Front Cover by Sonya Clark
Courtesy of the artist
Volume 62, Issue 2
I OWE A GREAT debt of gratitude to the Massachusetts Review for 35 years of joyous hard work and a wealth of education. As I step down from my role as poetry editor, I want to express my fervent thanks and reflect on an experience that has been a huge part of my life.
I first came on board to co-edit the 1986 double issue on Latin America with Paul Jenkins, after we returned from 18 months living in Brazil — where Paul had a Fulbright for which he was recommended by Jules Chametzky, a founding editor of MR. Little did I know then that I would spend half of my life at the magazine, taking on the roles of business manager, managing editor, and then poetry translation and poetry editor. I’m grateful to my many colleagues over the years for enriching my literary life and for the endless high-spirited times we’ve shared.
As Jim Hicks noted in his introduction to the last issue, we now undertake to go beyond our 60-year legacy of seeking out Black writers, artists, and thinkers — to diversifying our editorial board. This summer, Deborah Gorlin and I will retire from our posts as poetry editors. We asked Nathan McClain, friend and colleague from Hampshire College, to be the third judge for the annual Anne Halley Poetry Prize. A wonderfully lively session discussing the 50-some poems that had appeared in the last four issues of MR confirmed our expectation that Nathan would make a splendid choice to succeed us. We’re thrilled that the other editors concurred and that he accepted the invitation. Nathan will bring new energy, experience, and vision to the post. (And we’re delighted that he was willing to give us a poem of his own for this our last issue as editors.)
The idea of A Gathering of Poets struck us as a fabulous way to mark the passing of the baton. Usually we see about a dozen poems folded in to each issue, so having all the poems we’d accepted since January 2020 live together in one volume is a welcome luxury. We’re proud of the wild range of voices included here. As usual, the vast majority of these poems came in through the online submissions manager from writers altogether new to us — including Sage Ravenwood and Tawanda Mulalu — who was born in Botswana and now teaches third grade in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A handful are by poets we’ve published before (Macker & Malboeuf & Lusk & Krumbach), and another handful are by poets whose work we know and admire. And then there are writers we sought after, like Isabel Zapata, whose work I read in The Common, leading me to track down her translator, Robin Myers, to request poems. And I confess: the fabulous, prize-winning poet Barbara Ras happens to be my best friend in the world; I coveted her poem “Herd” for MR the minute she finished reading it to me. (Happily, Deb loved it too!) Once we knew this would be our swan-song issue, we couldn’t resist writing to a number of poets we adore, many of whom zipped us work to consider at the very last minute. We’re hugely grateful to all of the above!
My last and most heartful thanks go to Deb. What a joy it has been to spend untold hours together swimming in poems. I cannot imagine a better partner in this work: a consummate reader of poems, whip-smart, articulate, various in her tastes, patient in her attention. She has made me a better reader and become a lifelong friend.
And now we pass this bountiful spread of poems along to you. Feast, readers, feast!
Ellen Doré Watson
for the editors
EDITING POETRY for a literary magazine is an exposure to a great intimacy that must be approached tenderly. It’s not as though you are reading instruction manuals. These are the words of poets who are putting their lives in, and in some instances on the line. The wonder of that individual enterprise, the aspiration itself, the particularities of poets and their poems, even the lousy, earnest, laughable ones, humbles and astounds me. I have tried valiantly to stay loving even as I press more times than not the rejection key. With Ellen, from the start, our editorial connection was give and take, one of mutual respect. An accepted poem required both our votes, few compromises. Checks and balances came into complementary play. One gushing, the other grounding; one certain, the other not as sold; one soft on subject matter (for Ellen it was Alzheimer’s, for me, dogs), the other, hard-nosed. Because in the end, our mission was absolutely clear. We were out to publish the POEM, the lingual embodiment of Platonic perfection that, no matter the maker, the reputation, the identity, must operate in its own indisputable realm, call it truth and beauty, but its authority is undeniable. If the poem was worthy, to the best of our combined abilities, experiences, knowledge, we would feel it.
But we were not without certain instruments to make this determination, among which was the read-aloud test. It was mandatory; nothing could get past it. Ellen, a soprano from Long Island, and I, a mezzo from New Jersey, would take turns. And then we’d know for sure. It was strange how that worked. It was as if another entity entered the room with us, our ultimate editor, the air, the final arbiter, the fail-safe shit detector. If the air itself stepped aside from its own business, hushed to listen, taken by the spoken words to be caught up in the wheels of voice and sound, sharing the breath buoying the language, we knew we had a live one. YES!
