The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Foxlogic, Fireweed by Jennifer K. Sweeney


For the brown widow who laid her eggs
under my son’s bicycle seat

You are searching the domed
curves of shelter, a haunt
of darkness to forge

a pair of eggs larger
than your body.
Anchor and parachute,

wisp and captor,
you cast your nets
cast and cast all directions

then time unspools before you.
Under lip of flowerpot
a lawnchair’s crook

against the weighted clanger
of the chime,
I’ve never spotted your starry

orbs without your fiddleback
your hollow mouthparts
perched in the filigree.

How I’ve dug the stick in
crushed the papery shells into dirt
then pulled you through the wreck.

My apology is thin. I don’t know
where to let you live.
He practiced in the driveway.

It only took a few yards
before he found the midpoint,
that precarious balance of belief

in the center of everything.
One foot pushes off
and the other pumps back,

divine symmetry.
I took him out to the track
where once he circled, he lit,

purposeful. Windmaker,
looping the afternoon to dusk,
how could the sky not

have been an anthem?
He wheeled;
you held. The eggs

spackled in their basket
feeling what of this world.
Laying the bike on its side

we saw your sticky lair,
he had reached under
earlier as he propped himself on.

Had we not dismantled
you would have continued
through the mornings,

the late afternoons,
as he learned how to take a hill
a fall, you would have stayed

until the breaking open
your divine
teal-metal entrance.

A wind here can take
down a litter of palm branches,
overturn the bottle-

heavy garbage cans
but you, feathery mass
of intricate making

remain on such silks
beneath the highway-bound car
the victor of a boy’s

lengthening body
coming into its power.
We head indoors and I am sure

you are more with us
than we see
nestled in the stashed corners

of our lives, mending.
Under the arch
of a thirty-year roof

built by whose hands,
we survive beyond
our knowing

all the wild and immersive
gestures of the earth
too large for us to perceive.


This selection comes from Foxlogic, Fireweed, available from The Backwaters Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Jennifer K. Sweeney is the author of three other poetry collections, including Little Spells, How to Live on Bread and Music, and Salt Memory. The recipient of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Pushcart Prize, she teaches at the University of Redlands in California. Twitter: @jksweeneypoet

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Foxlogic, Fireweed by Jennifer K. Sweeney


Foxlogic, Fireweed

When I say it breathed inside the house 

I mean I felt the air swell around me. 

I was upstairs; it was behind me. 

I was downstairs; it was roiling across

the room. From all angles, I was turned. 

When I say it breathed

I mean also that it shrieked, the sound 

so dislocating and new, it was heat 

and certainty like steam shearing up 

out of the earth, like lightning 

branding snow. 

My feet were strange to me. 

My hands careless and flimsy. 

It was behind me, at my neck 

as if I could reach out and tremble 

its vapors. I was circling, 

my arms lifted when I saw 

the tribe of foxes 

press at the back door 

searing their cries upward into the house. 

We locked in awe, wild eyes 

until the darkness stole us 

back to our separate worlds.

This selection comes from Foxlogic, Fireweed, available from The Backwaters Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Jennifer K. Sweeney is the author of three other poetry collections, including Little Spells, How to Live on Bread and Music, and Salt Memory. The recipient of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Pushcart Prize, she teaches at the University of Redlands in California. Twitter: @jksweeneypoet

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

Lyric Essentials: GennaRose Nethercott Reads Miriam Bird Greenberg

Welcome back to Lyric Essentials! Today we chatted with writer GennaRose Nethercott about the work of the poet Miriam Bird Greenberg, turning to folklore and mythology in times of hardship, and the rich, luscious details that go into language. As always, thank you for tuning in!


Ashley Hajimirsadeghi: We all have an origin story for when we began to obsess over certain poets. How did you discover Miriam Greenberg’s work? 

