The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Peggy Hamilton’s “Questions for Animals”


Nu Er (Girl)

You never told me what you wanted I
had faith whatever it was I was strong
enough to take anything that caught your
eye I went back made it mine little things
I took were enough to get you close when
you got inside it was you I stole you
opened up your eyes and caught me in the
act my hands around the throat of what I
love most that look on your face when you’re gone
now you’re gone I never said it doesn’t
hurt after all they’re voodoo dolls but I
feel you and they don’t their eyes are painted
open they can’t see you at all they look
in your face and never know you are gone

Five stages of femaleness:
at 10, a girl; at 20, a woman; at 30, a wolf; at 40, a tiger; 50 and beyond, a dragon

This selection comes from Peggy Hamilton’s book Questions for Animals, available from Ahsahta Press. Purchase your copy here!

Peggy Hamilton, a native Miamian, received her BA in English from Barry University, and her MFA in Poetry from FAU in 2007. She is the author of QUESTIONS FOR ANIMALS (2013) and FORBIDDEN CITY (2003), both from Ahsahta Press. She’s a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Grant in Literature for Poetry, and an honoree in the State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Children’s literature. She’s been a finalist in the National Poetry Series, Barnard New Women Poet’s Series, the CSU Poetry Prize, and the Heekin Group Foundation’s Novel-in-Progress Award. She’s taught community writing seminars at FIU and the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, has read poetry and performed with Devorah Major, poet laureate of San Francisco, at a Miami International Book Fair event called “Performing Persona.” Before teaching at FAU as a graduate student, then as an instructor, she was a jury consultant and grant writer, and taught grant-funded intensive programs for young adults, many of whom were in residential foster or treatment programs, or correctional facilities. Currently she lives in East Tennessee, and is Director of Programs for a nonprofit educational startup that will offer residential writing workshops to high school students as they prepare for college.

T.A. Noonan is the author of several books and chapbooks, most recently four sparks fall: a novella (Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, 2013) and, with Erin Elizabeth Smith, Skate or Die (Dusie Kollektiv, 2014). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Reunion: The Dallas ReviewWest Wind Review, HobartNinth Letter, and Phoebe, among others. A weightlifter, crafter, priestess, and all-around woman of action, she serves as the Associate Editor of Sundress Publications, Founding Editor of Flaming Giblet Press, and Literary Arts Director for the Sundress Academy of the Arts.



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