In its original meaning, the word “editor” means someone who brings forth and publishes. It does not seem to carry the connotations of a punitive figure who corrects or judges. I like that definition. In our choices, in effect, Ellen and I, as literary citizens, were bringing forth poems that we felt deserved to be read and heard, to be welcomed, to be acknowledged. With each issue, we added again and again to a marvelous and growing chorus of voices, believing that in this legendary magazine, MR, they would surely sing on and outlast us.
for the editors
By Aracelis Girmay
By Barbara Ras
By Chen Chen
By Isabel Zapata, Translated by Robin Myers
By JJ Peña
By Tiana Clark
By Sage Ravenwood
By Lynne Thompson
By Matt Donovan
Table of Contents
Landscape with Pterodactyl, a poem by Stacy Gnall
The Chimp Speaks of Cruelty, a poem by Claire Denson
The Rattlesnakes They Keep in the Life Sciences
Building Remind Me of My Dog, a poem by Katie Berta
near the new year, the philosophers fight
on a FB page, a poem by Merridawn Duckler
The City Opposite Nineveh, a poem by Varun Ravindran
Galileo Stumbles Once & a Planet
Suddenly Skews, a poem by Emily Vizzo
The Owl Catcher’s Son, a poem by Andrew Hemmert
[Longing], a poem by April Goldman
Word, a poem by Enrique Servín Herrera,
translated by Katherine Silver and Robin Myers
Demand of the Centuries, a poem by Pedro Mir,
translated by Jonathan Cohen
Only Somewhat Sleeping, a poem by Kelly R. Samuels
The Circle of Several Centers, a poem by Vivian Eyre
Marguerite, a poem by Teddy Macker
Being There, a poem by Matthew Tuckner
Appraisal, a poem by Elizabeth Onusko
Ceres Grants an Interview, a poem by Kelly Rowe
The Practice of Returning, an essay by Naomi Ayala
Little Winter, a poem by Carl Phillips
Crossed Letters from a Concerned American,
a poem by Alexandra Teague
an open letter to the woman sharing her funny
story in this writing workshop, a poem by Matthew E. Henry
Monochrome Photo with Fragments in a Closet and
How We Use Our Hands to Divide Us,
poems by Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto
Size 12, a poem by Stephen Kampa
Algorithm, a poem by Jennie Malboeuf
Boy Pulling a Thorn from His Foot,
a poem by Nathan McClain
Of the Mind, a poem by Laura Newbern
Bury Me, a poem by Benjamin S. Grossberg
The Poet Robert Lowell at Age Thirteen,
a poem by Adam Tavel
all we got was autumn. all we got was winter,
a poem by Tawanda Mulalu
The World Is an Open Blossoming, a poem by Adeeko Ibukun
Ever since Alzheimer’s cut a hole in your pocket,
a poem by Alex Chertok
Before the Flood, a poem by Chip Brown
Reflecting Ghazal, a poem by Doug Anderson
The Last Day of Winter, a poem by Max Sessner,
translated by Francesca Bell
A Town Called Sadness, a poem by Patrick Rosal
Afterimage, a poem by Chelsea Wagenaar
Her Father’s Heart as Brownie Starlet,
a poem by Erin Redfern
Helpless, a poem by Dion O’Reilly
Girl Counting Down, a poem by Sally Rosen Kindred
Legacy, a poem by Daniel Lusk
5.23.20—, a poem by Danny Lawless
Art by Sonya Clark
Gill, a poem by Suphil Lee Park
Scissors, a poem by Gyula Jenei,
translated by Diana Senechal
Mother and Child, a poem by Jehanne Dubrow
Ajil (Jingle Girl), a poem by Tacey M. Atsitty
Creation Stories, a poem by Jessica Jacobs
october, early, a poem by Maria Zoccola
Pure Pleasure, a poem by Taylor Zhang
Self-Portrait as Goblin Shark,
a poem by Lucas Jorgensen
God Sees Me, a poem by Mike White
God Watching a Sleeping Man, a poem by Peter Krumbach
Just Below Away, a poem by John A. Nieves
Blue, a poem by Mag Gabbert
Bildung, a poem by Erick Verran
Tuesday Feeling, a poem by Adrian Matejka
Magritte’s The Menaced Assassin, After Hours,
a poem by Diana M. Chien
Osmosis, a poem by Rebecca Kaiser Gibson
There Is a World Outside that Wants to Go Up in Flames,
a poem by Matthew Lippman
Where the Sun Rises in Different Windows,
a poem by Aksinia Mihaylova, translated by Marissa Davis
Eve Studies Cezanne’s The Basket of Apples,
a poem by Carolyn Oliver
mindless, a poem by Daneen Wardrop
Spermaceti, a poem by Amanda Hawkins
Pigs that Ran Straightaway into the Water,
Triumph Of, a poem by Darla Himeles
St. Cecilia Recalls Her Wedding Night,
a poem by Bryce Emley
Undine, a poem by Matilde Ladrón de Guevara,
translated by Rebecca Pelky and Jake Young
Love Poem without Light,
a poem by Alisha Dietzman
Poem with Starbucks and Kissing and Trees,
a poem by Joshua Garcia
Leaving Chelsea, a poem by Annette Oxindine
you are falling for someone in hell.,
a poem by Bettina Judd
Notes on Contributors
DOUG ANDERSON’s last book of poems was Horse Medicine (Barrow Street, 2015). His new book, And in Time Other Angels Came, will be published by Four Way Books in 2022.
TACEY M. ATSITTY, Diné (Navajo), is Tsénahabiłnii (Sleep Rock People) and born for Ta'neeszahnii (Tangle People). She was born in Logan, UT, grew up in Kirtland, NM, but is originally from Cove, AZ. Atsitty is a recipient of the Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, the Corson-Browning Poetry Prize, Morning Star Creative Writing Award, and the Philip Freund Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY, EPOCH, Kenyon Review Online, Prairie Schooner, When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, and other publications. Her first book is Rain Scald. She is a PhD student in creative writing at Florida State University, and she lives in Peru.
