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!
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!
“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
“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
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.
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.
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.
We are working not only to continue to provide quality reviews, but to expand and produce more original content/columns. In order to do so, it’s time for us to take a small hiatus to prepare for the next step in our evolution.
Should’ve learned to love me
By asking questions
Instead of taking my actions for granted
And second guessing
All in all, it’s a one for one exchange of the original myth, albeit more fleshed out, modern, and quietly queer. – Lannie Stabile
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.”
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
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.
Filled with positivity
Strengthening my sanity
Took last year
As a moment of clarity
The things you see now
Bask in the rarity
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
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.
I can be your new edition
Can you stand the rain
And when the grey clouds roll away
Does the sun reveal your pain
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
This week’s #REPLAYS takes on “Love Line,” the newest track from British producer Shift K3Y, featuring Tinashe.
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?
“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.
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
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
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.
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
Bogeyman in my mind
Trying to creep into reality
Defeated him in the past
So right now he mad at me
We are taught,
Are for other people,
As they navigate the course
And direct the scene of our love.
Why is that?
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)
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 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!
Submit your chapbook manuscripts to The Poetry Question! Guest Judges: Sofia Fey & Chris L. Butler.
“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.
I’ll understand my journey
But if need be,
Or if you need me,
May resilience resound my words,
Remember these things I say:
I still miss you
And I’d kiss you
If I could…
Because in order to
Serve and Protect,
We took advantage of someone else…
And because they haven’t noticed,
We just don’t see it yet.
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.
As I ride the subway,
I look out into windows
Of parallel lives and trains,
Wondering how much of myself
Is looking back…
Wondering if he will see himself
BROWN STUDY: “SELF PORTRAIT AS A MERMAID OR DEAD GIRL” – GAIA RAJAN
I started thinking about who owns grief, how memory and grief affect the body, and soon enough, the poem turned into an elegy for someone I’ve lost.
REVIEW: STRANGERS – ROB TAYLOR (BIBLIOASIS)
Even if it can be painful, love will not settle down into abstraction. It reaches its fingers into the world, pinches and pulls.
REPLAYS: MY TIME IS NOW – TONE
Whether it’s released during an album’s rollout, planned or unplanned, music listeners ultimately hear that the time is now.
GETTING THE GURLZ W/ SOFIA FEY & KHALISA RAE: AIREA D. MATTHEWS
“…in America, the plight of black womxn is fraught with neglect and abuse, where some who behold both our intellect and beauty can’t seem to assert us as either”.
REVIEW: WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY: A POETRY ANTHOLOGY WRITTEN BY STREET CHILDREN GLOBALLY (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)
REVIEW: WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY: A POETRY ANTHOLOGY WRITTEN BY STREET CHILDREN GLOBALLY (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)
These are the voices and verses of street children. Their stories of hardship and trauma, their dreams and hopes.
#LENNY – S2/EP7(Ω): Ever So Lately
A hot comb straightens my new growth.
The edges of my existence.
Though I trim the dead ends,
My mane still feels unhealthy.
Still it seeks nourishment.
Something is missing and broken.
Broke and in pain
In that place,
Will I kneel?
Speak and sing praise to a God
I’ve felt in the past has forsaken me?
Thank them for my experience?
Tell them I now realize
I didn’t get the short end of the deal?
Had a better hand.
REVIEW: GIRLS LIKE US – ELIZABETH HAZEN (ALAN SQUIRE PUBLISHING)
Hazen has an acute ability to make a reader feel many unwanted things. Like recollection. Like commiseration. Like retroactive fear.
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: AMERICAN CAVEWALL SONNETS – C. T. SALAZAR (BULL CITY PRESS)
At what point does poetry transcend to testimony? What are the requirements? Is it the intersectionality of varying experience or moving tales of perseverance?
REPLAYS: PEACHES – JUSTIN BIEBER
We’ll be the one Justin sang about
saying love was until the end of time.
REVIEW: NEON HOLLYWOOD COWBOY – MATT MITCHELL (BIG LUCKS)
Made to look like a vinyl, the Neon Hollywood Cowboy fails not to be a soundtrack fit for queering what we know as the cowboy, the body, the wild west as depicted in hollywood.
The fabric of time is interwoven.
Interweaves our lives,
Through what succeeds
As it becomes entangled
With what proceeds…
The stories of our lives,
And variations of versions of me…
That the light we see,
And radio waves we receive,
Are just us…
Trying to communicate,
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: BLACK WICK: SELECTED ELEGIES – SHARON KENNEDY-NOLLE (VARIANT LIT)
“Utilizing heavy subject matter, vivid descriptions of the experience of losing a child are expressed. This collection of poems carries stories many of us hope never to know, but in those of us who have, seek sorely to truly discuss.”
