Earth Obituary

Born four and a half billion years ago from flecks of matter, particles of helium, the teeth of gravity, dust, light, ghosts, and ice, she married the sun, bore children from wind and plankton, tethered herself to the hearth with …

Heather Altfeld is a poet and essayist. Her first book of poetry, The Disappearing Theatre (Poets at Work, 2016), won the Poets at Work Prize. Her work appears in Conjunctions, Narrative Magazine, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, the Los Angeles Review, and other literary journals. She currently teaches in the honors program and for the comparative religion and humanities department at California State University–Chico.

[What fool denies the inner life of a whale? ]

Kevin Phan graduated from the Helen Zell Writing Program with an MFA in creative writing in 2013. He is the recipient of two Hopwood Awards from the University of Michigan: the Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize and the Theodore Roethke Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fence, Pleiades, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Poetry Northwest, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere.

The Rats

Jessica Terson’s poetry has appeared in New Orleans Review, River Styx, River Teeth Journal, Salamander, Southern Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago.

Somewhere in the Meadow Is Everything; Address to the Meadow in the Dusk; & Elegy Beginning with a Text from My Brother

Molly Spencer’s recent poetry and critical writings have appeared or are forthcoming in Blackbird, FIELD, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, and Tupelo Quarterly. Her debut poetry collection, If the House (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019), won the Brittingham Prize; a second collection, Relic and the Plum, won the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition and is forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press in fall 2020. Spencer is a poetry editor for The Rumpus and teaches at the University of Michigan.


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.

Flat Earth Dream Soliloquy

I like the innocent parts of Flat Earth, the bits about reinventing knowledge, but I hate the part that’s borders and brutalism. I get the desire for an edge because I also love the feminine tilt and the endless dip …

Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of seven books, including Cruel Futures (City Lights Publishers, 2018) and Milk and Filth (University of Arizona Press, 2013), the latter a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry; earlier collections earned an American Book Award and a Juniper Prize. She is also a publisher of Noemi Press, a codirector for CantoMundo, a professor of English at Virginia Tech, and a poetry editor at The Nation. Graywolf will publish her Be Recorder in 2019.

We Could See

Derek Sheffield’s poetry collection Through the Second Skin (Orchises Press, 2013) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. His work has also appeared recently in the Gettysburg Review, the Southern Review, and AGNI. He lives with his family on the east slopes of the Cascades and is the poetry editor of

Apocalypse with Crumbs

Kien Lam is a Kundiman Fellow, 2017 Best New Poet, and Indiana University MFA alumnus. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, The Nation, the Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles, where he writes about esports.

Sideways with Saint Peter

T. S. Dillon lives on a small cattle farm in North Alabama with his wife and two daughters. His work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Carolina Quarterly, and Nashville Review. He holds an MDiv from Vanderbilt University and an MFA from Spalding University in Louisville, KY.