GennaRose Nethercott: In 2015, I did a residency with fellow poet Ben Clark out in the Nebraskan flatlands, at a magical place called Art Farm. It was in this town called Marquette—the only things for miles around were a bar called the Don’t Care Bar and this residency. The locals thought we were a cult, I think. Anyway, Ben and I were working on an epistolary series called Dear Fox, Dear Barn—and we’d turned this little Japanese tea house some other artist had built in the middle of a cornfield into our studio. 

One night, a tornado warning turned the sky dark and low. We hunkered in the teahouse waiting for it to pass. Ben was a big fan of Miriam’s work—and he’d brought her chapbook All Night in the New Country with him from home. I’d never read her, and he insisted I had to. We weathered the storm while handing the book back and forth, reading poems aloud by candlelight. Then Ben taught me to read fortunes using a poker deck with ‘50s nude pinups on the card faces. We slept under a tablecloth. Survived the night. Hard not to love Greenberg after an introduction like that.

GennaRose Nethercott Reads “I Passed Three Girls Killing a Goat” by Miriam Bird Greenberg

AH:  “I Passed Three Girls Killing a Goat” it’s like this capsule of a tragic and grotesque moment, of a goat’s death. As an American reading this poem right now, it almost made me think of it as symbolic for what’s going in the United States. During times like these, as a writer, have you found yourself returning to certain poems and reconnecting them to the chaotic world we’ve been living in? 

GN: Poems like Greenberg’s are so comforting to me in times like these, because they turn suffering into mythology. Terror, uncertainty, pain—these don’t sit easily in the body. But a story? A folktale? These we understand. These we can process. As I always do in times of turmoil, I turn to poems that speak in this sort of legend-voice, and I turn to folklore itself. Writing takes the harsh, stark realities in which we live and teases them out into myths we might whisper around a campfire in the next world.

GennaRose Nethercott Reads “Before the World Went to Hell” by Miriam Bird Greenberg

AH: Both of these poems you’ve shared with us have such rich, luscious details about the world around us, whether it is a natural occurrence or one orchestrated by humans. What stands out to you the most in these poems and why?

GN: One of my favorite aspects of Greenberg’s work is her deeply velvety, plump use of language. Words like crisp lab coat, spigot, black walnuts, blade on a strop, sweetheart, mustard flowers… They create this heightened, sensory world you can almost taste when spoken aloud. Which is incredible, because I think that’s how she’s able to turn the volume up on these stories, heighten them to the status of feeling like myths. She describes incredibly gruesome, gritty images using beautiful, ornamented language—and this uncanny pairing tips it almost into the realm of a dark fairy tale, a post-apocalyptic fable. There’s this idea in psychology that a sense of the uncanny is created by rubbing two things up against each other that don’t belong—for example, in a ghost story, the living and the dead interact, and it’s that chafing (not the ghost itself) that makes us afraid. In Greenberg’s poems, she rubs luxurious, satiny language against stark, ugly images—and so we are left with a feeling that these stories are not quite of this world, even if nothing strictly supernatural is happening. There’s a strange electricity beneath the surface.

AH: Got any big plans (writing-wise, life-wise, anything!) that’d you like to share? 

GN: So many plans! The big one is that I spent quarantine writing a novel—and I’m in the editing stage now, so my brain is officially pudding at this point. But it’ll be coming out through Knopf Vintage in a year or so, followed by a short story collection, and I’m very excited. The novel blends Baba Yaga folklore with themes of Jewish diaspora, ancestral trauma, and American adventure stories. It’s a hearty blend of fun and sad, just how I like em.

And as for life plans, I’m just holding my breath until I can get this vaccine. And then? Wow, who knows! I want to go to a circus! I want to make out with every stranger on the street! I want to go to the movie theater and just watch all the movies playing, one after another, until they kick me out! …but I suspect what will really happen is I’ll finally get to hug my parents again and that will be all my little heart can take before crawling back to bed.


Miriam Bird Greenberg is the author of several poetry collections and chapbooks, most recently In the Volcano’s Mouth. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications such as The Kenyon Review, Poetry, and The Adroit Journal. The recipient of fellowships from Stanford, Poetry Foundation, and the National Endowment from the Arts, she lives and works in California.

