The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Book Eaters by Carolina Hotchandani

This selection, chosen by guest editor Sarah Clark, is from The Book Eaters by Carolina Hotchandani, released by Perugia Press in 2023.


Was it not then, as you thudded over memory’s potholes
embarrassed for swerving too late, I searched for ways 
that your forgetting echoed mine. A word effaced itself 
in a conversation, I told you, and then I caught a glimpse
of my idea’s underside, like a deer the darkness hid
 till the moon appeared and all I saw was movement. 
A flash of being. It was the word “eclipse,” of all words, 
that escaped me like that furtive deer—its hind legs 
springing over brush. I was left with the white tail 
of a thought in a sentence: The moon moved 
into the Earth’s shadow, which surrounded my idea 
while obscuring it, the way the conifer forest 
embraces the deer while sheltering it from human eyes. 
Pine needles must have brushed my fragile thought as it left me
and I flushed, like that strange and rare and reddish moon.

Carolina Hotchandani is a Latinx/South Asian poet born in Brazil and raised in various parts of the United States. Her debut poetry collection The Book Eaters won the 2023 Perugia Press Prize and was released in September 2023. Hotchandani holds degrees from Brown, Texas State, and Northwestern universities. Her honors include scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Rona Jaffe Foundation, Community of Writers, Tin House Writers’ Workshop, and Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Her poetry has appeared in AGNIAlaska Quarterly ReviewBeloit Poetry JournalBlackbird, Cincinnati ReviewMissouri ReviewPrairie Schooner, and other journals. She is a Goodrich Assistant Professor of English in Omaha, Nebraska, where she lives with her husband and daughter. 

Sarah Clark is a mad crip genderfuck two-spirit enrolled Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at ANMLY, Editor-in-Chief at ALOCASIA: a journal of queer plant-based writing, Co-Editor of The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2024) and the Bettering American Poetry series, and a current Board member and Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications. They have edited folios for publications including the GLITTERBRAIN folio and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms at ANMLY. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations, including the Best of the Net anthology, contemptorary, Curious Specimens, #PoetsResist at Glass Poetry, Apogee Journal, Blackbird, the Paris Review, and elsewhere.


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