FEATURE

Review: BLUETS by Maggie Nelson

I was late to reading Maggie Nelson’s Bluets. There is much that can be said about this book, and so much has already been said, that I am only going to concern myself with p90 on which Nelson states, “Recently, I found out that “les bluets” can translate as ‘cornflowers’

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From the Archives: The Feels by Megan Milks

“I should say first of all that I would dial the numbers just to listen to your breath. The only emotions I propose expressly to consider are I would stand inside my hell and hold the hand of death. That there are feelings of pleasure and displeasure, of interest and excitement, bound up with how far I’d go to ease this precious ache, would, I suppose, be held true by most readers. “

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2017 Poetry Contest Runner-up: Noah Baldino

The beauty of this poem is how it resists the urge to pull punches, placing its readers in a position beyond that of witness: if this is what I must endure, you must help me endure it. Help me gather the teeth, confettied against the glinting pipes. Help me see the dead flies / mottled / a swarm of distant, dark balloons. Do not be mistaken – this is no sad resignation but, instead, the blood-holy howl of a body refusing to be shaped by its enemies.

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An Interview with Sarah María Medina – 2017 BWR Poetry Contest Winner

I use white space to play with the rhythm and beat of an open rather than set structure. There’s another song I love which switches from Rumba to Bembé and I like thinking about what that would look like on the page. I like to use Spanish to subvert English, to reclaim tongue, but Spanish is also a colonizer language, so I like to find Taíno and Yorùbá words too.

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2017 Fiction Contest Runner-up: TABOO by Ruth Mukwana

“Taboo” immediately gives us a connection to the narrator: visceral and particular descriptions of a boy in a refugee camp. The story—the characters in their situation—never wavers in its assurance. The writer very economically sets up a series of very human conflicts—of age, culture, gender, privilege—without resorting to easy cliché. They leave the reader to ache with ten year-old Timothy and, alongside him, wonder what will happen.

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