Find her website here.

Read her work in Poetry.

Purchase her collection In the Volcano’s Mouth here.

GennaRose Nethercott is the author of The Lumberjack’s Dove (Ecco/HarperCollins) selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series, and Lianna Fled the Cranberry Bog: A Story in Cootie Catchers (Ninepin Press). A born Vermonter, she tours nationally and internationally performing from her works and composing poems-to-order on a manual typewriter with her team, The Traveling Poetry Emporium. Her first novel and short story collection are forthcoming from Knopf Vintage.

Find her website here.

Discover her poetry collection The Lumberjack’s Dove here.

Read three of GennaRose’s poems at PANK.

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi is a multimedia artist and writer. She has had work appear, or forthcoming, in Into the Void Magazine, DIALOGIST, Rust + Moth, and The Shore, among others. She currently reads for Mud Season Review and EX/POST Magazine, is the Playwriting & Director’s Apprentice at New Perspectives Theatre Company, was a Brooklyn Poets Fellow, and is the co-Editor in Chief of Juven Press. More of her work can be found at ashleyhajimirsadeghi.com

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Foxlogic, Fireweed by Jennifer K. Sweeney


I am driving a whale heart

In the dome of its body the blue 

whale has a heart large 

as a Honda Civic, its soft engine 

pumping throngs of blood 

in the equator deep. Whaleblood. Whaleheart.

These words open a little salt-rusted 

door in me. I want sometimes 

to sit by the wooden boy’s fire 

in the cave-belly and fold into a song 

and its forgetting. Like crawling 

into baritone sleep after the body 

exhausted from use. After 

the body I never knew 

was a mothering kind of creature. 

I have wanted to be inside the whale’s 

dream, the way the sugar ant wants 

to crawl inside my own heart and feast. 

I left home in a whale heart 

drove it through blizzards, 

off the side of the road, straight 

across the country trading coasts 

for no good reason than to change 

my life as much as I could. 

Largest heart, Deepest diver, 

your blood its own ten-ton sea,

traveling hundreds of miles a day 

in the ship of your body 

sounding your single horn 

to preserve your solitude. 

Chugging toward black rock, black hills 

and the carved-out drop of badlands, 

my offkey songs another dry slap 

against the windshield. 

Hydranths in the cloudhead, 

which current to follow in the rising dark? 

Windmills became mineral plains, 

whales floating above the salt flats. 

I ran to them but they disappeared 

in my arms. Driving my fish-heart 

into the yellow headlands’ tinderbox 

of dead grasses, the baited questions 

were already hooking my future. 

In the corner of a borrowed room, 

I dealt a haphazard astrology: 

If Perseids dripped from the eucalyptus 

If a film about tide pools was projected onto

the fog If the basin proved to be fertile 

then I’d stay in San Francisco. No memory 

anywhere in my wake. 

I think now it was not where I landed 

but the story of the leaving.

Before I knew how to be inside my life, 

rootstock in the daily, 

what I loved most was careening 

toward the idea of it, 

never the stark arrival, 

fumbling with knifed keys 

in the shadows, stepping 

over the gray pool 

of mail with its terrible small weight, 

but one foot in the swirl, 

those brief seconds of lift 

before the tide pulled me in. 

When you washed ashore, Largest

it took four men to pull the heart 

from your body, they wanted to see it 

hauled from the depths. 

It would take 640 male hearts to make yours. 

It would take the starry plough 

culled from the mountain 

to know anything about you at all. 

And then it’s ten years, twenty, 

and my body it’s been the good sea, 

though suddenly, never alone again 

so that when waiting 

in a doctor’s annual office 

I can be seized by the floodwaters— 

the canned triumph of a pop song, 

a plastic seashell in a decaying aquarium— 

the wire so easily tripped. 

