Neil Shepard’s How It Is: Selected Poems gathers the greatest hits from six full-length collections by a poet who is both planted and peripatetic. Founder and helmsman for some 25 years of this journal, Shepard has long maintained one base in the landscape of the Green Mountain State’s Northeast Kingdom and one in the urbanscape of New York City.
DAVID ALLEN SULLIVAN teaches English and Film at Cabrillo Community College in Santa Cruz, California, where he edits the Porter Gulch Literary with his students, and serves on the Veterans Task Force Committee. Two poems from his ﬁrst book, Strong-Armed Angels, were read on The Writer’s Almanac by Garrison Keillor. Another two recent poems were selected by Alberto Rios and recorded as part of the permanent public art and poetry project Passage, in Phoenix, Arizona. His second book is from Tebot Bach, and is in multiple voices dealing with the Iraq war. Every Seed of the Pomegranate was a finalist for the May Swenson and Sarabande book prizes. He lives with the historian Cherie Barkey and their children, Jules and Amina Barivan.
Amy Newman’s latest collection, Dear Editor (Persea Books, 2011), is as funny as it is poignant. Told in three ‘seasons’ of prose poems, almost every poem begins “Dear Editor: Please consider the enclosed poems for publication.”
The current issue of Green Mountains Review (Winter 2012) features the below poem by Sarah Messer. “Poisoned Mouse” accomplishes so much with so little that we thought we’d ask Sarah to talk about how it came about. –The Editors
They stood pressed together in an alley between crummy apartment buildings, the sky sick with rosy city-darkness. It was late and damp and they were parting, her staying, him going. Happy others, their age, smoked cigarettes and pot on back staircases and porches, laughing and leering, clinking bottles, their voices stumbling from on high into echoes.
The poetry reader and writer in me now wants to ensconce Ship of Fool in some august and impressive literary tradition, but Fool reminds me most of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series of comics (read “graphic novels”) from the early ‘90s. Like Gaiman’s pantheon of “The Endless” with Morpheus (or Dream) at its epicenter, Fool’s universe is likewise peopled with archetypes of nefarious or innocuous intent to confront, avoid, and sometimes spill coffee (or an accidental ice age) on. Which is to say, Fool is anything but a bore.
Mother casually mentioned that prior to her becoming a teenager, Lonnie had participated in a “well-known” race riot while in the employ of MoPac. Later on, she editorialized about it now and then . . . . Whenever she mentioned the race riot, Mother frequently referred to Lonnie, in a matter-of-fact tone, as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
JENNIFER MILITELLO is the author of Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013) and Flinch of Song, winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The North American Review, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and Best New Poets 2008.
In my quest to sight an existential piece of Lonnie among the ruins of the Elaine Race Massacre, I had, after all, concluded history can be doubtless and too much and too little abided in the fields and fury of Phillips County for Lonnie and me to inhabit any amicable turf there–too much intervening and unsympathetic time, too much dismay as I turned the leaves of record, which bore too much descent and strife and turpitude, too little comity, too little heart.