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“Speak Miracle & Rage”: On Knock and an Interview with Melissa Atkinson Mercer

“Speak Miracle & Rage”: On Knock and an Interview with Melissa Atkinson Mercer

Editor-In-Chief Kanika Lawton spoke with Melissa Atkinson Mercer recently about her newest poetry collection, Knock (Half Mystic Press, 2018), the use of visceral, disturbing imagery, tongues as agency and voice, and who is allowed such agency and autonomy. 

Kanika also reviewed Knock, a breathless, uncomfortable, and important collection of poems on depression, womanhood, voices, and darkness, churning and pulsing with both pain and angry, unflinching hope.

On Female Pain, Sympathy, and Taking Up Space in Girl, World

On Female Pain, Sympathy, and Taking Up Space in Girl, World

I first became aware of Alex Poppe’s searingly honest, painful, and yet, wryly humorous voice when I was reading fiction submissions for our fifth issue, Sanctum. “Refugees Got Talent,” a short story that follows Trahzia, a teenage girl residing in the Arbat Refugee Camp, tells of her hopes of a better life, of travelling through Europe like her father promised, while the boy she loves (who never loved her back) takes her virginity from behind a marketplace. Poppe’s prose is beautifully descriptive and harsh, expertly recoiling a refugee girl’s longings for love and happiness, as well as physical and emotional regret and pain. It was uncomfortable to read, and though “Refugees Got Talent” is a relatively short story, it stuck with me for many weeks after.

Autumn and the Cycle of Time

Autumn and the Cycle of Time

Dubbed "the first great Brexit novel", Ali Smith’s Autumn is a stunning piece of literature which captures the current feelings of the UK perfectly. 

Survival and Anxious Mortality in The Tornado Is the World

Survival and Anxious Mortality in The Tornado Is the World

With powerful insights, emotional impact, and technical mastery, Pierce expresses the voice of disasters and survivors. At the same time, she reminds readers of the new beginnings awaiting us in the midst of destruction: “when a red sun rises out of a place / you never thought could house a sun.”

The Loss and Reclamation of the Body in Survive Like the Water

The Loss and Reclamation of the Body in Survive Like the Water

To call Lydia Havens’ first collection of poetry, Survive Like the Water, a tour de force is to acknowledge the driving vehicles behind its sea-soaked words: the body and how water, as both destroyer and caregiver, can drown us, revive us, and render us clean.

The Soft Rebellion of Sapphic Love in Heaven Or This

The Soft Rebellion of Sapphic Love in Heaven Or This

My introduction to the powerfully-tender and lovingly-fierce words of Topaz Winters’ poetic oeuvre came about by stumbling upon her self-published chapbook Heaven Or This, which created quite a stir on my Tumblr dashboard. And for very good reason.

"The Act of Living as a Worshipful Experience" and Today Means Amen

"The Act of Living as a Worshipful Experience" and Today Means Amen

If you crave the feeling of intimacy through poetry, you will love the newest publication from Button Poetry co-founder and two-time National Poetry Slam champion Sierra DeMulder. Her fourth book, Today Means Amen, derives its title from the spoken word poem that has received over a hundred thousand views on Button Poetry’s YouTube channel. Each poem invites us into DeMulder’s life in the way one converses with a confidant.

Float and the Transgressive Delight of Anne Carson

Float and the Transgressive Delight of Anne Carson

Ever receive a gift so beautiful, so touchingly simple and lovely, that you wind up feeling both a little embarrassed and breathless? This is the feeling you will experience when you get your hands on Anne Carson’s latest book of poetry, Float.