The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Marriage Of The Moon and The Field by Sunni Brown Wilkinson

Nesting Dolls

The biggest one carries all that weight
inside her it’s a wonder

she doesn’t fall over.
Pull apart her two halves and out

comes another, rouged and ready
to open again. Quiet, and you can hear them

breathe, a tiny ocean
sound in each. Just now a thump

under my ribs says No more room
in this borrowed house. Like cells slowly dividing,

we make our peace by letting go.
It’s almost time. We’re verses

with space in between
for our own small hallelujah. Selah,

the Hebrew word that marks a rest
after each Psalm. I want to say Selah in between

each house on my block, all the sleepers
in soft places. When the wind tore

at our house and I was afraid
the big pine would fall,

we all slept in the front room,
nothing but our breath, covers rising

and falling, a stone–light
through the blinds,

two children and their parents
dreaming. Deeper inside, the unborn

tapped, and the train whistle cried out—
my son says, like someone calling your name.


This selection comes from the book, The Marriage of the Moon and the Field, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Danielle Hanson.

My poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Adirondack Review, Sugar House Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, BODY and other journals and anthologies. I am the author of The Marriage of the Moon and the Field (Black Lawrence Press 2019), and winner of New Ohio Review’s inaugural NORward Poetry Prize. I teach at Weber State University and live in northern Utah with my husband and three young sons.

Danielle Hanson received her MFA from Arizona State University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books and a Senior Reader at Atlanta Review, and was formerly Poetry Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review, and associate editor for Loose Change Magazine and Carriage House Review.  Her work has appeared in over 70 journals and anthologies, including Poets & Writers, Iodine Poetry Journal, Rosebud, The Cortland Review, Willow Springs, Roanoke Review, Poet Lore, Asheville Poetry Review, and Blackbird.  She has been on staff at the Meacham Writers’ Conference and the Chattahoochee Valley Writers’ Conference, and completed residencies at The Hambidge Center.  She has received several Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations.  She is the 2017 recipient of the Codhill Press Poetry Prize, Finalist for the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Poetry, and 2016 recipient of the Vi Gale Award from Hubbub.

Her second collection Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press, 2018) won the 2017 Codhill Press Poetry Prize, and was previously a Finalist in the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry in 2017, the Wick Poetry Prize in 2017, the Codhill Poetry Award in 2017, the Antivenom Poetry Award in 2016 and 2017, and the Richard Snyder Prize in 2016 and 2017; and was Semifinalist in the National Poetry Series in 2017, the Crab Orchard Series in 2017, the Elixir Press Prize in 2016, and The Washington Prize in 2016. 

Her debut collection Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017) previously was Runner Up for the 2012 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize; Finalist for the 2015 and 2016 Robert Dana Prizes for Poetry; the 2015 and 2016 Blue Lynx Prizes; and the 2014 Codhill Poetry Award; and Semifinalist for the 2015 Miller Williams Poetry Prize; the 2012, 2014 and 2015 Crab Orchard Poetry Series; the 2013 and 2014 42 Miles Press Poetry Awards; the 2013 Elixir Press Antivenom Award; the 2015 and 2016 Codhill Poetry Award; the 2015 Washington Prize; and the 2015 Richard Snyder Publication Prize.  

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alice in Ruby Slippers by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Since You’ve been Gone

Since you died, I’ve dreamt of being lost—
amid the unfamiliar; somewhere Frost
might call a traveler’s puzzlement, a quest
determining which pathway suits me best
as though I’ve heard an inner voice or song
yet overwhelmed which choice is right or wrong—
bewildered by the thought, I’ll cry for you
as if your death’s a thing I could undo.
A dream can be a devastating place
though more alarming still to wake and face
the truth of what is real. There’s no way
to signal you for help. Sometimes I play
old messages to hear your voice again—
as if you’re home, then ask you where you’ve been.


