Three Poems/What I’ve Been Up To

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Y’all, the photo I picked for my Writers’ Corner page looks like I’ve just returned from a lunch after which I couldn’t eat an entire dessert myself but also couldn’t find someone to split it with me, which is actually what had just happened, so I’m posting this photograph of Gertrude Stein and I as a replacement.

I’ve got a crop of three new poems up in the latest issue of Nice Cage. I’m excited about them for a lot of reasons (they’re in the good company of great work I greatly admire, including this poem by Christian Anton Gerard), but the foremost reason is that they represent what I’ve been moving towards in my work since I received an NEA Fellowship. In my artist’s statement, which you can read here (please also stop and read the incredible work by my fellow Fellows — I’m still not sure how I’m in this group but God almighty am I grateful to be), I mentioned my plans to write about St. Teresa of Avila, which I did, for a little while. But then these other poems started to crop up, and suddenly my throat was full of the cadences of the Deep South, where I was born and raised and have returned. Before I knew it, I found myself far down the path of writing about that, about the ways the South has formed and destroyed me, about the beauty and the brutality of the place I have called (and refused to call) home. These three poems are part of that project, along with this poem in The Breakwater Review: an exorcism of sorts that started the project. Stay tuned for more!

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