National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.
This week we introduce Gemelle John, 2018 Emerging Artist Fellow in Literature: Poetry
I write often about the ways we manifest our grief. I think we’re in a particularly taxing time where we have to learn to feel these constant agitations, personal or perspective-based, but we also need to disconnect from it or we won’t survive. It’s a constant balance of feeling empathy and allowing it for ourselves.
A love, knowingly flesh toned
sours the way your lips
You swallow like
consumption has ever made
made you less afraid
of losing everything
color photographs in
with hollow songs
laugh a memory over a sob
a shiver is your sigh
you wait for it to lay cracked and
your knuckles soft and smelling of heat
your other friend eats
salad for three days straight
maybe you’ll tell her how nothing
she changes is that seismic
how fear isn’t that contemplative
how dying is
never as tense
as the resting palms
that another word for
this cycle is lust and
that lust has never
coated a bone
enough to make a lung
See former Poet Laureate, JoAnn Balingit’s full length column on Gemelle John here.
This week we introduce David P. Kozinski, 2018 Established Artist Fellow in Literature: Poetry
Each poem makes its own rules. The poet’s job is to find it, shape it so it moves on sturdy legs and speaks with confidence, and then send it out into the world. Someone said, “The poem is the arm, the poet the sleeve from which the arm emerges,” or some such. It doesn’t always work that way, but that’s pretty good.
This is about the kindness
of a dog and how a human should be,
a little about cruelty,
but mostly about scale – how vast
it all appears; the indifference
of the bluest fields
and the nearest, newest moon.
Friends, when I say this is about
I mean history; the day and night, sleep
and travel, tenderness and the grinder.
In another hour the sands might still,
the glass stopper itself; hands
gesture to nothing
but nothing unstopped stays the same.
The silo empties as regularly
as a lab rat’s feeder.
Whatever first lifts us up
from then on pulls down – the perpetual
drizzle, the unsolvable
argument of a trench seen from space
and the chasm so deep under water
where every story runs in its own time.
Meet David P. Kozinski and Shannon Connor Winward, 2018 Emerging Artist Fellow, Fiction at their upcoming reading at the 2nd Saturday Poets series in July!
This week we introduce Sophia Zhao, 2018 Scholastic Writing Awards Gold Medalist, Poetry.
Poetry is a register of my thoughts, liberated. It allows me to share stories through unconventional, sometimes paradoxical language where death can be more meaningful than life and gardens outlive their growers. It is where I can celebrate my culture or critique my history, pushing me to speak and study with hard consideration and empathy. It is a deep foxhole blurred at my corners of reality and fantasy, memoir and fiction– where the real is unreal, driving me to depict not the truth, but a perspective.
of mandarin oranges and
mandarin ducks on the
baba tells it, larks flew there
as if searching
for paradise. their
velvet leaves–robes on branches–
for royal reality,
bona fide oak and maple and
roots, just tart sugar. with
fingertips in barkholes,
fervor crushing copper rush–
roaring pulp an
unripe boys and girls
tanned, left in
he tells me to imagine
my fingernails stained.
as acrylic as his country’s
at the cusp of integrity a deaf goddess asks:
what do you make of it?
naked boars amongst wild boys,
and girls who clutch gala–
trailing with fake momentum under eternal
gravity, to sideways freefall. there
is a dead beagle on the highway’s edge,
sunken into calcium and
hoping that vultures are prey.
mangled. collapsed into slippery
sleep and factory smoke.
listening to truth– the consummation
of invisible petroleum and flying
cicadas. if we believed in the healer,
dead hearts powering dried blood,
barbed wire would be laced with camellias,
countryside twine to encapsulate
noble dogwood. young people should go
beetle-hunting ghostly, so as to skip
celestial sundays. for those cold
peals of his windchime: unsettled
against stagnant wind, an
overwhelming flood purging the
palace’s fake divinity.
To celebrate locally, we’ll feature one “Poem of the Week” each Monday written or recited by a local Delaware poet. We’ll reveal the week’s poet on Facebook, so check back here mid-morning for the artist’s statement and full length poem.
Check out DelawareScene.com for additional literary and poetry events now, soon, and near you.