Tag: love

REVIEW: ALL THE BLOOD INVOLVED IN LOVE (HAYMAKET BOOKS)

Maya Marshall’s debut interrogates the current sociopolitical nature and its threat to reproductive rights, choice, and Blackness. – Caitie L. Young

REPLAYS: BREAK MY SOUL BY BEYONCÉ

They don’t like us outside
But now we ain’t gonna be inside
From the inside, I can see your insides
Looks like y’all don’t like yourself inside
y’all should’ve kept your opinions inside
– Reggie Johnson

SPEAK FREELY: NAMING AND UNNAMING THE SELF

Brookins, Melt, and Tran all address the process of naming and unnaming from different perspectives. Together, these poems will help foster understanding and empathy around the language we use with one another. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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TPQ20: S3EP4 – KHALISA RAE

Join Chris in conversation with Khalisa Rae, author of Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat (Red Hen Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REPLAYS: SURPRISE BY CHLÖE BAILEY

Not into too many surprises
Unless it’s a special occasion
And whenever I’m with you
It’s a cause for a celebration
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: ALL THE FLOWERS KNEELING – PAUL TRAN (PENGUIN POETS)

Paul Tran’s long-awaited debut collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, is a fierce reminder that Tran is one of the most talented and visceral poets writing in America today. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: SAVE ME BY DANNY LONDON & HALFOFYOU

Running from the fears
When it’s coming from the inside
No more counted out
No where for me to hide
Who knows what happens when
Pain and perseverance collides?
– Reggie Johnson

RELEASE DAY: HALF-BRED – ANTHONY SALANDY

Order your copy of A.R. Salandy’s Half-Bred! Only 100 copies available!

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TPQ20: S3EP2 – JENNIFER HUANG

Join Chris Margolin of The Poetry Questions in a sit-down with Jennifer Huang, author of Return Flight (Milkweed Editions), to talk about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REPLAYS: BLU MOON – THEY.

It happens every blue moon
When it aligns, we eclipse
I love everything about you
Fingertips to your lips
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: DEAR GOD. DEAR BONES. DEAR YELLOW. – NOOR HINDI (HAYMARKET BOOKS)

Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow. is the divine feminine’s wrath with no apologies, and yes, you should say thank you. – Lyra Thomas

BROWN STUDY: Ọbáfẹ́mi Thanni

Thanni paints the scenery for us clearly—the love between families, the high stakes involved in pursuing change (fly/break, free/remembered), and nestled in these intense bonds, intense violence. – Jeni De La O

SPEAK FREELY: MENTAL HEALTH AND THE POETICS OF COLLECTIVE HEALING

Discussing mental health in the classroom can be incredibly daunting, especially as educators face public criticism and accusations of indoctrinating students. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: REVENGE BODY – RACHEL WILEY (BUTTON POETRY)

These poems rip at the meat, bone, and marrow of aspects of the institution that has settled in the hearts and minds of our societal zeitgeist. – Melissa Ferrer

REPLAYS: WAVES – RUSS

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I just need to breathe

Inhale exhale put my mind at ease
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: THE TREES WITNESS EVERYTHING – VICTORIA CHANG (COPPER CANYON PRESS)

Each section speaks to a specific season, emphasizing the passage of time and its effect on our understanding of the world around us. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: PS – PENN KEMP & SHARON THESEN (GAP RIOT PRESS)

Perhaps we have all, as in the poem, lost someone and looked up, perceived heaven, and asked for a sign, a response, but were left only in our wonder. – Cait L. Young

REVIEW: THE HURTING KIND – ADA LIMÓN (MILKWEED EDITIONS)

If I was going to try and convince someone that poetry is our most important verbal art, I would start with The Hurting Kind. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: THERAPY MUSIC BY LOGIC & RUSS

The way the chips have fallen
Lays simple and plain
I have a duality of someone’s success is being someone else’s pain
– Reggie Johnson

