Our most ambitious work: mother as birthplace, where woman becomes location.
Someone singing: rejoice! A body in service, a graft here, a graft there.
Call and response: how she (nearly) disappears inside ritual and imprint.
Let’s situate: Where were you born?
In a (nearly) different life, the child stands between her parents: a record, a stain, a
photograph of the future.
Contextualize: There, says the child, pointing toward her mother, home.
Later, how (nearly) altered: child becomes mother, the X on a map.
Call and response: why didn’t you warn me?
A prayer: but who would believe it? says the mother, and turns on the music.
This selection comes from the book, Look Look Look, available from Black Lawrence Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Colleen Abel.
Callista Buchen holds an MA from the University of Oregon, an MFA from Bowling Green State University, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. She is an assistant professor at Franklin College in Indiana, where she directs the creative writing program, advising the student literary magazine, The Apogee, and curating the visiting writers reading series.
The winner of DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the Lawrence Arts Center’s Langston Hughes Award, she is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, October 2019), the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, October 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, October 2017). Her poetry appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, Salamander, and others, while her reviews have been published in journals like Prick of the Spindle, The Literary Review, and The Collagist. She also writes frequently with the poet Amy Ash. Their collaborative work has appeared in journals like BOOAT and Poetry South, as well as been featured in the Inflectionist Review and in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing.
Colleen Abel is a Chicago-area native. Her debut collection of poems, Remake, won the 2015 Editors Prize from Unicorn Press and was published in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, as well as a recent Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2018), Abel has also held fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, KHN Center for the Arts, and Wassard Elea in southern Italy. She currently teaches at Eastern Illinois University.
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