HUSTLE & BUSINESS OF POETRY – KHALISA RAE AND SOFIA FEY
Ranging from tips & tricks, to gripes, to gratitude, we have a lot to say! Welcome to the Hustle & Business of Poetry.
The weight of divorce,
Still wafts in the room sometimes.
Hangs on my shoulders,
It stains my new shirt with tears,
After I got dressed up just for him…
REPLAYS: BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE – MAROON 5 & MEGAN THEE STALLION
Beautiful Mistakes has just thrown its hat in the ring for Song of the Summer. As the weather warms up, I can bet we will hear this song blast all over the airwaves soon.
REVIEW: MUCH LEFT UNSAID – FINOLA SCOTT (RED SQUIRREL PRESS) – REV. BY MARIE ISABEL MATTHEWS-SCHLINZIG
REVIEW: MUCH LEFT UNSAID – FINOLA SCOTT (RED SQUIRREL PRESS)
Again and again, the poems invite us to follow them into landscapes familiar and foreign, present and past, and observe their colours, textures, atmosphere
“LETTING THE POEMS SAY MORE THAN I WAS AWARE THEY WANTED TO SAY” – TALK TO ME: KATE FOX
I think the rewards of communicating through neurodivergence are not using up energy on masking and hiding. Plus then embodying the fact that humans think/feel/experience the world differently.
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: PROFIT | PROPHET – PATRICK BLAGRAVE (RECENTER PRESS)
While this review differs from my traditional approach, I welcome this variation without question. We must face the reality in which we stand in terms (and conditions) of the captor we simply label as debt.
REPLAYS: BRYSON TILLER – LIKE CLOCKWORK
In an industry where the price of fame can change a person for better or worse, Bryson Tiller has remained himself through it all.
REVIEW: MEDUSA RETOLD – SARAH WALLIS (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)
The epic sets apart internal and external narratives through the usage of italic sections, but these lines start to blur as the story unfolds, reinforcing that our internal lives are inseparable from the outside world.
What will KDK include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
My life is falling apart.
Slipping from my grasp,
While I hold it together,
I can’t understand
The reason for my circumstance.
I moved in slowly.
Circled my situation intently.
Vulture picking the carcass,
Of who I was and used to be.
My past became nourishment…
“IT’S RIGHT UNDER OUR FEET THE WHOLE TIME” – TALK TO ME: JENI DE LA O
there are thousands of Amanda Gormans submitting poems right now, being read and rejected right now, by readers and editors who simply haven’t the refined palate to discern a truffle from button mushroom.
REPLAYS: Russ – Misunderstood
I admire his appreciation for the craft. His consistency and his ability to have people relate to him through his songs is why his fanbase goes hard for the rapper.
#TPQ5: TYLER PENNOCK
What will Tyler Pennock include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
#TPQ5: DAMIAN WARD
What will Damian Ward include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POETRY IN CINEMA: POETIC JUSTICE
It is Angelou’s poetry we hear in Justice’s voice, how she is trying to make good choices in a world where bad choices are sometimes the only choice. – Jessica Mookherjee
#TPQ5: MAGGS VIBO
What’s Maggs Vibo included in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
“MUCH OF POP CULTURE STEMS FROM MY CULTURE” – TALK TO ME: CHRIS L. BUTLER
I think you have to be a bit selfish if you’re going to employ this style as a writer. When I say selfish I don’t mean greedy, but rather authentic.
REVIEW: TRICKS OF LIGHT – THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI (GREAT WEATHER FOR MEDIA)
He seems to consider care to be of utmost concern, not just for family, but also for strangers.
#TPQ5: ALICE CURLEY
What will Alice Curley include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
#TPQ5: EVAN WILLIAMS
What will Evan Williams include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
REVIEW: BREEZE BLOCK – JAKE HAWKEY (LUMPEN/THE CLASS PROJECT)
There’s the story — love, relationships — and the reader follows the dots Hawkey has so carefully placed. In the same poem, the dots are connected between pop culture and the reader
#TPQ5: WALE AYINLA
What will Wale Ayinla include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POWER OF POETRY #128: JANE ROSENBERG LAFORGE
Our classmates were the children of rock stars, writers, critics,visual artists, film editors and movie executives. But everyone in the neighborhood seemed famous to us, just for having been there.
#TPQ5: MIKE HICKMAN
What will Mike Hickman include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
“We all know poems about the emotional atmosphere, mental health, pets, etc. Where are the poems about getting an email during sex that adds a warm laughter to a humid room?”