TALK TO ME: ALEAH DYE

I think the brevity comes somewhat from the fact that I see this glow, this halo, around my intimacy so clearly. I see it, I feel it, I say it. And that’s that. It comes (ah, another pun!) easy. – Aleah Dye

REPLAYS: BE FORREAL BY BLXST

For me it’s sink or swim
Too many people I extended branches
And gone out on a limb
The switch up is contagious
Many do it on a whim
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: WHAT IS OTHERWISE INFINITE – BIANCA STONE (TIN HOUSE PRESS)

These are poems that do not lend themselves to passive reading, but rather demand deep internal reflection and renewed engagement with the most basic, unanswerable questions of human existence. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: A PRAYER FOR A NON-RELIGIOUS AUTISTIC – LUCAS SCHEELK (MASON JAR PRESS)

Scheelk offers first-hand accounts of the effects of misdiagnosis, queer identity, and the intersections of these as an autistic person. – Caitie L. Young

SPEAK FREELY: NATIONAL POETRY MONTH EDITION

This month, I’m sharing some of my favorite pedagogical practices to introduce during National Poetry Month, as well as some of the poems I return to in my classes year after year. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: THE BODY MYTH – HANNAH LAND (THE HUNGER JOURNAL)

The Body Myth (The Hunger Journal) by Hannah Land is beauty in words, harmonic sounds and striking imagery, all to narrate an all too familiar painful story. – Valentina Lindardi

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TPQ20: S2EP15 – COURTNEY LeBLANC

Join Chris in a one-on-one with EiC of Riot in Your Throat Press and author of and Winner of the Jack McCarthy book prize (Write Bloody, 2023), Courtney LeBlanc, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REVIEW: SPELLS OF MY NAME – I.S. JONES (NEWFOUND)

This entire collection is a canal–a wrenching chasm opening for rebirth–a witness to the psyche, split apart, in a world ruled by men who abandoned their humanity for the sake of domination. – Melissa Ferrer

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TPQ20: S2EP14 – KRISTIN GARTH

Join Chris and Courtney in a sit down with Kristin Garth, the Editor in Cheif of Pink Plastic House, for a conversation about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: AGAINST HEAVEN – KEMI ALABI (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

“Against Heaven is an ode to blackness with a question mark to Black Christianity. It is a tribute to queerness and transness. It is a love letter to polyamory, and the lovers had and yet to have….” Lyra Thomas

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TPQ20: S2EP12 – SHAINDEL BEERS

Join Chris in a one-on-one sit down with Shaindel Beers, Poetry Editor of Contrary, about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry! 

REVIEW: LEXICON OF FUTURE SELVES – GRETCHEN ROCKWELL (VEGETARIAN ALCOHOLIC PRESS)

Again and again, we see the speaker face the tension of negotiating and accepting who they are up against the self-limiting modes of the world they live in. – Steve Henn

REPLAYS: WE GOIN’ UP BY NICKI MINAJ & FIVIO FOREIGN

Check my words 
Check the diction
Best believe
Don’t want no friction

– Reggie Johnson

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TPQ20: S2EP12 – JULIAN RANDALL

Join Chris & Courtney of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Julian Randall, author of Refuse (Pitt, 2018), Pilar Ramirez & the Escape from Zafa (Holt), and the upcoming The Dead Don’t Need Reminding: Essays (Bold Type Books), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry. 

TALK TO ME: MORDECAI MARTIN W/ JOAN KWON GLASS

I sometimes feel like I can’t fully represent any group. But maybe that’s a vehicle for art in and of itself: not to be boxed in, not to follow any prescribed norms for one culture. – Joan Kwon Glass

REVIEW: YEAR OF THE UNICORN KIDZ – JASON B. CRAWFORD (SUNDRESS PUBLICATION)

These are painful in a glorious way – a healing kind of hurt. This collection offers a safe space for queerness and self and love. – Courtney Margolin

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TPQ20: S2EP11 – JASON B. CRAWFORD