When everyone is briefly accounted for

I plunge into epiphany, 

slipping out to fetch the godly bills, 

the dollar grocery papers, waxy catalogs 

that locate me across every migration 

and something in the way the domed sky 

shivers with its palpable fade 

or I am exhausted 

to the point of sheer openness, 

it returns me to the gasp 

of emerging from that car’s 

salt-rusted door at Land’s End 

shedding grain by grain 

in the surf. Cold bare feet 

on the cul-de-sac asphalt 

I crawl into my whale heart, 

pocked and peeling now, 

that place where love 

was sourced in loneliness, 

for a single breath, medicinal sip 

of beyond, licking salt 

from my fingers 

in my own private hum 

before returning 

to the buoyant voices 

the small hands reaching up 

toward their idea of mother. 

This selection comes from Foxlogic, Fireweed, available from The Backwaters Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Jennifer K. Sweeney is the author of three other poetry collections, including Little Spells, How to Live on Bread and Music, and Salt Memory. The recipient of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Pushcart Prize, she teaches at the University of Redlands in California. Twitter: @jksweeneypoet

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Foxlogic, Fireweed by Jennifer K. Sweeney


Wildest

The hour of snacks and homework 

and we’re enlarging the world with adverbs

of scale. See how easily smooth becomes

smoother, 

how we can silk it farther to the sheen that

is most itself. You are taller, stronger, a

little farther from my center, but not

farthest 

(may we stop here in the horizon note of

farther) and you want to know how accretion

applies to wild. One field left longer, one

never entered 

by anything that sought to change it. 

Say wild and the honeysuckle curls round

the cedar and the cedar’s silence mats a

soft floor in winter whose most faithful

withholding buckles 

the cloudhead. Say wilder and it’s less 

bewildering, more why, 

the cloud funneling now, the animals

hurried into the barn, and we’re left 

staring at the floodwaters salting our

questions. Wilder rakes its impulsive

hand over us 

and we ride off the road in the night. 

And wildest, what sprung cosmos is that? 

I hope we never see it enough to know 

as here in this measured plot we keep

turning the hose on the fire ants and

they dutifully 

froth up. Somewhere lives expanses 

never perceived, deepest praise 

all the lost coasts, outbacks, untrodden 

tundras of this world, its earths too wild 

to survive us. My boy wants to know 

how wild it gets. As long as there is land 

that has never breathed in 

our borrowed must of oxygen, 

then the mandrakes quiver in their sacs; 

as you curl into sleep, the dryad 

is out there pressing her most unburdened head 

against evening’s northest altar. 

This selection comes from Foxlogic, Fireweed, available from The Backwaters Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Jennifer K. Sweeney is the author of three other poetry collections, including Little Spells, How to Live on Bread and Music, and Salt Memory. The recipient of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Pushcart Prize, she teaches at the University of Redlands in California. Twitter: @jksweeneypoet

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Foxlogic, Fireweed by Jennifer K. Sweeney


Bat Milk

They do, they do— 

inside the living mountain 

where night is a constant— 

curl up like a god’s 

shuttered eye 

and wait as I waited 

body of my body 

we sing the same 

blood-warm song. 

Casements wrapped in ink 

they are to themselves 

the center of the earth 

by which all things 

distinguish 

though still they may ask 

as I have asked 

staring across 

the battered plain 

what monster what 

monster am I? 

Midwife of shadow 

the first milk breath 

hums in the mineral sky.

This selection comes from Foxlogic, Fireweed, available from The Backwaters Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Jennifer K. Sweeney is the author of three other poetry collections, including Little Spells, How to Live on Bread and Music, and Salt Memory. The recipient of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Pushcart Prize, she teaches at the University of Redlands in California. Twitter: @jksweeneypoet

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

Project Bookshelf: Xuan Nguyen | FEYXUAN

I read voraciously. At maximum speeds, I can read for 10 hours straight for days in a row and devour up to 200,000 words in a day. Since becoming disabled, I spend a lot of time reading when I am too chronically ill or in pain to do anything else, which essentially happens every single day.