– Bradley Galimore
REVIEW: WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP – JESSIE LYNN McMAINS (BONE & INK PRESS)
They are unafraid to show the awfulness and bitterness, old beliefs and traditions, terrible acts inflicted by the people who inhabit the snowy state.
#TPQ5: KATRINA LIPPOLIS
What will Katrina Lippolis include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
DISINTEGRATION – PAUL ROBERT MULLEN (ANIMAL HEART PRESS)
Very often I felt as though the poem depicted a moment I was forgetting; frantically trying to remember the details to, as to savor some beautiful moment.
Review of Worn by Adrienne Christian (Santa Fe Writers Project, 2020)
And when she writes of family, it’s of more exclusion – the striking disconnect from those with whom we are supposed to be connected.
#TPQ5: ERICA ABBOTT
What will Erica Abbott include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POETRY IN CINEMA: DON’T FORGET YOU ARE STARDUST
The poem uses the image of glaciers and deserts merging through time, and as the poem moves the lovers disappear. The land will still continue after the lovers have gone.
“AN EXERCISE IN LEARNING TO SURRENDER.” TALK TO ME: JONATHAN KOVEN
I think there’s a level of trusting that people will empathize with my story, and if not my story, then the music of my words.
REPLAYS: Streets by Doja Cat
Whether it’s released during an album’s rollout, planned or unplanned, music listeners ultimately choose the success as we see in Doja Cat’s single, ‘Streets’.
#TPQ5: CARSON SANDELL
What will Carson Sandell include inside in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POETRY IN CINEMA: WE DON’T TRUST THE NATURE INSIDE US
Spoken over the shots of a child spilling milk and a mother in tears, the poem reminds that we are made by moments that can not be undone.
REVIEW: THE SAMURAI – LINDA M. CRATE (YELLOW ARROW PUBLISHING)
Or perhaps she felt this unfamiliarity with her body all along and only made sense of the reason why after her discovery of the reincarnation. – Robin D. Hendricks
“I DON’T KNOW IF MY DREAMS SAY ANYTHING TO ME AT ALL” – TALK TO ME: RACHEL CROSBIE
When I was younger, I felt more comfortable writing in different character voices. I don’t think I had enough emotional maturity to tap into something completely personal
REVIEW: SENTIMENTAL VIOLENCE — GABRIELLE HOGAN (GHOST CITY PRESS)
As we all know, though, joy does not exist without violence — not for Tonya, and not for any of us.
REPLAYS: ESCOBAR – Xponentbeatz featuring Kriiispy & Halfofyou
This column will take a look at songs from week of which I can’t get enough, and deep dive into my own thoughts in regards to them.
#TPQ5: SAMUEL ADEYEMI
What will Samuel Adeyemi include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POETRY IN CINEMA: YOU WERE LOST AND GONE FOREVER, OH MY DARLING
Their flaws are immediate; “I’m a vindictive little bitch truth be told” she tells him. While he ruminates that he falls in love with anyone who gives him attention. – Jessica Mookherjee
“WHICH REQUIRES ME TO BEND LANGUAGE TO MY WILL” – TALK TO ME: TAYLOR BYAS
I absolutely code switch because there isn’t an aspect of my life that doesn’t request that sort of labor from me. It’s built into my life, and therefore it manifests in my poetry. – Taylor Byas
#TPQ5: GAIA RAJAN
What will Gaia Rajan include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
@gaia_writes @Nic_Sealey @fannychoir @carmenmmachado @mfernandespoet
YELLOW JOURNALISM: QUIET, GRIT & GLORY – RICKY RAY (BROKEN SLEEP BOOKS)
Many of the pieces in this book challenged me, while some baffled me, others stirred tears I frequently wipe while composing this review.
#TPQ5: RILEY DANVERS
What will Riley Danvers include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
REVIEW: LATE SUMMER FLOWERS – JULIAN DAY (ANSTRUTHER PRESS)
Yes, it really is just a ravine, but Day shares the significance of the place, the things that happened there. Place of sport and suicide. Place of celebration.
REVIEW: FOEVERHAUS – KAILEY TEDESCO (WHITE STAG PUBLISHING) – review by Kristin Garth
There is a candy-coated communion of saints inside these poems that encapsulates the terror of treats of childhood. A “peppermint Jesus” and “cinnamon virgin” cohabitate in these pages with the Bloody Mary.
POETRY IN CINEMA: A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE
The long drawn out arguments over life and death, over decisions of who to love – are almost meaningless in the ‘heat of the moment’ and when faced with imminent destruction.