NAOMI AYALA is the author of three books of poetry—Wild Animals on the Moon (Curbstone Press), This Side of Early (Curbstone/Northwestern University Press), and Calling Home: Praise Songs and Incantations (Bilingual Press, University of Arizona). She is the translator of Luis Alberto Ambroggio’s La arqueología del viento (The Wind’s Archaeology) and La sombra de la muerte (Death’s Shadow), a novel by José Tomás Pérez, the Dominican Republic’s ambassador to the United States.
FRANCESCA BELL’s work appears in many magazines, including Elle, Mid-American Review, New Ohio Review, North American Review, and Rattle. She co-translated Palestinian poet Shatha Abu Hnaish’s collection A Love That Hovers Like a Bedeviling Mosquito (Dar Fadaat, 2017) and is the author of Bright Stain (Red Hen Press, 2019).
KATIE BERTA lives in Arizona where she works as the supervising editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, the Kenyon Review, Blackbird, The Rumpus, Sixth Finch, Redivider, Green Mountains Review, The Offing, Indiana Review, Salt Hill, and Washington Square Review, among other magazines. Her book reviews appear on Ploughshares’ blog, West Branch, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. She has a PhD in poetry from Ohio University and an MFA from Arizona State.
CHIP BROWN, a former staff writer for the Washington Post, has written for more than 40 national magazines including the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Esquire, Harper’s, Elle, Smithsonian, Vanity Fair, Outside, Men’s Journal, Travel + Leisure, and Vogue. He is the author of two nonfiction books, Afterwards, You’re a Genius: Faith, Medicine, and the Metaphysics of Healing and Good Morning Midnight: Life and Death in the Wild. He has published poems in Mountain Gazette and Alpinist.
CHEN CHEN is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. His work appears/is forthcoming in many publications, including Poetry, Poem-a-Day, and three editions of The Best American Poetry. He has received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Kundiman and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches at Brandeis University as the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence.
ALEX CHERTOK’s poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, The Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, and Best New Poets 2016, among others; his writing on prison teaching has appeared in Ploughshares and is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review. He was runner-up in North American Review 2019 and a 2021 James Hearst Poetry Prize finalist, as well as finalist in the 2020 Third Coast Poetry Contest. He teaches at Ithaca College and the Cornell Prison Education Program.
DIANA M. CHIEN’s poetry has appeared in Tin House, Boulevard, American Reader, VOLT, and Web Conjunctions and has received awards from Atlantic Monthly and others. She holds a certificate in creative writing from Princeton University and a PhD in microbiology from MIT, where she directs a science communication program.
SONYA CLARK is professor of art at Amherst College in Amherst, MA. Previously, she was a Distinguished Research Fellow in the School of the Arts and Commonwealth Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University where she served as chair of the Craft/Material Studies Department from 2006 until 2017.Her work has been exhibited in over 350 museums and galleries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia. She is the recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship, a Pollock Krasner award, an 1858 Prize, an Art Prize Grand Jurors Award, and an Anonymous Was a Woman Award. Her work has been favorably reviewed in several publications including the New York Times, Sculpture, Art in America, Philadelphia Inquirer, Time, Italian Vogue, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, and many others.
TIANA CLARK is the author of the poetry collection I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood, winner of the 2017 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and Equilibrium, selected by Afaa Michael Weaver for the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. Clark won the 2020 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, was a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, and a recipient of a 2019 Pushcart Prize, and the winner of the 2017 Furious Flower’s Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize and the 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize. She was the 2017-2018 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, VQR, Tin House Online, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Oxford American, and elsewhere.
JONATHAN COHEN is a poet, translator, essayist, and scholar. He translated Pedro Mir’s Two Elegies of Hope (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019) and, with Donald D. Walsh, Countersong to Walt Whitman and Other Poems (Peepal Tree Press, 2018). He is editor of William Carlos Williams’s By Word of Mouth: Poems from the Spanish, 1916–1959 (2011) and the centennial edition of Williams’s Al Que Quiere! (both published by New Directions, 2017). His edition of Williams’s translation of the Spanish Golden Age novella The Dog and the Fever, by Pedro Espinosa, was published in 2018 by Wesleyan University Press.
MARISSA DAVIS is a poet and translator from Paducah, Kentucky, residing in Brooklyn. Her poems have appeared in Rattle, The Iowa Review, Poem-A-Day, and Frontier Poetry, among other journals, and are forthcoming in Glass, Nimrod, and New South. Her translations are published in Ezra and forthcoming in Mid-American Review and RHINO. Her chapbook My Name & Other Languages I Am Learning How to Speak (Jai-Alai Books, 2020) received Cave Canem’s 2019 Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Prize. Davis is an MFA student at New York University.
CLAIRE DENSON reads for The Adroit Journal, and her writing appears in Booth, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Hobart, Juke Joint, Sporklet, Stirring, The Minnesota Review, and Salt Hill among others. She earned a BA with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 2018 and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2020, where she taught English and served on the editorial staff for The Greensboro Review. She has received fellowships from Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and the T.S. Eliot International Summer School in London. She lives in the metro New York City area and is working on her debut poetry collection.
