been bouncing around in my head. It’s so true and important.

VI. “The function of the dictionary is to offer definitive definitions, but from its very beginnings there was fierce disagreement over whether this was even possible, much less desirable, this turning of butterflies into specimens.” Lisa Chen’s essay, “Professors and Madmen” on dictionaries, prison, the power words hold in Ninth Letter.

VII. “It doesn’t matter which hands as long as they hold you
        until you tell them let go.”

Todd Dillard’s poem “Every Story is an Origin Story” at Split Lip Magazine about truth, perspective, and how are stories are told is really beautiful in form and image.

VIII. “and what was said was never meant, is now distant
         as those moments your desire swirled about you”

The Common featured an aching poem (“Moan Soft Like You Wanted Someone Terrible”) by Vievee Francis, you’ll want to read everything she’s written afterward. Luckily she has books for you to read.

IX. “How have we managed our way
to this bed—beholden to heat like dawn

indebted to light.”

“Object Permanence” by Nicole Sealey in The American Poetry Review is a love poem we should all memorize.

X. Thrush Poetry Journal has a new issue out and you can’t go wrong. Start with “Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Arab Girl” by Jessica Abughattas and work your way down the index. 

XI. Over at The New Yorker, Lia Purpura reads (and discusses) a Carl Phillips poem and one of her own. Get that goodness in your ears.

XII. “…women are not only crafting essays that give voice to perspectives and concerns that men have overlooked, neglected, or silenced, but they are also transforming the very nature of the essay to yield new knowledge and new ways of knowing.” If you are looking for contemporary, “timely” essays, check out Eric LeMay’s piece on Essay Daily and the long list of essayists he recommends.

XIII. Art above by Shetland painter Ruth Brownlee.

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