Where to Put It

The room in which I start sobbing again and wonder

if my sobs will hurt the baby inside me, and the room

in which I hope so, a room made entirely of a window.

                                    The room of my husband’s goodnight,

Taije Silverman’s recent poems have been in the 2016 and 2017 editions of Best American Poetry, the 2017 Pushcart Prize anthology, Ploughshares, the Sewanee Review, and the Southern Review. Her first book, Houses Are Fields (2009), was published by Louisiana State University Press, and her translations of the Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli will be out from Princeton University Press in 2019.

Jacquard

Michael Waters’s recent and forthcoming books include The Dean of Discipline (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), Celestial Joyride (BOA Editions, 2016), and a coedited anthology, Reel Verse: Poems about the Movies (Knopf, 2019). A 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, Waters teaches at Monmouth University and for the Drew University MFA program. He is also the recipient of five Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the NEA, the Fulbright Foundation, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Altar

Lola Haskins’s latest collection of poems, her fifteenth, is Asylum: Improvisations on John Clare (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019).

Letter to Inmate #271847, Convicted of Murder, 1985

Natasha Trethewey served two terms as Poet Laureate of the United States (2012–2014). She is the author of four collections of poetry: Thrall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), Native Guard (2006)—for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize—Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002), and Domestic Work (2000). Her book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, appeared in 2010 from the University of Georgia Press. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Trethewey is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University.

Never a Borrower

Sharon Olds is the author of eleven volumes of poetry, most recently Stag’s Leap (Knopf, 2012), which was awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her next collection, Odes, is due out shortly, also from Knopf. Named New York State Poet Laureate from 1998–2000, Olds teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and is one of the founders of NYU’s writing workshops for residents of Goldwater Hospital and for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, she was awarded the Donald Hall–Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry in 2014, and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2015.

Elbow Room

Boone’s genius was to recognize the difficulty as neither material nor political but one purely moral and aesthetic.

—William Carlos Williams,
“The Discovery of Kentucky”

Narrator is unmanageable. Demonstrates a disregard for form bordering on the paranoid. Questioned closely, he

James Alan McPherson (1943–2016), a native of Savannah, Georgia, was recently selected for induction into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. He won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with his second short-story collection, Elbow Room, and in 1981 he was in the inaugural group of MacArthur Fellowship recipients. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences added McPherson to its membership in 1995, and in 2000 his “Gold Coast” was included by editor John Updike in Houghton Mifflin’s Best Short Stories of the Century. McPherson was educated at Morgan State University, Morris Brown College, and Harvard Law School—after which he decided to get an MFA in creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (1971). Elbow Room was preceded by the fiction collection Hue and Cry (1969) and followed by two nonfiction works, Crabcakes: A Memoir (1998) and A Region Not Home: Reflections on Exile (2000). Beginning in 1969, McPherson taught briefly at the University of California–Santa Cruz, Harvard, Morgan State, and the University of Virginia; he returned to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop as a faculty member in 1981, and he was associated with that program for the rest of his life.

Borning

Jenny Irish’s story collection, Common Ancestor, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2017. Her work has appeared in Barrow Street, Catapult, Colorado Review, Epoch, and Ninth Letter. She lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she serves as the Assistant Director of the Creative Program at Arizona State University.

Large Black Landscape

It is black. Black and rearing up; rounded points, pointy points. Black and matted together; plates and plains, lines and radiant circles. Black on black. Black on black on black.

____

Is this a mountain? Mountains? Is this the ocean—all …

Sarah Blackman’s debut novel Hex was released by FC2 in the spring of 2016, and her story collection Mother Box (2013) was the winner of FC2’s 2012 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Award. Most recently her prose has appeared in Conjunctions, Alaska Quarterly Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Collagist. Co-fiction editor at DIAGRAM and founding editor of Crashtest, an online magazine for high school age writers, Blackman is the director of creative writing at the Fine Arts Center, a public arts magnet school in Greenville, South Carolina, where she lives with the poet John Pursley III and their two daughters.

Ali, Wendy

Zach VandeZande is the author of the forthcoming story collection Lesser American Boys (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2016) and the novel Apathy and Paying Rent (2008). His fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including Ninth Letter, Gettysburg Review, Yemassee, Smokelong Quarterly, Cutbank, Slice Magazine, Atlas Review, and elsewhere. He is an assistant professor at Central Washington University.