The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Nerve Chorus by Willa Carroll


This selection, chosen by guest curator Heather Leigh, is from Nerve Chorus by Willa Carroll, released by The Word Works in 2018. 

Role of Girl as Wolf

My house     torn envelope    of seeds

scorched    to speed the green     When flesh

gets audacious     nobody guards     my apertures

ports of entry     Wolves storm       a pink door

governed by holes       cracks in boards

wind slips through     gorgeous voids      Incisors

chew through wires     I put on a pelt

of appetite    All the wrong   will flower


Willa Carroll is the author of Nerve Chorus (The Word Works), one of Entropy Magazine’s Best Poetry Books of 2018 and a SPD Bestseller. Her poems have appeared in AGNI, LARB Quarterly Journal, Narrative, The Rumpus, The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith, Tin House, and elsewhere. A finalist for The Tomaž Šalamun Prize and The Georgia Poetry Prize, she won Narrative Magazine’s Third Annual Poetry Contest and Tupelo Quarterly’s TQ7 Poetry Prize. Her poetry videos and multimedia collaborations have been featured in Interim, Narrative, TriQuarterly, Writers Resist, and other venues. She holds a MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in New York City.

Heather Leigh is a queer, disabled writer and editor who has been working within Chicago’s publishing world for more than twenty years, editing poetry for the likes of Curbside Splendor and reading prose and poetry for Uncanny Magazine. She has recently began to focus on her own publication goals between semesters teaching English, writing, reading, and journalism at various midwestern community colleges. She is a three-time SAFTA fellowship recipient, a multiple resident of Firefly Farms, and most recently had a speculative horror story published in Bloodlet, an anthology by CultureCult Press. She lives in Chicago with a retired cage-fighting poet, two rescue cats names after Buffy watchers, enjoying life with the family that caught her by surprise.

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