ALISHA DIETZMAN was raised in the American South and central Europe. She lives in Dundee, Scotland, where she is a PhD candidate in divinity at the University of St. Andrews, supported by a grant from the US-UK Fulbright Commission. Her poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Pleiades, Bennington Review, and elsewhere.
MATT DONOVAN is the author of two collections of poetry, Rapture & the Big Bam (Tupelo Press, 2017) and Vellum (Mariner, 2007), as well as a book of lyric essays, A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption (Trinity University Press, 2016). Donovan received a Whiting Award, a Rome Prize in Literature, a Creative Capital Grant, and an NEA Fellowship in Literature. He serves as the director of the Boutelle-Day Poetry Center at Smith College.
JEHANNE DUBROW is the author of nine poetry collections, including most recently Wild Kingdom (Louisiana State University Press, 2021), and a book of creative nonfiction, throughsmoke: an essay in notes (New River Press, 2019). Her poems, essays, and book reviews have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Colorado Review, and The Southern Review. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of North Texas.
MERRIDAWN DUCKLER is a writer from Oregon and author of Interstate (dancing girl press) and Idiom (Washburn Prize, Harbor Review). New work has appeared in Seneca Review, Women’s Review of Books, Interim, and Posit. Fellowships and awards include Yaddo, Southampton Poetry Conference, Poets on the Coast, and the Elizabeth Sloan Tyler Memorial Award from Woven Tale Press. She’s an editor at Narrative and the philosophy journal Evental Aesthetics.
BRYCE EMLEY is the author of the prose chapbooks A Brief Family History of Drowning (winner of the 2018 Sonder Press Chapbook Prize) and Smoke and Glass (Folded Word, 2018). A Narrative 30 Below 30 poet and a recipient of awards and residencies from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the Glen Workshop, the Wesleyan Summer Writers Conference, and the Pablo Neruda Prize, Bryce works in marketing for the University of New Mexico Press and is coeditor of Raleigh Review.
VIVIAN EYRE is a New York–based poet and author of the poetry chapbook To the Sound (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Massachusetts Review, The Fourth River, Moon City Review, Quiddity, Pangyrus, Bellingham Review, Asheville Poetry Review, and Buddhist Poetry Journal. She serves as guest curator for the Southold Historical Society’s Whale House museum. Learn more about her work on Instagram: vivianeyrepoet.
CHINUA EZENWA-OHAETO (Twitter: @ChinuaEzenwa) is from Owerri-Nkworji in Nkwerre, Imo state, Nigeria, and grew up in Germany and Nigeria. His chapbook The Teenager Who Became My Mother is from Sevhage Publishers. He was a runner-up for the Etisalat Prize for Literature, flash fiction, in 2014. He won the Castello di Duino Poesia Prize for an unpublished poem in 2018, which took him to Italy. He was the recipient of the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s 2018 Writing Award and its 2018 MFA program scholarship. In 2019 he won the Sevhage/Angus Poetry Prize and was second runner-up in the 5th Singapore Poetry Contest. He won first prize in the 2020 Creators of Justice Literary Award, poetry category, organized by the International Human Rights Art Festival, New York. His works have appeared in Lunaris Review, AFREADA, Poet Lore, Rush Magazine, Frontier, Palette, Malahat Review, Southword Magazine, Vallum, Mud Season Review, Salamander, Strange Horizons, One, Ake Review, Crannòg, The Question Marker, and elsewhere.
MAG GABBERT holds a PhD from Texas Tech University and an MFA from the University of California at Riverside. Her essays and poems can be found in 32 Poems, Pleiades, The Pinch, Thrush, Hobart, Waxwing, and many other journals. A chapbook of Mag’s visual poetry, titled Minml Poems, was published by Cooper Dillon Books in 2020. Mag has received fellowships from Idyllwild Arts and Poetry at Round Top; she teaches creative writing at Southern Methodist University and serves as the interviews editor for Underblong Journal.
JOSHUA GARCIA lives and writes in Charleston, South Carolina, where he is pursuing an MFA in poetry at the College of Charleston and is an editorial assistant at Crazyhorse. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Image, Hobart, The Shore, Homology Lit, and elsewhere.
REBECCA KAISER GIBSON is the author of Girl as Birch (forthcoming from Bauhan Publishing, 2021), Opinel (Bauhan Publishing, 2015), and two chapbooks, Admit the Peacock and Inside the Exhibition. She is the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, The Heinrich Böll Cottage in Ireland, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach poetry in Hyderabad, India, in 2011. She is founder and director of The Loom, Poetry in Harrisville, a poetry reading series. Her poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, Agni, Field, The Greensboro Review, Green Mountain Review, The Harvard Review, Ocean State Review, Salamander, Slate, and Verse—Daily, among others. Rebecca lives in Marlborough, New Hampshire, and taught poetry at Tufts University for 23 years.
ARACELIS GIRMAY is the author of the poetry collections Teeth, Kingdom Animalia, and the black maria. She curated the recently published How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton and is on the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund.
STACY GNALL is the author of Heart First into the Forest (Alice James Books, 2011). She holds a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Alabama’s MFA program in creative writing. Her most recent poems are published or forthcoming from New American Writing, Third Coast, and Crazyhorse. She teaches in the core humanities program at the University of Nevada, Reno.
