The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen, released by Alien Buddha Press in 2020.

Lessons from “The Back Pain Book”

(1)
I mayn’t move too far to the left, mayn’t move too far to the right, mayn’t 
bend and twist at the same time, mayn’t sit too long, mayn’t stand too 
long, mayn’t walk too long, mayn’t be lying down too long,

And the doctor says “Keep moving.” This is the opposite of paralyzed, I 
have no choice but to move. And I’m tired of moving. I want to rest.

(2)
Don’t sit down for more than 20 minutes at a stretch, don’t walk around 
without taking breaks, don’t lie down for too long, either.

Thus am I further reminded of the impermanence of things. Not only does 
nothing last forever, nothing lasts more than 20 minutes. Sometimes less.

Marion Deutsche Cohen is known, in particular, for her writings (poetry and memoir) on three topics: spousal chronic illness, late pregnancy loss, and math. She is the author of 33 books; her newest poetry collection is Negative Aspects (dancing girl press), and her latest prose collection is Not Erma Bombeck: Diary of a Feminist 70s Mother (Alien Buddha Press). Forthcoming are Disturbing Shapes (New Plains Press) and Reasons and Remedies for Insomnia (dancing girl press). She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature, at Drexel University’s Honors College.

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft (Hilda Weaver, Nicci Mechler, Wendy Creekmore, and Kristin Koester), released by Porkbelly Press in 2021.

We are the Banquet

the others, just voices.

Choose dessert first, if you know
what’s good for you.

We do, and we are dancing
on the strings of beans,
place papaya on our swollen tongues

and dive into the leafy green
feast of fairies giving life.

Wild Soft makes her home on the banks of the Ohio River. Her work appears in such magazines as Stone TellingStill: The JournalRoom, and three drops from a cauldron; her first chapbook is in these cups (dancing girl press, 2016) and her second: how wild + soft you are is available via Porkbelly Press. She is the Pushcart nominated collaboration of poets Nicci Mechler, Hilda Weaver, & Wendy Creekmore. Kristin Koester joins in for this chapbook. wildandsoft.wordpress.com.  

Individual bios:

Wendy Creekmore lives in rural Northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Virgil, and two kitties. At some point of each day, she can be found reading something from stacks of books and a load-heavy Kindle app and journaling furiously. Her work is has appeared in Sugared Water and Journal of Kentucky Studies.

Kristin Koester spends her time battling forest fires in her brain, writing poetry, and making art out of life. She is proud to be Kentucky-born and finds refuge in a nook where the Ohio and Licking Rivers meet, opposite of Cincinnati. Her work appears in Licking River Review.

Nicci Mechler splits her time between writing poetry & speculative fiction, editing various things such as Sugared Water, and painting girls with inky tattoos. She’s hard-pressed to go anywhere without a sense of wonder and a pair of red shoes. She has published in a variety of magazines such as BoothKestrelThe PinchRoanoke Review, and Arroyo Literary ReviewDeep in Flesh (dancing girl press) was released in 2016. thicketheart.com

Hilda Weaver is a retired psychotherapist, the mother of three, grandmother of four and great grandmother of many. Her poetry appears in Sugared Water94 CreationsOffcourse, and Licking River Review. Her chapbooks are The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Nettles and Thistles (Finishing Line Press).

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft (Hilda Weaver, Nicci Mechler, Wendy Creekmore, and Kristin Koester), released by Porkbelly Press in 2021.

I Can’t Always Speak the Language

of birds flocking southward.
Fat clouds confuse my tongue,
pulling my poems out to bury them at the foot
of a Kentucky Coffeetree. Breathe in.

The story behind our teeth will push loose—
keep your sight on the horizon.
Dusk-pink day brings with it a cleansing rush of deer
and quail rise to the now-full moon. They cup

their wings for a skid-landing across
a nameless pond and settle in,
clustered masses on smooth glass—
white bellies pressed into the sky.