Join Chris and Courtney in a sitdown with Jason B. Crawford, author of Year of the Unicorn Kidz (Sundress Publications), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: DREAM OF THE LAKE – CAROLINE M. MAR (BULL CITY PRESS)

Mar brings us to a past world, painted as vividly as ours, made of pretty words and tragic events that leave us feeling wet and sticky, as if the algae of the lake refuse to let us free from it. – Valentina Linardi

REPLAYS: BROKEN PROMISES – SUMMER WALKER

Done feeding off the anguish 
This is not another anthem
This problem is continuous
This one time isn’t random
Done being the star of your show
Quit entertaining your fandom
Quit acting like a child
Stop doing your temper tantrums 
– Reggie Johnson

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TPQ20: S2EP9 – KYLE TRAN MYHRE (GUANTE)

Join Chris and Courtney in a sit down with Kyle Tran Myhre (Guante), author of Not a Lot of Reasons to Sing, But Enough (Button Poetry), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

SPEAK FREELY: FORMAL VERSE AS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE

“The activist in me wants students to grapple with how form, and departure from form, serves as commentary on systemic oppression and gatekeeping”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: LITTLE STORY – KEHLANI

The nightmare is when all the magic stops
Boogeyman syndrome, stay away
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: SOMEWHERE A WOMAN LOWERS THE HEM OF HER SKIRT – LAURIE RACHKUS UTTICH (RIOT IN YOUR THROAT)

“Whether through trauma endured in war, drug use, or poor living environment, Uttich pulls the reader into a leaving with traces of those absences”. – Catie L. Young

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TPQ20: S2EP8 – MX. FAYLITA HICKS

Join Chris and Courtney of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Mx. Faylita Hicks, author of Hoodwitch (Acre Books) and EiC of Black Femme Collective, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry! LISTEN IN HERE: https://anchor.fm/tpq20/episodes/MX–FAYLITA-HICKS-e1f0ctn   FAYLITA HICKS (she/they) is the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist

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TPQ20: S2EP7 – NATE MARSHALL

Join Chris of The Poetry Question in a one-on-one about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry with the author of Finna (Penguin Random House), Nate Marshall.

REPLAYS: RENT MONEY – MARY J. BLIGE & DAVE EASTc

Not a care in the world
Learning about one’s self 
Take what I know now 
And protect myself and mental health
Protect my peace
Now I’m up here living with my life on a lease
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: BLOODFRESH BY EBONY STEWART (BUTTON POETRY)

Stewart is at her best, masterfully blending her understanding of craft with her keen ear for orality to offer a collection readers will be talking about for years. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: CONNOTARY – AE HEE LEE (BULL CITY PRESS)

Connotary is an incantation into remembrance. And an edification from where one has been and is always going. And still is also this gift, this display, of honor and renewal. – Melissa Ferrer

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TPQ20: S2EP6 – JOAN KWON GLASS

Join Chris & Courtney of The Poetry Question in a sit-down conversation with Joan Kwon Glass, author of Night Swim (Diode Editions), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: THE SCIENCE OF DEPARTURES – ADALBER SALAS HERNANDEZ / TRANS. BY ROBIN MYERS (KENNING EDITIONS)

“The Science of Departures is the product of a poet whose words double as his hands, and there is so much to read – so much to feel”. – Lyra Taylor

REPLAYS: HRS & HRS – MUNI LONG

Who knows how one’s body could have
All the answers to our questions
Thank you for your blessings
– Reggie Johnson

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TPQ20: S2EP5 – JAE NICHELLE

Join Chris and Courtney in a sit down with @CropTopAssassin, author of The Porch (@yesyesbooks), in a conversation about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

Cover of This House

REVIEW: THIS HOUSE – REHEMA NJAMBI (THE EMMA PRESS)

“When we write about family, we tread a complicated tightrope between sentimentality and honesty; The way that Njambi writes about family is what pulls each poem together”. – Caitie L. Young

HEY EVERYONE, IT’S SEXYTIME!

