From the North to the Stars: A Playlist

There are a lot of things associated with the north; the radiant Northern lights, Freyr, the Norse God of fertility and peace that travels through seas with his golden-bristled boar, dead warriors called Einherjar who are brought by Valkyries to Valhalla, and the nine realms unified by the world tree Yggdrasil. A lot of beautiful things come from the north, including various, remarkable music scenes. This mixtape features music writer Ralka Skjerseth’s selection of some of the finest tunes from the Nordics, sincerely brought to you from the north to the stars.

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An Interview with Amy Lauren

L'Éphémère Review interviewer Olivia Hu speaks to Amy Lauren on her chapbook Prodigal, published with Bottlecap Press. A Mississippi poet and semi-finalist in the Charlotte Mew Chapbook Contest, Amy Lauren is the author of Prodigal (Bottlecap Press, 2017) and God With Us (Headmistress Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in Believe Out Loud, Sinister Wisdom, and Cordite Poetry Review, and she has received nominations for the Best of the Net anthology and Pushcart Prize.

Their talk revolved around the way poetry allows the reclaiming and healing of one's identity, when culture and setting will not.

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Art in Purgatory: The Muses

“ut pictura poesis, “as is painting so is poetry.” —Horace

In the umbilical connection that is the poet and the artist, I wonder if each would agree, that one is as essential as the other. We can romanticize this connection by a million threads, and still end up naked. There are endless examples of such relationships in history. With love and passion at its core, it is a magick that can seldom be ignored. 

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Announcing the Overture to Memory Longlist

Over the past few months, we have been overwhelmed with the sheer volume of submissions we have received for our Inaugural Writing Awards, Overture to Memory, especially from teen writers and those who are new and emerging writers. The level of skill and raw talent that permeates the dozens upon dozens of poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction pieces we have read and discussed cannot go unsaid. We are pleased that so many people have called upon themselves to explore what it means to remember. The impact of memory on reality, on our perception of self, on the existence of a shared or singular "truth," and how we navigate life and our place within the world are carefully and exquisitely explored in these wonderfully stark, poignant, and compelling pieces.

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Figuring Ladybug Spots into the Grand Scheme of Life

The other day, while volunteering at my local library, I was gifted with a tiny, magnetic ladybug page-clip. Its cuteness complimented the free book I was also given earlier that day—the storybook rendition of The Yellow Submarine by the Beatles. Pretty cool, no? Groovy artwork with an emphasis on eternal youth. When I returned to my car at the end of my shift, I started to think of a bunch of things that, oddly, compliment one another. Like grilled cheese sandwiches with habanero strawberry jam (thank you, Massachusetts), or myself and clothes shopping. Why not any combination? Why not analyze what’s at hand—or what might be—in any moment?

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“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.

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The Face of Mental Illness in the Philippines

November 20th, 2017 wasn’t just a day of victory; it was a promise slowly materializing: no Filipino shall ever have to suffer in silence.

This is an ambitious idea—advocacy has always been a limbless vessel of ambition and opportunity—but there are champions willing to serve as legs to forward and arms to spread the cause. The mental health community, after all, is about helping each other understand the need to find strength from within.

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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.

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