Wild Soft makes her home on the banks of the Ohio River. Her work appears in such magazines as Stone TellingStill: The JournalRoom, and three drops from a cauldron; her first chapbook is in these cups (dancing girl press, 2016) and her second: how wild + soft you are is available via Porkbelly Press. She is the Pushcart nominated collaboration of poets Nicci Mechler, Hilda Weaver, & Wendy Creekmore. Kristin Koester joins in for this chapbook. wildandsoft.wordpress.com.  

Individual bios:

Wendy Creekmore lives in rural Northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Virgil, and two kitties. At some point of each day, she can be found reading something from stacks of books and a load-heavy Kindle app and journaling furiously. Her work is has appeared in Sugared Water and Journal of Kentucky Studies.

Kristin Koester spends her time battling forest fires in her brain, writing poetry, and making art out of life. She is proud to be Kentucky-born and finds refuge in a nook where the Ohio and Licking Rivers meet, opposite of Cincinnati. Her work appears in Licking River Review.

Nicci Mechler splits her time between writing poetry & speculative fiction, editing various things such as Sugared Water, and painting girls with inky tattoos. She’s hard-pressed to go anywhere without a sense of wonder and a pair of red shoes. She has published in a variety of magazines such as BoothKestrelThe PinchRoanoke Review, and Arroyo Literary ReviewDeep in Flesh (dancing girl press) was released in 2016. thicketheart.com

Hilda Weaver is a retired psychotherapist, the mother of three, grandmother of four and great grandmother of many. Her poetry appears in Sugared Water94 CreationsOffcourse, and Licking River Review. Her chapbooks are The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Nettles and Thistles (Finishing Line Press).

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft (Hilda Weaver, Nicci Mechler, Wendy Creekmore, and Kristin Koester), released by Porkbelly Press in 2021.

You Played my Tarot Cards

and rocked me free
of losing my mind a million times.
Your fingernail skips over the chip in a white cup
to the beat of 4 drums behind 96 rib bones.
We come to this circle, you and I
with two other women to see us through.

The whiskey bottle still full—
we’re terrible writers that way.

Wild Soft makes her home on the banks of the Ohio River. Her work appears in such magazines as Stone TellingStill: The JournalRoom, and three drops from a cauldron; her first chapbook is in these cups (dancing girl press, 2016) and her second: how wild + soft you are is available via Porkbelly Press. She is the Pushcart nominated collaboration of poets Nicci Mechler, Hilda Weaver, & Wendy Creekmore. Kristin Koester joins in for this chapbook. wildandsoft.wordpress.com.  

Individual bios:

Wendy Creekmore lives in rural Northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Virgil, and two kitties. At some point of each day, she can be found reading something from stacks of books and a load-heavy Kindle app and journaling furiously. Her work is has appeared in Sugared Water and Journal of Kentucky Studies.

Kristin Koester spends her time battling forest fires in her brain, writing poetry, and making art out of life. She is proud to be Kentucky-born and finds refuge in a nook where the Ohio and Licking Rivers meet, opposite of Cincinnati. Her work appears in Licking River Review.

Nicci Mechler splits her time between writing poetry & speculative fiction, editing various things such as Sugared Water, and painting girls with inky tattoos. She’s hard-pressed to go anywhere without a sense of wonder and a pair of red shoes. She has published in a variety of magazines such as BoothKestrelThe PinchRoanoke Review, and Arroyo Literary ReviewDeep in Flesh (dancing girl press) was released in 2016. thicketheart.com

Hilda Weaver is a retired psychotherapist, the mother of three, grandmother of four and great grandmother of many. Her poetry appears in Sugared Water94 CreationsOffcourse, and Licking River Review. Her chapbooks are The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Nettles and Thistles (Finishing Line Press).

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft (Hilda Weaver, Nicci Mechler, Wendy Creekmore, and Kristin Koester), released by Porkbelly Press in 2021.

Restive

I’m not ready for this truth:
for you to see through the lace of me
Battenburg, the bridal veil,
lies gilded in the ash of my old bones.

There are more bodies buried here
than anyone knows.
Still,

if you ask,
I’ll whisper.