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE!

The first of The Poetry Question’s 2021 Chapbook Contest winners has finally arrived! It is SEXYTIME by Lynne Schmidt! 

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TPQ20: S2EP3 – KB

Join Chris, of The Poetry Question, in a one-on-one with KB, author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

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TPQ20: S2EP2 – SEEMA REZA

Join Chris and Courtney of The Poetry Question as they sit down for a talk with Seema Reza about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry! 

SPEAK FREELY: EBONY STEWART TRANSFORMS LIVED EXPERIENCES INTO AWARD-WINNING LITERATURE

“…let us be intentional in recognizing the incredible contributions that women of color have made & continue to make, not just in literature but in all fields”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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TPQ20: S2EP1 – GABRIELLE BATES

Join Chris and Courtney of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Gabrielle Bates about passion, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: GROWN OCEAN – MATT MITCHELL (WORD WEST)

“Grown Ocean is a collection about love as much as it is a collection of disenchantment with the world”. – Chris L. Butler

REVIEW: BELOW TORRENTIAL HILL – JONATHAN KOVEN (ELECTRIC ECLECTIC)

“[The reader is left to] examine whether or not there really is a “better” existence; or if we are all destined to simply live the life we’ve been given, and nothing more”. – Chris Margolin

REVIEW: SUCH COLOR BY TRACY K. SMITH (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

“[There is a] willingness to engage space as a living entity, something that is at once incomprehensible and animate”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

EVERYTHING IS A POEM: SPAM AND SOY SAUCE SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH RICE

There’s a deep hurt I feel when I share my food with others and they respond with, “That looks gross!” – Alex Dang

SPEAK FREELY: TEACHING BODY POLITICS AND THE SONG OF RESISTANCE

Gibson’s version is more culturally responsive and inclusive, inviting discussion into the limitations of Whitman’s perceptions of the body, who determines the worth of specific bodies, and how society uses language to establish a hierarchy of humanity. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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TPQ20: EPISODE 22 – REAGAN MYERS

Chris sits down for a one-on-one with Reagan Myers, author of Afterwards (Button Poetry), to talk about passions, process, pitfalls, poetry… and YA lit!

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TPQ20: EPISODE 16 – TAYLOR BYAS

Chris sits down for a one-on-one conversation with Taylor Byas, author of Bloodwarm (Variant Lit), for a conversation about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

TALK TO ME: CLAIRE TAYLOR

“I wonder if I can write an entire manuscript centered around the lines from [the Growing Pains] theme song. And that is what I did”. – Claire Taylor

REVIEW: EVERY JOURNAL IS A PLAGUE JOURNAL – RAYE HENDRIX (BOTTLECAP PRESS)

“Hendrix does not shy away from the complex, daily horrors that were ushered in, and the microscopic to multidimensional trauma that came from hearing the city cheer nightly, like a ritual or like war”. – Rachael Crosbie

EVERYTHING IS A POEM: BETTER CALL SOMEBODY, AND PLEASE DON’T YELL

“I have also tried to be somebody that I’m not. It hurts to crack yourself into multiple parts. It is the loudest noise. It breaks you”. – Alex Dang

REPLAYS: OVER – DRAKE

The song served as a reintroduction for my love for writing. For the first time, I was able to combine my love for both music and writing together.

REVIEW: BLERD: ‘80s BABY, ‘90s KID – CHRIS L. BUTLER (DAILY DRUNK MAGAZINE)

Butler uses a seamless combination of 90s pop culture and imagery with slick rhymes and beautiful sonic and tonal qualities. These are poems that demand to be performed on a stage and to be read studiously at your desk. The musicality he brings elevates the feeling of nostalgia into a full soundtrack; you can see the protagonist walking to their perfect theme song. – Alex Dang

REPLAYS: CAN’T TOUCH THIS – MC HAMMER

My love for music dates back to me being a kid, where whenever my mom needed to occupy my time while she was busy, she would turn on the music videos.

