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.


My envy of the insects took me by surprise.

Whether they spotted “a spike of wheat”
or “the barren soil” in a field of words,
they found no difference:

The letter became a crumb.
The sentence became a loaf.

Blank margins metamorphosed into a soil
ever-fecund, ever-teeming with crops
as larval bodies translated
pages into food and themselves
into the winged stage.

As the baby drinks my milk,
I read. I wait to harvest
from ideas my sustenance.

I wait for my new selves to come.

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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