Wild Soft makes her home on the banks of the Ohio River. Her work appears in such magazines as Stone TellingStill: The JournalRoom, and three drops from a cauldron; her first chapbook is in these cups (dancing girl press, 2016) and her second: how wild + soft you are is available via Porkbelly Press. She is the Pushcart nominated collaboration of poets Nicci Mechler, Hilda Weaver, & Wendy Creekmore. Kristin Koester joins in for this chapbook. wildandsoft.wordpress.com.  

Individual bios:

Wendy Creekmore lives in rural Northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Virgil, and two kitties. At some point of each day, she can be found reading something from stacks of books and a load-heavy Kindle app and journaling furiously. Her work is has appeared in Sugared Water and Journal of Kentucky Studies.

Kristin Koester spends her time battling forest fires in her brain, writing poetry, and making art out of life. She is proud to be Kentucky-born and finds refuge in a nook where the Ohio and Licking Rivers meet, opposite of Cincinnati. Her work appears in Licking River Review.

Nicci Mechler splits her time between writing poetry & speculative fiction, editing various things such as Sugared Water, and painting girls with inky tattoos. She’s hard-pressed to go anywhere without a sense of wonder and a pair of red shoes. She has published in a variety of magazines such as BoothKestrelThe PinchRoanoke Review, and Arroyo Literary ReviewDeep in Flesh (dancing girl press) was released in 2016. thicketheart.com

Hilda Weaver is a retired psychotherapist, the mother of three, grandmother of four and great grandmother of many. Her poetry appears in Sugared Water94 CreationsOffcourse, and Licking River Review. Her chapbooks are The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Nettles and Thistles (Finishing Line Press).

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.

Sundress Academy for the Arts Presents January Poetry Xfit

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present Poetry Xfit hosted by JoAnna Brooker. This generative writing event will take place on Sunday, January 22nd from 2 to 4 pm EST via Zoom. Join us at the link tiny.utk.edu/sundress with password “safta”.

Poetry Xfit isn’t about throwing tires or heavy ropes, but the idea of confusing our muscles is the same. This generative workshop series will give you prompts, rules, obstructions, and more to write three poems in two hours. Writers will write together for thirty minutes, be invited to share new work, and then given a new set of prompts. The idea isn’t that we are writing perfect final drafts, but instead creating clay that can then be edited and turned into art later. Prose writers are also welcome to attend!

JoAnna Brooker is a graduate from the University of Tennessee, where she studied Journalism & English. They were the 2021-2022 Sundress Academy for the Arts Writer in Residence, & their work has been featured in Lunch Ticket, Figure 1, Jet Fuel Review, & on stage as a standup comic. She can be found on all social media platforms @cupofjoanna.

While this is a free event, donations can be made to the Sundress Academy for the Arts here: https://sundress-publications.square.site/product/donate-to-sundress/107?cs=true

Each month we split any Xfit donations with our community partner. Our community partner for January is Indigenous Nations Poets (In-Na-Po)! In-Na-Po is a national Indigenous poetry community founded in 2020 committed to mentoring emerging writers, nurturing the growth of Indigenous poetic practices, and raising the visibility of all Native Writers past, present, and future. In-Na-Po recognizes the role of poetry in sustaining tribal sovereign nations and Native languages. In April 2022, they offered a week-long mentoring retreat for sixteen emerging poets at the Library of Congress in collaboration with U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, and they are currently fundraising for their second annual mentorship retreat this spring. https://www.indigenousnationspoets.org/

To donate directly to Indigenous Nations Poets, please check out https://www.indigenousnationspoets.org/donate

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft (Hilda Weaver, Nicci Mechler, Wendy Creekmore, and Kristin Koester), released by Porkbelly Press in 2021.

How Wild and Soft you Are

planked,
without bones to sell.

I want you for more than gold,
for more than silver plates your kneecap.
Dig up your femur—free it from flesh.

How subtle the color, that ivory,
that contraband.
Hang it on the old stone hearth.

I’ll worship you.