APRIL GOLDMAN is a graduate of the University of Houston’s MFA program in poetry. Her recent poems appear in Narrative Magazine, The Journal, and Third Coast. She lives in Truckee, California, and is on Instagram as aprileli.
BENJAMIN S. GROSSBERG is the author of three full-length poetry collections, including Space Traveler (University of Tampa Press, 2014) and Sweet Core Orchard (University of Tampa Press, 2009), winner of the Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. A new collection, My Husband Would, was published by the University of Tampa Press in summer 2020. He works as director of creative writing at the University of Hartford.
AMANDA HAWKINS is a Tin House and Bread Loaf Scholar, a three-time Pushcart nominee, and a recipient of the Editor’s Prize for Poetry at The Florida Review. Her work can be found in Boston Review, The Cincinnati Review, Mid-American Review, Orion, Terrain, and Tin House. She holds an MA in theological studies from Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, and is currently an MFA candidate at UC Davis.
ANDREW HEMMERT’s poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, The Journal, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, and Poetry Northwest. He won the 2018 River Styx International Poetry Contest. He earned his MFA in creative writing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
MATTHEW E. HENRY (MEH) is the author of the chapbooks Teaching While Black (Main Street Rag, 2020) and Dust and Ashes (Californios Press, 2020). His full-length collection, the Colored page, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications. He is also the editor in chief of The Weight Journal. His recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bending Genres, Frontier Poetry, New York Quarterly, Ninth Letter, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, and Solstice. MEH is an educator who received his MFA from Seattle Pacific University yet continued to spend money he didn’t have completing an MA in theology and a PhD in education. You can find him at MEHPoeting.com writing about education, race, religion, and burning oppressive systems to the ground.
Poet, translator, polyglot, and scholar ENRIQUE SERVÍN HERRERA (1958–2019) was one of the greatest linguists and defenders of indigenous culture in Mexico. As director of the Department of Ethnic Cultures and Diversity for the state of Chihuahua, he worked to protect and support the Quiché Maya and more than eleven indigenous languages of his region. His poems are lyrical, sensitive ruminations on the natural world, attuned to human injustice; they focus on the tragedies and absurdities of our history as a species yet still find ways to praise the splendor—or at least flashes of splendor—of our life on Earth.
DARLA HIMELES is the author of the chapbook Flesh Enough (2017) and the fulllength collection Cleave (2021), both with Get Fresh Books. A poetry editor for Platform Review, Darla holds a PhD in English from Temple University and lives in Philadelphia with her wife and daughter. You can read her work in recent or forthcoming issues of NAILED, Lesbians are Miracles, Atticus Review, Off the Coast, and Talking River. Tweet her @darlaida or read more at darlahimelespoetry.com.
ADEEKO IBUKUN is an award-winning Nigerian poet. He received second prize in the Sentinel All-Africa Poetry Competition in 2012, and his poem “A Room with a Drowning Book” won the 2015 Babishai Niwe African Poetry Prize in Uganda. Ibukun was a guest at the Lagos International Poetry Festival and Ake Arts and Book Festival in 2015. His poems are widely published or forthcoming in local and international journals, including Sentinel UK, Open: Journal of Art & Literature, Salamander Magazine, 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Expound, and Fortunate Traveler. He lives and writes in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He strongly believes every Nigerian youth has a political duty to help Nigeria find peace.
JESSICA JACOBS is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books) and Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe, which won the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Jessica serves as the chapbook editor for Beloit Poetry Journal and lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife, poet Nickole Brown, with whom she co-authored Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire (Spruce Books/ Penguin Random House). She is at work on parallel collections of essays and poems exploring spirituality, Torah, and Midrash and is an avid long-distance runner.
GYULA JENEI (born in 1962 in Abádszalók, Hungary) is a poet, writer, editor, educator, and winner of several honors and awards. As founder and chief editor of the quarterly literary magazine ESO (translatable as Rain or Falling), he has brought literature and literary events to the Szolnok area for over twenty years. His writings include thirteen books; the original Hungarian text of his poem “Scissors” appears in his acclaimed 2018 collection Mindig más (Always Different).
LUCAS JORGENSEN is a poet and educator from Cleveland. He holds a BS from Florida State University and studies in the MFA program at New York University, where he is a Goldwater Fellow and assistant poetry editor for Washington Square Review. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Fugue, New Limestone Review, ellipses . . . literature & art, and others.
BETTINA JUDD is an interdisciplinary writer, artist and performer whose research focus is on Black women’s creative production and our use of visual art, literature, and music to develop feminist thought. She has received fellowships from the Five Colleges, The Vermont Studio Center and the University of Maryland. Her poems and essays have appeared in Feminist Studies, Torch, Mythium, Meridians, and other journals and anthologies. Her collection of poems titled patient. which tackles the history of medical experimentation on and display of Black women won the Black Lawrence Press Hudson Book Prize and was released in November of 2014.
STEPHEN KAMPA is the author of three collections of poetry: Cracks in the Invisible, Bachelor Pad, and Articulate as Rain. He also appeared in Best American Poetry 2018 and Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic. He teaches at Flagler College.
SALLY ROSEN KINDRED’s third collection is Where the Wolf, winner of the 2020 Diode Book Prize and forthcoming from Diode Editions. She is also the author of Book of Asters, No Eden, and three chapbooks, including Says the Forest to the Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Kenyon Review Online.