GETTING THE GURLZ: AN INTERVIEW WITH GABRIELLE BATES

Khalisa Rae sat down with Gabrielle Bates, poet, podcast host, educator, gorgeous-picture taker, and all-around good person.

ODES FROM THE EDITOR: AUGUST EDITION

But, damn, Poetry, you always have a way of bringing me right back. Because it turns out every writer, narrator, and subject matter, has a different make, model, obstacle, feel, and endgame. Plotlines do change. Stories do unfold. Forms to do come together. Characters do come to life.

BROWN STUDY: “OMELET” – ZORA SATCHELL

What sustains us? What nourishes our bones and our souls? How do we sustain each other? In the space between our most authentic selves and our most complicated desires, how do we connect with one another? 

REPLAYS: “LOVE ME LIKE YOU SAY YOU LOVE ME” – KYLE

Should’ve learned to love me
By asking questions
Instead of taking my actions for granted
And second guessing
My motives
My intentions

REVIEW: APPLE SKIN – KELSIE COLCLOUGH (SWORD & KETTLE / CUP & DAGGER).

All in all, it’s a one for one exchange of the original myth, albeit more fleshed out, modern, and quietly queer. – Lannie Stabile

REVIEW: LOVE MOST OF YOU TOO – DUSTIN BROOKSHIRE (HARBOR EDITIONS)

This chapbook showcases a voice reclaiming words meant to hurt, detailing the traits wanted in a lover, and reminding the reader “not to accept what’s in front of you / at face value.”

REPLAYS: NO TIME BY KRIIISPY & M.I.L.O.

She says her time is money
And I don’t have time to waste
Tired of dealing with the same dudes
Done with the copy and paste
Babygirl just like wine and I’m trying to have a taste

REVIEWS: “THE DANDELION SPEAKS OF SURVIVAL” QUINTIN COLLINS (CHERRY CASTLE PUBLISHING)

What makes The Dandelion Speaks of Survival special is that it is more than a collection by a Black writer, but rather an Ode to Blackness.

REVIEW: “MIXTAPES” – RACHAEL CROSBIE (ELJ EDITIONS)

In each poem, readers can feel the undeniable aspect that, like nearly all mixtapes, this chapbook is for somebody (at the very least, the amalgamation of “you” that exists in all of our longings).

REPLAYS: “PASADENA” BY TINASHE & BUDDY

Filled with positivity
Strengthening my sanity
Took last year
As a moment of clarity
The things you see now
Bask in the rarity

TALK TO ME: “MY GOAL IS TO REPLICATE THE DEVASTATION” – LYNN(E) SCHMIDT

To tell our story, and to help tell other people, “Hey it’s okay if you’re fucked up for a long time after your dog dies.” Grief is such a wild journey, and it is different for all of us.

REPLAYS: “SUN GOES DOWN” – LIL NAS X

Didn’t know what depression felt like
Until I was nineteen
It took my crown and the jewels
And said it was fit to be king

REPLAYS: SEEING GREEN BY NICKI MINAJ, DRAKE, & LIL’ WAYNE

I been doing this here since Wayne’s dedication
I been doing this here, hear the dedication
I’ve been doing this hair, na look at the transformation
Went bald on everyone
And look how things shaping up
If you ain’t growing with me
Then you had to be cut

“MY MFA ONLY MADE MY BLENDER WHIR FASTER”: TALK TO ME: CHRISTINE SLOAN STODDARD

I used discarded camera and computer parts to print into clay tablets. I bleached chicken bones, spray-painted various objects, drew large-scale oil pastel scenery, and cut up old books all for art installations.

REPLAYS: WHAT YOU NEED – DON TOLIVER

I can be your new edition
Can you stand the rain
And when the grey clouds roll away
Does the sun reveal your pain

REVIEW: PICNIC IN THE ABATTOIR – EMMA HYCHE (DANCING GIRL PRESS)

But as the moments move forward, nothing breaking through the quiet, we are met with the release of breath the speaker has been holding for far too long

REPLAYS: “LOVE LINE” – SHIFT K3Y & TINASHE

This week’s #REPLAYS takes on “Love Line,” the newest track from British producer Shift K3Y, featuring Tinashe.