Wild Soft makes her home on the banks of the Ohio River. Her work appears in such magazines as Stone TellingStill: The JournalRoom, and three drops from a cauldron; her first chapbook is in these cups (dancing girl press, 2016) and her second: how wild + soft you are is available via Porkbelly Press. She is the Pushcart nominated collaboration of poets Nicci Mechler, Hilda Weaver, & Wendy Creekmore. Kristin Koester joins in for this chapbook. wildandsoft.wordpress.com.  

Individual bios:

Wendy Creekmore lives in rural Northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Virgil, and two kitties. At some point of each day, she can be found reading something from stacks of books and a load-heavy Kindle app and journaling furiously. Her work is has appeared in Sugared Water and Journal of Kentucky Studies.

Kristin Koester spends her time battling forest fires in her brain, writing poetry, and making art out of life. She is proud to be Kentucky-born and finds refuge in a nook where the Ohio and Licking Rivers meet, opposite of Cincinnati. Her work appears in Licking River Review.

Nicci Mechler splits her time between writing poetry & speculative fiction, editing various things such as Sugared Water, and painting girls with inky tattoos. She’s hard-pressed to go anywhere without a sense of wonder and a pair of red shoes. She has published in a variety of magazines such as BoothKestrelThe PinchRoanoke Review, and Arroyo Literary ReviewDeep in Flesh (dancing girl press) was released in 2016. thicketheart.com

Hilda Weaver is a retired psychotherapist, the mother of three, grandmother of four and great grandmother of many. Her poetry appears in Sugared Water94 CreationsOffcourse, and Licking River Review. Her chapbooks are The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Nettles and Thistles (Finishing Line Press).

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: caliche untapp’d by caliche fields


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from caliche untapp'd by caliche fields released by Fruit Bat Press in 2021.
suddenly spotting stars and feeling some w(h)inehouse: «addicted»
but beautifully bitter, complex as tex’s love violence,
sweet tooth indulged, kiss to his taste, based in biergarten convicted


xxxvi

xxxvi a SIJO imbibed thru tweak (bourbon barrel xxxvi aged) (2018), avery brewing co., boulder, colorado

caliche (they / elle / iel) is a mineral deposit of gravel, sand, and nitrates, found especially in dry areas of latin america. they are a queer sioux tejanx; enrolled with the fort peck assiniboine and sioux tribes of montana. they have lived upon the prehistoric ruins of the permian basin. they hold an ma, specializing in the poetry of sor juana inés de la cruz. they’re rooted in the interdisciplinary natures and their work dwells within the kitchen, its sciences and philosophies.

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: caliche untapp’d by caliche fields


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from caliche untapp'd by caliche fields released by Fruit Bat Press in 2021.
the hour
occasional
smooth with some sour, history
but i ain’t got medieval dates,
numbered


xxxii

xxxi a CINQUAIN imbibed thru 1092 pale ale, twisted x brewing co., dripping springs, texas

caliche (they / elle / iel) is a mineral deposit of gravel, sand, and nitrates, found especially in dry areas of latin america. they are a queer sioux tejanx; enrolled with the fort peck assiniboine and sioux tribes of montana. they have lived upon the prehistoric ruins of the permian basin. they hold an ma, specializing in the poetry of sor juana inés de la cruz. they’re rooted in the interdisciplinary natures and their work dwells within the kitchen, its sciences and philosophies.

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: caliche untapp’d by caliche fields


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from caliche untapp'd by caliche fields released by Fruit Bat Press in 2021.
black swan
dysmorphia
so pink and so pretty
he keeps me down but it keeps cum
–ing up


xviii

xx a CINQUAIN imbibed thru grapefruit shandy, avery brewing co., boulder, colorado

caliche (they / elle / iel) is a mineral deposit of gravel, sand, and nitrates, found especially in dry areas of latin america. they are a queer sioux tejanx; enrolled with the fort peck assiniboine and sioux tribes of montana. they have lived upon the prehistoric ruins of the permian basin. they hold an ma, specializing in the poetry of sor juana inés de la cruz. they’re rooted in the interdisciplinary natures and their work dwells within the kitchen, its sciences and philosophies.

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.