PETER KRUMBACH’s most recent work has been published in Copper Nickel, jubilat, New Ohio Review, Salamander, and Wigleaf.
MATILDE LADRÓN DE GUEVARA (1910– 2009) was a Chilean intellectual, writer, and feminist. She wrote nine collections of poetry, six novels, and eight books of nonfiction. Ladrón de Guevara was a candidate for the National Prize for Literature in 2006, and in 2009 she received the Career Award of the Society of Latin American and European Writers.
DANIEL LAWLESS’s book The Gun My Sister Killed Herself With was published by Salmon Poetry in 2018. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Barrow Street, FIELD, Los Angeles Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, upstreet, and other journals. He is a 2018–2019 recipient of a Shifting Foundation grant, holds editing workshops for the Hudson Valley Writers Center, and is the founder and editor of Plume: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry, Plume Editions, and the annual Plume Poetry anthologies.
MATTHEW LIPPMAN’s collection Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful won the 2018 Levis Prize and is published by Four Way Books. His recent collection, A Little Gut Magic, is published by Nine Mile Books. He is the editor and founder of the web-based project Love’s Executive Order (lovesexecutiveorder. com).
DANIEL LUSK’s most recent collections are The Shower Scene from Hamlet (poems) and The Vermeer Suite (art and poetry). His work appears in recent issues of Poetry Ireland, North American Review, Innisfree Review, Spillway, Hawaii Pacific Poetry Review, Live Encounters, Tahoma Literary Review, and Salamander. His genre-bending essay “Bomb” (New Letters) was awarded a 2016 Pushcart Prize. He lives in Vermont with his wife, Irish poet Angela Patten.
TEDDY MACKER is the author of the poetry collection This World (White Cloud Press, 2015; foreword by Brother David Steindl-Rast). His writing appears widely: Antioch Review, New Letters, Orion, Seneca Review, Massachusetts Review, Terrain.org, The Sun, Tin House, and various anthologies. Among his honors is the Reginald S. Tickner Creative Writing Fellowship of the Gilman School in Baltimore. A lecturer of literature in the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, he lives with his wife and daughters on a farm in Carpinteria, California, where he maintains an orchard.
ADRIAN MATEJKA is the author of six books, most recently a mixed media collection inspired by Funkadelic, Standing on the Verge & Maggot Brain (Third Man Books, 2021), and a collection of poems Somebody Else Sold the World (Penguin, 2021). His first graphic novel Last On His Feet will be published by Liveright in 2022. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.
JENNIE MALBOEUF is the author of God had a body, published in 2020 by Indiana UP and the Indiana Review. Her poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Crazyhorse, The Southern Review, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Kentucky, she teaches at Guilford College in North Carolina.
NATHAN MCCLAIN is a poet, editor, and educator. He is the author of Scale, and his poems have recently appeared, or are forthcoming, in New York Times Magazine, Poem-a-Day, The Common, West Branch, Wired, upstreet, and Foundry, among others.
AKSINIA MIHAYLOVA is a poet, educator, and translator of over 35 books of poetry and prose. She is the author of six poetry books in Bulgarian, translated into numerous languages. Ciel à Perdre, her first poetry collection written in French, received France’s Prix Apollinaire in 2014. She released her second French-language collection, Le Baiser du Temps, in 2019; it went on to become the 2020 recipient of the Prix Max-Jacob. Mihaylova is the founder of the independent literary journal Ah, Maria and resides in Sofia, Bulgaria.
PEDRO MIR (1913–2000) was the Dominican Republic’s foremost poet of the twentieth century, named the country’s Poeta Nacional (National Poet, i.e., Poet Laureate) by the Dominican Congress in the 1980s. He continues to hold this high poetic status. “Demand of the Centuries” comes from his 1969 book of erotic love poetry Poemas de buen amor . . . y a veces de fantasía (Poems of Good Love . . . and Sometimes Fantasy). He believed the ultimate aim of love is not poetry but the procreation of human beings. Though not well known in the United States, he is in the same league of Latin American poets as his contemporary Pablo Neruda.
TREY MOODY was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. His first book, Thought That Nature (Sarabande Books, 2014), won the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry. His more recent poems have appeared in The Believer, Crazyhorse, and New England Review. He teaches at Creighton University and lives with his daughter in Omaha, Nebraska.
TAWANDA MULALU was born in Gaborone, Botswana, and is an inaugural member of the Brooklyn Poets Mentorship Program. He studied psychology and English at Harvard College, where he served as a Ledecky Fellow for Harvard Magazine and also as the first Diversity and Inclusion Chair of The Harvard Advocate. He has attended or received scholarships from the Community of Writers, the New York State Summer Writers Institute, and the Summer Program at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poems are published in HAD, Afternoon Visitor, Postscript, and elsewhere. He mains Ken.
ROBIN MYERS is a Mexico City–based poet and translator. Recent translations include books by Cristina Rivera Garza, Mónica Ramón Ríos, and Gloria Susana Esquivel; her translations of works by Leonardo Teja, Keila Vall de la Ville, Adalber Salas Hernández, and Daniel Lipara will be published in 2021. She writes a monthly column on translation for Palette Poetry.