This selection comes from the book, Alice in Ruby Slippers, available from Kelsay Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is currently enrolled in the Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing program. She is a ten-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. In 2018 her book In the Making of Goodbyes was nominated for The CLMP Firecracker Award in Poetry, and her poem A Mall in California took 2nd place for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. In 2019 her chapbook An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her work is widely published in magazines and online including, The Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, Mezzo Cammin, and Verse Daily. She is a former  Editor-in-Chief for the Tule Review and The Orchards Poetry Journal and member of the Sacramento Poetry Center Board of Directors. According to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alice in Ruby Slippers by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Alice in Ruby Slippers

Oh, girl who sips her beautiful soup,
and walks a winding yellow-brick road—
who dreams of tweedles that loop-de-loop,
where munchkins sing in turtle code.

The griffin calls to Neverland
she’s now confused, could this be Oz?
As if a Wizard brings good news
or gives the Queen sufficient cause.

Off with your head, you wicked thing!
Oh, girl who sips her beautiful soup,
now paint the roses red and sing
“où est ma chatte,” the Dormouse snoop

just might be snoozing during tea—
the Emerald City awaits you there,
with soldiers dressed, and whiskers green
find Glinda with her golden hair.

Oh, girl who sips her beautiful soup—
White Rabbit reads and strokes his fur;
she clicks her heels three times for guilt—
they told me you had been to her.


This selection comes from the book, Alice in Ruby Slippers, available from Kelsay Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is currently enrolled in the Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing program. She is a ten-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. In 2018 her book In the Making of Goodbyes was nominated for The CLMP Firecracker Award in Poetry, and her poem A Mall in California took 2nd place for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. In 2019 her chapbook An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her work is widely published in magazines and online including, The Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, Mezzo Cammin, and Verse Daily. She is a former  Editor-in-Chief for the Tule Review and The Orchards Poetry Journal and member of the Sacramento Poetry Center Board of Directors. According to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alice in Ruby Slippers by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Autopsy

My mother told me not to fib
or I’d go straight to hell,
and never ever twist the truth
from all that was to tell—

and I believed this golden rule
was one I shouldn’t break,
because she had no tolerance
for stories that were fake.

I guess I never questioned her
assuming she was right,
that everything she said to me
was honest and forthright.

Now looking back, I’ve come to find
a day she told a whopper—
one falsehood that I’ve later learned
was totally improper.

At least if one’s accountable
to ‘practice what you preach,’
and shouldn’t mothers say and do
exactly as they teach?

And I was just a child then
the morning I recall—
I went to wake my father up,
who slept across the hall.

I opened up their bedroom door
then turned the knob just so,
the morning light came spilling through
and cast a shadowed glow.

I tiptoed gently to the bed,
my everyday routine
then leaned in close to kiss his cheek
to stir him from a dream.

But he just slept and never moved—
his hands felt limp and dead,
and when I tried to waken him,
he didn’t move his head.

My mother made me leave the room
until the stretcher came.
Away he went with blinking lights,
a siren’s flashing flame.

She said he’d had a heart attack,
and offered nothing more
yet when she died, I found his note—
long hidden in her drawer.

With all her fiery threats of hell…
one truth had been denied.
The records read Took Overdose.
Apparent Suicide.


This selection comes from the book, Alice in Ruby Slippers, available from Kelsay Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is currently enrolled in the Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing program. She is a ten-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. In 2018 her book In the Making of Goodbyes was nominated for The CLMP Firecracker Award in Poetry, and her poem A Mall in California took 2nd place for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. In 2019 her chapbook An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her work is widely published in magazines and online including, The Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, Mezzo Cammin, and Verse Daily. She is a former  Editor-in-Chief for the Tule Review and The Orchards Poetry Journal and member of the Sacramento Poetry Center Board of Directors. According to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alice in Ruby Slippers by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

For Kathy

There was a girl who loved me once,
from piano keys and fiddleback
chairs with gardenias pinned on strands
of hair, who chanted songs in longneck
pearls she knotted twice in kimono robes
and gorgeous curls, so naughty-nice
she lit up rooms and drank her drink
on afternoons in china cups of rosehip
tea with a dose of honey or maybe three.
There was a girl who loved me then,
with initials tattooed on her skin. She
sang undressed, beneath the moon—
I miss that girl who died too soon.


