Joanna C. Valente
Luiza Flynn Goodlett
BIOS + EXCERPTS
A. Prevett (they/them) is a human from Atlanta. Their work has been featured in or is forthcoming from Sixth Finch, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, and others. Currently, they are pursuing an MFA in poetry from Georgia State University, where they serve as editor-in-chief of New South.
From Still, No Grace
That’s how it felt.
I could have counted every blood cell in my body.
It’s pageantry—this being. Reticent
but thrumming. A ball-gown in full flare,
a perfect spinning O. No. A frog’s first breath
after giving up its tail, a bird the moment it decides to take
off. Purposeful. The first time—It was like that.
It was not like that.
Chelsea Dingman’s first book, Thaw, was chosen by Allison Joseph to win the National Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press, 2017). Her second poetry collection, Through a Small Ghost, won The Georgia Poetry Prize (University of Georgia Press, 2020). She is also the author of the chapbook, What Bodies Have I Moved (Madhouse Press, 2018). Visit her website: chelseadingman.com.
From What Bodies Have I Moved by
Crows in Market Square
On the eastern side, snow breaks
& I’m another empty mouth in a blur
of empty mouths. Crows like peasants
collapse on the street near Black House. I envy
its refusal to assimilate. How sandstone
changes coats & owns the dark like night
skies. Into a collar, I tuck my chin, afraid
to look. Afraid that I won’t be able to
keep walking. Blackbirds at my feet
hunt water, a smidgen of blood
to cure winter’s thirst, wings
fraying. I can almost see
bone, what could be fingers. Arms
clasped tightly around my torso, do my ribs
show? Can I hide on this crowded street?
Like a dream, will I wake in a bed,
black feathers everywhere, holes
where they left my skin bare?
Emily Pérez is the author House of Sugar, House of Stone, and the chapbook Backyard Migration Route. A CantoMundo fellow, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Copper Nickel, Fairy Tale Review, Poetry, Diode, and Glass. She teaches English and Gender Studies in Denver where she lives with her husband and sons.
from Made and Unmade
Because a woman’s word
can never be proof
Because I had no wounds on my skin
when I stumbled home
Because my father slept sound
on a pillowcase filled
with dowry gold
and I would not wake him
from this particular dream
Because you’ve heard this before, where boys will be
beasts and girls will be
cloth, torn to ribbons
tied tightly in knots or in bows
J. David is a Ukrainian-American writer living in Cleveland, Ohio, where they are an MFA candidate in poetry at Cleveland State University. They are the editor-in-chief of Flypaper Lit and serve as chief poetry critic for the Cleveland Review of Books. Their debut chapbook, Hibernation Highway, was released from Madhouse Press in 2020. A Baldwin House Fellow and member of The Sad Kid's Superhero Collective, their work has appeared in Salt Hill, Muzzle, Passages North, The Journal, and elsewhere.
from Hibernation Highway
Tonight, I train-hop into the oily smock
of night. Tonight, I promise we drown
ourselves in collateral damage. I realize
we never rode past Erie, so tonight
I’m finding the point
where all things meet.
the longest. You can only buy sanity
for so long, yet in the way that death
is not responsible for sadness
I think, neither are we.
I looked up.
And past the shoreline
into the distance and whatever comes next
I could see for miles.
JK Anowe, Igbo-born poet, is the author of the poetry chapbooks Sky Raining Fists (Madhouse Press, 2019) and The Ikemefuna Tributaries: a parable for paranoia (Praxis Magazine Online, 2016). He’s an MFA Candidate in Poetry at Purdue University.
From Sky Raining Fists
say body instead say fracture the foremost etymology of sorrow bent backwards
say self-forgiveness then watch the hole between us refill into an animal
shallower than hunger spent inside-out once i mistook myself―hard & half-formed in
my hand i swear it restructured the world & gave it a god
say stay instead say prey like you’re on your knees say bullet & i’d take one for you
if only i get to pull the trigger whoever said death was our final
destination never for once saw us crawl like worms―torso & all―through a diagonal
door out of god how often we return depends on how willing we are to run off
afterwards so say death say birth instead say of these which best
describes exile a body is not a home
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams, The Gods Are Dead, Marys of the Sea, Sexting Ghosts, Xenos, No(body), #Survivor (The Operating System, 2020), and Killer Bob: A Love Story (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021). They are the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault and the illustrator of Dead Tongue (Yes Poetry, 2020). They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and Joanna is the founder of Yes Poetry and the senior managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine.
You tell yourself a lot of lies. You do this
so you can wake up in the morning and put on
your lipstick and high heels and pray
to something up in the sky although you don’t
trust the sky anymore and really, the only
thing you trust is a man named Fox
but even he disappoints you sometimes.
Joshua Young (he/him) is a writer, designer, and multimedia artist living in Western Washington. He is the author of seven books, most recently, a novella, Little Galaxies (Los Galesburg, 2020). Find him online at joshuabrianyoung.com
from Weekends of Sound: A 764-Hero Mixtape
When the fountain quit, you smoked too much
& claimed I-5 was a small pin-hole just outside
the window on the drive home.
I wanted to get you naked, but you wanted to climb
onto roofs & watch Seattle flicker, you wanted
to count the places boys could hide bodies, you
wanted to tell me about skeletons
& all the drugs you hadn’t done yet.
The bridge looked closer from the water.
I could smell cedar & Windex, but you kept saying,
I smell popcorn. By the stack of tires,
moths blanketed a body, & you helped me dig.
We saw no coyotes,
just dead wasps & bicycle handles.
History made this happen.
It was not a hoax for treasure hunters.
We slouched in the room, reptilic,
the guilt helping us find a map—
Luiza Flynn-Goodlett is the author of the forthcoming collection Look Alive—a finalist for numerous prizes, including The National Poetry Series, and winner of the 2019 Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University Press—along with six chapbooks, most recently Shadow Box, winner of the 2019 Madhouse Press Editor's Prize, and Tender Age, winner of the 2019 Headmistress Press Charlotte Mew Prize. Her poetry can be found in TriQuarterly, Third Coast, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief of Foglifter in sunny Oakland, California.
from Shadow Box | excerpt coming soon