REVIEW: GOD’S BOY – ANDREW HAHN (SIBLING RIVALRY PRESS)

If this is what it means to be godly, why would anyone stay? And if you are already considered to be straying, why not have some fun with it?

BROWN STUDY: “HOME-GOING CELEBRATION” BY KHALISA RAE

“Home-Going Celebration” is a sly poem that bubbles with contradictions. An elegy rooted in mourning, the language pops with the dizzy rush of one sip too many.

“THE READER THINKS THEY’RE IN ON THE JOKE”. – TALK TO ME: SHAWN BERMAN

I’m inspired a lot by stand-up comedians, so a lot of my work is me pretending I’m on stage telling a joke, trying to draw the audience in. – Shawn Berman

REPLAYS: Save Your Tears (Remix) by The Weeknd & Ariana Grande

If I wanted someone to switch up on me, I’d take my talents to Nintendo

Opened up to you just to be shut out like a window

The price I paid for your love as you sent it to others like Venmo

REVIEW: SEE WHAT LIFE IS LIKE – DOROTHY SPENCER (LUMPEN)

See What Life is Like, is dark and brutal, unsparing in ugly detail. But during a first aid course last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about how smart and accurate her writing is. 

“TODAY WE ARE A WHITE-WING DOVE, TOMORROW WE ARE A SPIRIT” TALK TO ME: KHALISA RAE

Because so many false narratives are being told about Black bodies, it is so crucial to tell the truth about what happens to us and the crimes that are committed against us. I think the true art is sharing the horror in a way that isn’t just trauma porn, but it’s art for a purpose.

REPLAYS: MET HIM LAST NIGHT – DEMI LOVATO & ARIANA GRANDE

REPLAYS: MET HIM LAST NIGHT – DEMI LOVATO & ARIANA GRANDE ​

Bogeyman in my mind
Trying to creep into reality
Defeated him in the past
So right now he mad at me

REPLAYS: PinkPantheress – Pain

REPLAYS: PinkPantheress – Pain

And I 99.9% mean when I say
I’m glad I washed my hands of any
And everything surrounding the pain

REVIEW: HOW OFTEN I HAVE CHOSEN LOVE – XIAO YUE SHAN (FRONTIER POETRY)

REVIEW: HOW OFTEN I HAVE CHOSEN LOVE – XIAO YUE SHAN (FRONTIER POETRY)

Shan’s natural metaphors connect the experiences in this collection to a deep relationship with the physical world, grounding these stories into the earth.

REVIEW: Perhaps There Is a Sky We Don’t Know: A Re-imaging of Sappho – Ann Pedone

REVIEW: PERHAPS THERE IS A SKY WE DON’T KNOW: A REIMAGINING OF SAPPHO – ANNE PEDONE

Pedone’s poems are more demure than a cleverly placed erection joke, however. She unironically uses words like nectar, taste, and swollen…

CHAPBOOK CONTEST: SUBMISSIONS OPEN!

CHAPBOOK CONTEST: SUBMISSIONS OPEN!

Submit your chapbook manuscripts to The Poetry Question! Guest Judges: Sofia Fey & Chris L. Butler.

“CONFUSION, DESPAIR, OR HOPE” – TALK TO ME: JIYE LEE

“CONFUSION, DESPAIR, OR HOPE” – TALK TO ME: JIYE LEE

I hope to get the same emotions across whether that be confusion, despair, or hope to the readers and to enforce that in such a way it leaves them thinking about the poems for a while.

REVIEW: DUNCE – MARY RUEFLE (WAVE POETRY)

REVIEW: DUNCE – MARY RUEFLE (WAVE POETRY)

The poem claims to forbid but finds that grief is not powerful enough to truly erase the names of things.