LAURA NEWBERN is the author of Love and Eye and the recipient of a Writer’s Award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation. Her work has appeared in Barrow Street, The Threepenny Review, The Atlantic, and elsewhere; she teaches at Georgia College and edits the journal Arts & Letters. “Of the Mind” is from a new manuscript called A Night in the Country.
JOHN A. NIEVES's poems appear in journals such as Crazyhorse, Southern Review, Copper Nickel, North American Review, and Poet Lore. His first book, Curio, won the Elixir Press Annual Judges Prize. He’s an associate professor at Salisbury University and an editor of The Shore Poetry.
CAROLYN OLIVER lives in Massachusetts with her family. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Indiana Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cincinnati Review, Southern Indiana Review, 32 Poems, FIELD, and elsewhere. She is online at carolynoliver.net.
ELIZABETH ONUSKO is the author of Portrait of the Future with Trapdoor (Red Paint Hill, 2016). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Sun, Bennington Review, The Southeast Review, Poetry Northwest, and Washington Square Review, among others. She edits Foundry, and her website is elizabethonusko.com.
DION O'REILLY's first book, Ghost Dogs, was published in February 2020 by Terrapin Books. Her work appears in Cincinnati Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Narrative, Sugar House Review, New Letters, New Ohio Review, Rattle, The Sun, and other literary journals and anthologies. She facilitates ongoing poetry workshops (now on Zoom) in a farmhouse full of wild art and is a member of the Hive Poetry Collective, which produces radio shows, podcasts, and events in Santa Cruz. More at dionoreilly. wordpress.com.
ANNETTE OXINDINE’s poetry appears in the Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, New Orleans Review, Southern Indiana Review, and Willow Springs, among others, and is forthcoming in Colorado Review. She has also published scholarship on the work of Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Bowen. She lives in Ohio, where she is a professor at Wright State University.
SUPHIL LEE PARK is a bilingual writer who grew up in South Korea. She holds a BA in English from NYU and an MFA in poetry from the University of Texas at Austin. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Quarterly West, and The Missouri Review, among many others. Her fiction received an honorable mention in the 2020 Force Majeure Contest and is forthcoming in J Journal, Storm Cellar, and The Iowa Review.
REBECCA PELKY is the author of the poetry collection Horizon of the Dog Woman (Saint Julian Press, 2020). She is a bilingual poet writing in Mohegan and English and is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation of Wisconsin. Rebecca was a Gus T. Ridgel Fellow at the University of Missouri, where she received her PhD, and she teaches at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.
JJ PEÑA (he/they) is a queer, burritoblooded writer living and existing in El Paso, Texas. Their work is included in the Best Microfiction 2020 anthology and Wigleaf top 50 (2020). JJ’s stories have appeared in or are forthcoming from Washington Square Review, Fugue, Water-Stone Review, Five Points, and elsewhere.
CARL PHILLIPS teaches at Washington University in St. Louis. His next book of poems, Then the War, will appear in 2022 from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
BARBARA RAS is the author of four poetry collections, including Bite Every Sorrow, which won the Walt Whitman Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; One Hidden Stuff; and The Last Skin. The poems published here are from her most recent book, published in 2021, The Blues of Heaven. Ras is the editor of a collection of short fiction in translation, Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. She has taught poetry nationally and internationally with the International Writing Program. Ras is the founding director emerita of Trinity University Press.
SAGE RAVENWOOD is a deaf Cherokee woman residing in upstate New York with her two rescue dogs, Bjarki and Yazhi, and her one-eyed cat, Max. She is an outspoken advocate against animal cruelty and domestic violence. Her work can be found in Glass Poetry—Poets Resist, The Temz Review, Contrary, trampset, and The Familiar Wild: On Dogs and Poetry (Sundress Press anthology) and is forthcoming from Grain Magazine and Pittsburgh Poetry Journal.
VARUN RAVINDRAN was born in India and lives in Pittsburgh.
ERIN REDFERN’s work has recently appeared in Fire & Rain: Ecopoetry of California (Scarlet Tanager), New Ohio Review, and North American Review, where it was runner-up for the James Hearst Prize. Her chapbook is Spellbreaking and Other Life Skills (Blue Lyra Press). Hear her interview with Dion O’Reilly on The Hive Poetry Collective at erinredfern.net.
PATRICK ROSAL is an interdisciplinary artist and author. He has earned fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, and the Fulbright Senior Research Program. A professor of English and inaugural Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers-Camden, he is designer and coordinator of Quilting Water, an international documentary art project around race and ecology. He recently self-published the booklength essay in fragments and images, Atang, an altar for listening to the beginning of the world. His newest collection, The Last Thing: New and Selected Poems, will be published in Fall 2021.
KELLY ROWE received her MFA in English from the University of Iowa and has published poems in the Iowa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry Northwest, and North American Review. Her chapbook Flying South on the Back of a Dove was published by Texas Review Press in 2019. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she is a volunteer attorney representing undocumented women.
KELLY R. SAMUELS is a Best of the Net and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. She is the author of two chapbooks: Words Some of Us Rarely Use (Unsolicited) and Zeena/Zenobia Speaks (Finishing Line). Her poems have recently appeared in Cold Mountain Review, DMQ Review, RHINO, The Pinch, and Quiddity. She lives in the Upper Midwest.
