Write in the persona of of an infamous literary couple, giving voice to multi-character voices. This couple can either be fictional (ie: Clarissa & Richard Dalloway, from Mrs. Dalloway) or real (F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald.) Reimagine their lives, and give complexity & originality to the love affair.
Be as creative as you can with the structure. Write multiple poems from the perspective of both characters, or write one poem with interwoven voices. Perhaps you’ll find writing through postcards, letters, or phone conversations effective!
The December issue can be found online here!
Jamez Chang’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in FRiGG, Prime Number, Lines + Stars, Boston Literary Magazine, Poydras Review, Marco Polo, and Yes, Poetry. After graduating from Bard College, Jamez went on to become the first Korean-American to release a hip-hop album, Z-Bonics (1998), in the United States. He lives in Englewood Cliffs, NJ with his wife and 3 daughters. Visit www.jamezchang.com
Alan Haider is an emerging writer who currently resides in South Florida, where he was born and raised. His work has appeared—or is forthcoming—in print publications such as Turbulence, The Main Street Rag, Star*Line, and Nazar-Look, and also in various zines online.
Minh Pham is currently working towards a M.F.A. in Creative Writing at University of California, Riverside. He was born in Saigon, Vietnam and became a Riverside, CA native at age eight. He began to gain interest in writing during his childhood when his father told him Vietnamese folktales and when his mother told him stories of how she survived through the Vietnam War.
Salvatore Rex is currently living in Long Island, New York. He is a musician and poet. His music can be found here: salvatorerex.bandcamp.com and his words can be read here: salvatorerex.tumblr.com
Four-time Pushcart Prize nominee and nominee for the Best of the Net Anthology, J.R. Solonche has been publishing poetry in magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. He is coauthor ofPeach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books) and author of the forthcoming collectionBeautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions).
Felino A. Soriano has authored 54 collections of poetry, including Quartet Dialogues (white sky ebooks, 2012) Of language|s| the rain speaks (quarter after press, 2012) and Of oscillating fathoms these nonverbal chants (Argotist Ebooks, 2012). He publishes the online endeavorsCounterexample Poetics and Differentia Press. His work finds foundation in philosophical studies and connection to various idioms of jazz music. He lives in California with his wife and family and is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. For further information, please visit www.felinoasoriano.info.
Joanna C. Valente was born in Manhattan, New York. She attends Sarah Lawrence College as a MFA candidate in poetry writing. In 2011, Joanna was the recipient of the Friends of Humanities/American Society of Poet’s Prize. She is also the founder and editor of the magazine, Yes, Poetry. Joanna is a graduate of SUNY Purchase College, where she received a BA in creative writing and a BA in literature. Her work has appeared in The 22 Magazine, La Fovea, The Medulla Review, Owen Wister Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Uphook Press, The Westchester Review, among others. In her spare time, she is a mermaid. More can be found at her website: http://joannavalente.com
Stephanie Valente lives in New York. One day, she would like to be a silent film star. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from dotdotdash, Nano Fiction, LIES/ISLE, and Uphook Press. She can be found at: http://kitschy.tumblr.com
me and Nina by Monica A. Hand, Alice James Books, 2012, $15.95 softcover, ( 8.2 x 5.8), 96 pp., ISBN 978-1882295906
This book isn’t patient. This book isn’t patient because it needs to tell you something. Part of that something appears on the flap of the imitation book jacket:
my name an omen
my name sin
my name a moan
The poem, titled “
Eunice Waymon,” appears later on in the book, but I see no reason to complain about its early appearance opposite the title page because me and Nina is about observation, seeing, and viewing. The poems range from a nudge to a yawp to a stare: whatever it takes to gain your attention. You just have to hear “Regret and Pride speak” or “The Spirituals speak”.
In the former poem, Monica writes “What would you do if your feet felt like weights/ pulling you to a floor you could not reach,” whereas the latter poem shares “With their many tongues, we were the one language/ they could each speak.” Monica’s poetry does not necessitate response, rather, the poems pose questions and share observations for whatever you may do with them.
While some poems nudge you so you notice them, others grab you by the collar:
“I don’t see much of Rufus after that. And when my mother asks what happed
to him I just shrug my shoulders or tell her I think he’s dead. Just like, I tell
the kids at school who ask where’s my daddy.”
When I finish Hand’s poem “Everything Must Change”, I read it again, not because it’s my duty as a reader. I read it because I want that punch to the gut. When a poem is good, I feel it in my body. It’s always a commotion in my pit, similar to the moment before falling over in a rollercoaster. This is a collection of commotion.
Jeffrey Peterson currently attends Sarah Lawrence College as a MFA candidate in poetry writing. He co-directs the Sarah Lawrence College Poetry Festival and teaches writing.