This selection comes from the book, Alice in Ruby Slippers, available from Kelsay Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is currently enrolled in the Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing program. She is a ten-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. In 2018 her book In the Making of Goodbyes was nominated for The CLMP Firecracker Award in Poetry, and her poem A Mall in California took 2nd place for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. In 2019 her chapbook An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her work is widely published in magazines and online including, The Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, Mezzo Cammin, and Verse Daily. She is a former  Editor-in-Chief for the Tule Review and The Orchards Poetry Journal and member of the Sacramento Poetry Center Board of Directors. According to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alice in Ruby Slippers by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Of You, Just Because

She used to push a light around my heart
igniting words that later found a place
and made their way beyond a secret part
of me that lived within a hidden space,
as if she’d freed me from the looming dark,
and yet I doubt she ever knew the weight
she’d lifted. Name it love, her spark
of magic passing through to me, a fate
I’m grateful for each day. I’d like to write
a verse, intricate, yet understood—
a dedication beautiful as night
with gentle love so infinite and good.
Sometimes a life is graced with such a friend—
with faith, she’ll know me from this poem penned.


This selection comes from the book, Alice in Ruby Slippers, available from Kelsay Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is currently enrolled in the Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing program. She is a ten-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. In 2018 her book In the Making of Goodbyes was nominated for The CLMP Firecracker Award in Poetry, and her poem A Mall in California took 2nd place for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. In 2019 her chapbook An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her work is widely published in magazines and online including, The Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, Mezzo Cammin, and Verse Daily. She is a former  Editor-in-Chief for the Tule Review and The Orchards Poetry Journal and member of the Sacramento Poetry Center Board of Directors. According to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: If Mother Braids a Waterfall by Dayna Patterson


This selection comes from the book, If Mother Braids a Waterfall, available from Signature Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Dayna Patterson is the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Her creative work has appeared recently in Gulf Coast, Ruminate, Sugar House Review, Thrush, and Tupelo Quarterly. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. She was a co-winner of the 2019 #DignityNotDetention Poetry Prize judged by Ilya Kaminsky, and she has been a Sustainable Arts Fellow at Mineral School Artists Residency. daynapatterson.com

Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: If Mother Braids a Waterfall by Dayna Patterson


This selection comes from the book, If Mother Braids a Waterfall, available from Signature Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Dayna Patterson is the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Her creative work has appeared recently in Gulf Coast, Ruminate, Sugar House Review, Thrush, and Tupelo Quarterly. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. She was a co-winner of the 2019 #DignityNotDetention Poetry Prize judged by Ilya Kaminsky, and she has been a Sustainable Arts Fellow at Mineral School Artists Residency. daynapatterson.com

Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: If Mother Braids a Waterfall by Dayna Patterson


This selection comes from the book, If Mother Braids a Waterfall, available from Signature Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Dayna Patterson is the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Her creative work has appeared recently in Gulf Coast, Ruminate, Sugar House Review, Thrush, and Tupelo Quarterly. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. She was a co-winner of the 2019 #DignityNotDetention Poetry Prize judged by Ilya Kaminsky, and she has been a Sustainable Arts Fellow at Mineral School Artists Residency. daynapatterson.com

Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: If Mother Braids a Waterfall by Dayna Patterson


This selection comes from the book, If Mother Braids a Waterfall, available from Signature Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Dayna Patterson is the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Her creative work has appeared recently in Gulf Coast, Ruminate, Sugar House Review, Thrush, and Tupelo Quarterly. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. She was a co-winner of the 2019 #DignityNotDetention Poetry Prize judged by Ilya Kaminsky, and she has been a Sustainable Arts Fellow at Mineral School Artists Residency. daynapatterson.com

Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.