DIANA SENECHAL is the 2011 winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities and author of Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture (2012) and Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies (2018). Her translations of Tomas Venclova’s poetry have appeared in Winter Dialogue (1997) and The Junction (2008); her translations of Hungarian literature have appeared in Literary Matters, The Satirist, and Massachusetts Review. She teaches English and civilization at Varga Katalin Secondary School in Szolnok, Hungary.
MAX SESSNER is a German poet whose eight books include Das Wasser von Gestern (The Water of Yesterday), Warum gerade heute (Why Especially Today), and Küchen und Züge (Kitchens and Trains). He lives with his wife in Augsburg, Germany, where he works at the public library.
KATHERINE SILVER’s most recent and forthcoming translations include works by Verónica Zondek, María Sonia Cristoff, César Aira, Juan Carlos Onetti, and Julio Ramón Ribeyro (Premio Valle Ínclan 2020). She is the former director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) and the author of Echo Under Story (What Books Press 2019). She does volunteer legal interpreting for asylum seekers.
ADAM TAVEL’s third poetry collection, Catafalque, won the Richard Wilbur Award (University of Evansville Press, 2018). He is also the author of The Fawn Abyss (Salmon Poetry, 2017) and Plash & Levitation (University of Alaska Press, 2015), winner of the Permafrost Book Prize. Find him online at adamtavel.com.
ALEXANDRA TEAGUE is the author of three books of poetry—Or What We’ll Call Desire (Persea 2019), The Wise and Foolish Builders, and Mortal Geography—and the novel The Principles Behind Flotation. She is also co-editor of Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence. She is a professor at the University of Idaho and an editor for Broadsided.
In 2021, LYNNE THOMPSON was appointed Poet Laureate for the City of Los Angeles. She is the author of Start With a Small Guitar and Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award. Her manuscript Fretwork won the Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize in 2018. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in New York Quarterly, New England Review, Pleiades, Black Warrior Review, and the 2020 Best American Poetry, among others. Thompson sits on the Boards of Cave Canem and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
MATTHEW TUCKNER is a writer from New York. He is currently an MFA candidate at NYU and assistant poetry editor of Washington Square Review. He was the recipient of a University Prize from the Academy of American Poets, selected by Rick Barot. His work appears or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, Sixth Finch, Poetry Northwest, Tupelo Quarterly, and New South, among others.
ERICK VERRAN studies creative writing at the University of Florida in Gainesville. His poetry last appeared in Little Star, Gargoyle Magazine, the New England Review of Books, and City of Notions: An Anthology of Contemporary Boston Poems.
EMILY VIZZO is the author of Giantess (YesYes Books). A National Geographic Educator and former artist in residence with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, she was a recent panelist at the Nobel Prize Teacher Summit in Stockholm, Sweden, and is translating from Italian. She served on the executive committee in Santa Barbara for the Surfrider Foundation to help protect the coastline and ocean for California’s Central Coast. Her science and creative writing workshops received a Coastal Fund grant through the University of California, Santa Barbara.
CHELSEA WAGENAAR is the author of two collections of poetry, most recently The Spinning Place, winner of the 2018 Michael Waters Prize. Her first collection, Mercy Spurs the Bone, was selected by Philip Levine to win the 2013 Philip Levine Prize. She holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of North Texas and teaches in Indiana. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review and Nimrod.
DANEEN WARDROP has authored four books of poetry: The Odds of Being, Cyclorama, Silk Road, and Life as It. She is a recipient of the Independent Publisher Book Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Poetry Society of America Robert H. Winner Award.
MIKE WHITE has published two poetry collections, How to Make a Bird with Two Hands (Word Works, 2012) and Addendum to a Miracle (Waywiser, 2017). His work can be found in magazines including Ploughshares, Poetry, The New Republic, The Threepenny Review, The Yale Review, and Kenyon Review Online. Originally from Canada, he lives in Salt Lake City and teaches at the University of Utah.
JAKE YOUNG is the author of the poetry collection American Oak (Main Street Rag, 2018), the poetry chapbook What They Will Say (Finishing Line Press, 2021), and the essay collection True Terroir (Brandenburg Press, 2019). He received his MFA from North Carolina State University and his PhD from the University of Missouri. Jake also serves as the poetry editor for the Chicago Quarterly Review.
ISABEL ZAPATA is a writer and editor from Mexico City. She is the author of the poetry collections Ventanas adentro (Ediciones Urdimbre, 2002), Las noches son así (Broken English, 2018), and Una ballena es un país (Almadía, 2019), as well as the bilingual essay collection Alberca vacía/Empty Pool (Argonáutica, 2019, trans. Robin Myers). Recent work has appeared in English translation in World Literature Today, Waxwing, The Common, The Offing, AzonaL, Rio Grande Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and Words Without Borders.
TAYLOR ZHANG is a teaching fellow at Columbia University, where she recently finished coursework for her MFA. She runs a small Risograph press (Choo Choo Press) that publishes literary zines and chapbooks with an emphasis on queerness, nostalgia, obsession, and states of liminality. Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, she lives and works in Brooklyn.
MARIA ZOCCOLA is a Southern writer with deep roots in the Mississippi Delta. She has writing degrees from Emory University and Falmouth University. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Spillway, Southern Indiana Review, Lunch Ticket, Gris-Gris, and elsewhere.