However, it would be a complete and utter lie to say I was reading anything but fanfiction. And honestly, it would be equally false to say that I have been regularly reading anything but fanfiction since I learned I was gay in middle school through my not-so-bizarre fascination with BL (Boys Love) manga. Once freshman year of high school hit and through the mysterious ways of now-dead Tumblr, I learned I was transgender and non-binary, and then it was basically the final nail in the coffin for any lingering aspirations of becoming a bookworm in the traditional sense.

It’s a matter of representation. It would be bad enough looking for representation by-and-for cisgender gay Southeast Asian-Americans, but it’s essentially impossible for a transgender one that doesn’t end with the involvement of a shovel and a six-foot grave. I also vastly prefer to read fantasy, and I have no tolerance for Eurocentricism in my fantasy or for non-Asians’ Orientalism.

But as a child, I was quite a happy bird when it came to books, and the books I read then still influence me now. The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix and Tithe by Holly Black have been extremely formative for me for the type of fantasy I aspire to create. They were written decades ago, but still remain quite subversive in the modern Game of Thrones-dominated landscape of fantasy. Nix’s series features teenage girls using necromantic bells to raise the dead or lay them to rest in the process of saving the world. Black’s series is a keystone of urban fantasy since the modern setting is used as urban grit, and the otherworldly aspects remain brilliantly ethereal, with such majesty that gets lost in what most people think of as urban fantasy: the fantastical made mundane through such things as Paranormal Investigation Agencies and vampires going to high school.

I’ve kept tabs on what the big boys of publishing put out, and there’re some trailblazers for QTPOC in fantasy, namely TOR, but I can’t help but keep my reservations. The publishing world is a lot different now than it was 15 years ago, but is different enough? Is change happening fast enough? For some, it is. And I’m happy for them.

But if I had to have my say, I’ll stick to my childhood favorites and the wide and well-tagged world of fanfiction.


Xuan Nguyen | FEYXUAN is a disabled fey orchestral music composer, writer-poet, and illustrator-designer. Their recent projects have involved the solo development of aesthetic interactive fiction games exploring the nuances not exclusive to the following: power, trauma, madness, nonbinariness, divinity, and monstrosity. LIAR, LIONESS (Feb 2021) and the demo for OCHITSUBAKI【落ち椿】(March 2021) are out now. Their books include LUNG, CROWN, AND STAR (Dec 2020, Lazy Adventurer) and THE FAIRIES SING EACH TO EACH (Feb 2021, Flower Press). Xuan Nguyen is the Art Director of Lazy Adventurer Publishing, and they help Grimalkin Records as a Graphic Designer.

Sundress Reads: Review of Beyond the Ghetto Gates

In her stellar second novel Beyond the Ghetto Gates (She Writes Press, 2020), Michelle Cameron creates a rich, intricate world where her characters grapple with the rules and implications of living under the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte and the French army, as well as societal and religious expectations pushed on men and women of the time. Cameron’s portrayals of the complex lives between Jews and Christians in the 1790s is rendered vividly on the page through alternating perspectives: the novel follows Mirelle, born into a Jewish family; Daniel, a Jewish soldier serving in Bonaparte’s army; Christophe, a Christian who falls for Mirelle; and Francesca, a devout Catholic whose allegiance to her religion is tested when her life intersects with Mirelle’s and Daniel’s. Each character harbors misgivings about the others until they begin to unite and understand that the effects of war and violence on their lives have given them bonds that cannot be broken.

Set in Ancona, Italy, the novel opens with Mirelle, a brilliant accountant who longs for a life beyond the gates of the Jewish ghetto she has been raised within: “her brother might feel caught within the enclosure of the gates, but she felt doubly trapped—as a Jew and as a woman.” As the plot progresses, she confronts societal and religious rules of her place in the world with a sharp tongue and a steady head. Her faith and obligation to her family is tested when she falls for a Christian soldier, and their clandestine romance pushes the boundaries and restrictions of each of their lives. Mirelle is a compelling protagonist who gracefully accepts each challenge thrown her way, while other characters orbit around her story to create an engaging narrative.           

