Join me on Sunday, Aug. 27 for the ENDS OF THE EARTH Book launch reading, with Kate Partridge and Muriel Leung. The Pop-Hop Bookstore in Los Angeles, California. The reading will run from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. , and I'll be sharing poems from my chapbook GIANTESS, forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2018!
MARY puts out a gorgeous literary journal, and I was so pleased to have two of my poems appear. They're both from a project which used lines from David McCullough's history of the construction of the Panama Canal, called The Path Between the Seas.
These two poems, "The City of St. Pierre, the 'Little Paris,' was showered with volcanic dust and the sea for miles was littered with dead birds" and "Seen under the microscope, stegomyia is a creature of striking beauty", are from my unpublished collection, The California Poems. In 2016, Dean Young selected my manuscript as a semi-finalist for the Sarabande Books Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry.
Read the wonderful Editor's Reflection prefacing this issue –
Editor's Reflection: A Rendering
Here is a man’s chest inked with water and charcoal tapped into the skin with thorns. Here, look: a small frieze of X’s, another of arrowheads near the meeting of his ribs. And there: tessellations become snakes’ scales, then a wreath of shadows; there, archivolts running from the nipples up and around the armpits mark the fringe of biceps.
See how the muscles of his neck flex, raise the chin forward, bearing, it seems, the weight of a breastplate decorated with medals and amulets.
This is the image of a self drawn by hand upon a body sun-struck and proud—one portrait from Richard Atrero de Guzman's small folio from Buscalan, deep in the Philippine Cordilleras.
Staring again at his work, I think to Maria Fang-od, her hands and all the lives she has been asked to translate to pattern, the valor and beauty she has memorialized in fractals and arabesques, all the drops of strangers' blood she has quietly wiped away. And see: there she is—fourth portrait in—the last remaining mambabatok tattoo artist facing us, beatific, a calamansi branch held between her fingers.
As with Emily Vizzo’s and Victoria Kennefick’s poems and the extraordinary interview with Kaitlin Rees and Nhã Thuyên at the heart of 4.3, de Guzman’s photographs of the Butbut tribe invite us into “grief’s / Dozen surnames," into the gaps and asymmetries of memory and language and love. These are transfigurations of intimacy and consequence, wild, pulsing reminders. They render visible the holiness of who we are, how we survive each other and our many “enigmatic, wondrous, feral, budding” selves.
We are giddy, thankful, and full of joy to be announcing the results of our 2017 Vinyl 45 Contest! The submission pool was the largest and strongest we've ever had. 440 submissions in all. We are grateful for the confidence in Vinyl and YesYes Books that this number demonstrates. Congratulations and thanks to our winner and finalists who have been offered publication with YYB, to our semifinalists who brought forward powerful and engaging books, and thank you for the immense strength and art found in the remaining submissions. You are incredible!
One Above One Below, Positions & Lamentations by Gala Mukomolova
Exit Pastoral by Aidan Forster
Giantess by Emily Vizzo
Recuerdo by Alfredo Aguilar
Unmonstrous by John Allen Taylor
Bullets & Other Misplaced Affections by Zachary Kluckman
Godsend by Caleb Kaiser
Hazard Prayer by Grey Vild
Horcrux Btwn Ur Thighs by Jae Nichelle
no new war by Jim Whiteside
Phases of Bone by Anna Davidson
Until It Bleeds by Nikki Zielinski