Cameron leans into the historical elements of the story, rendering events with such strong imagery that the events seem to take place in the current era rather than the 1700s. For example, when Bonaparte is first introduced the troops do not think much of the new general: “The General stood before the men, legs spread wide. He wore a simple jacket, only distinguished by the gold leaf embroidery reserved for generals. He’d left his collar open. Disappointment twisted Daniel’s stomach. Someone in Paris must think the Italian campaign a joke.” Cameron’s descriptions allow real-life historical figures to inhabit their own space in her fictional retelling of true events.

This is a gripping read that is impossible to put down, weaving a story of beauty, heartbreak, romance, and familial bonds that link generations together. Cameron’s characters challenge societal and religious expectations while learning to see past their division to find new common ground in the end—though not before much blood is shed do they realize the implications of the clash between the stereotypes, violence, and religious beliefs they each hold as truth must change if peace is to ever be found. The novel is most successful when it pushes back against the boundaries each character must learn to traverse to truly understand the humanity of their fellow man and woman, and Cameron’s writing is universal in its capacity to bridge the gap between Christian and Jew, Italian and French. Through these empathetic characters and the portrait of their lives, readers will be left satisfied and wanting more.

Beyond the Ghetto Gates is available at She Writes Press


Nikki Lyssy (@blindnikkii) is an MFA candidate studying creative nonfiction at the University of South Florida. Her essays have appeared in Hobart, Sweet, and Essay Daily. When she is not working, she can be found in a coffee shop.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Constellation of Freckles by Keri Withington


Communion

Lose yourself in kindness.


Trust the soft oval of clasped hands
blurred circles of knees on stone
the simple shapes of star, cross, steeple


Streaming sunlight, glowing window panes,
aisle seats battered by drink carts


Skin gilded in galactic rays, recycled air.


Checkerboard farms, variable vector mountains
nations discrete, invisible


Light candles.
Hope to Belief to Faith to


The simple equation
of self plus love
patience


From above, everything is geometry.

This selection comes from Constellation of Freckles, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Shannon Wolf.

Keri Withington is an Appalachian based poet and educator. Her work has previously appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.Her first chapbook is Constellation of Freckles from Dancing Girl Press. Her second chapbook, Beckoning From the Waves, is forthcoming from Plan B Press. As well as writing, Withington is an assistant professor of English at Pellissippi State Community College. Her writing explores themes of feminism, family, and nature.

Shannon Wolf is a British writer and teacher, living in Louisiana. She is currently a joint MA-MFA candidate in Poetry at McNeese State University. She is the Non-Fiction Editor of The McNeese Review, and Social Media Intern for Sundress Publications. She also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction (which can also be found under the name Shannon Bushby) have appeared in The Forge and Great Weather for Media, among others. You can find her on social media @helloshanwolf.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Constellation of Freckles by Keri Withington


Secret Garden

We found you
strangely scented
of coconuts and fertilizer
in an old Wellington.


Miriam planted you
there secretly,
fed you sunscreen
and crayon wrappers.


You grew in the dark rubber,
white-green shoots
searching for sunlight
bulb soft and fat.

This selection comes from Constellation of Freckles, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Shannon Wolf.

Keri Withington is an Appalachian based poet and educator. Her work has previously appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.Her first chapbook is Constellation of Freckles from Dancing Girl Press. Her second chapbook, Beckoning From the Waves, is forthcoming from Plan B Press. As well as writing, Withington is an assistant professor of English at Pellissippi State Community College. Her writing explores themes of feminism, family, and nature.

Shannon Wolf is a British writer and teacher, living in Louisiana. She is currently a joint MA-MFA candidate in Poetry at McNeese State University. She is the Non-Fiction Editor of The McNeese Review, and Social Media Intern for Sundress Publications. She also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction (which can also be found under the name Shannon Bushby) have appeared in The Forge and Great Weather for Media, among others. You can find her on social media @helloshanwolf.