The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: South Texas Experience: Love Letters by Noemi Martinez


In honor of Autism Celebration Month, this selection comes from the book, South Texas Experience: Love Letters, available from Hermanx Resist Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Noemi Martinez is a crip queer femme poet-curanderx and writer with magical roots in Mexico and Puerto Rico living in the Rio Grande Valley, in deep South Texas. A long time zinester, Noemi is interested in alt.media, diy, solarpunk, crip futures and cyborg worlds. Her work was saved by her mother on her nightstand, a few of her friends have her books and a few friends might be in possession of her letters. https://twitter.com/hermanaresist

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: South Texas Experience: Love Letters by Noemi Martinez


In honor of Autism Celebration Month, this selection comes from the book, South Texas Experience: Love Letters, available from Hermanx Resist Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Noemi Martinez is a crip queer femme poet-curanderx and writer with magical roots in Mexico and Puerto Rico living in the Rio Grande Valley, in deep South Texas. A long time zinester, Noemi is interested in alt.media, diy, solarpunk, crip futures and cyborg worlds. Her work was saved by her mother on her nightstand, a few of her friends have her books and a few friends might be in possession of her letters. https://twitter.com/hermanaresist

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: South Texas Experience: Love Letters by Noemi Martinez


In honor of Autism Celebration Month, this selection comes from the book, South Texas Experience: Love Letters, available from Hermanx Resist Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Noemi Martinez is a crip queer femme poet-curanderx and writer with magical roots in Mexico and Puerto Rico living in the Rio Grande Valley, in deep South Texas. A long time zinester, Noemi is interested in alt.media, diy, solarpunk, crip futures and cyborg worlds. Her work was saved by her mother on her nightstand, a few of her friends have her books and a few friends might be in possession of her letters. https://twitter.com/hermanaresist

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: South Texas Experience: Love Letters by Noemi Martinez


In honor of Autism Celebration Month, this selection comes from the book, South Texas Experience: Love Letters, available from Hermanx Resist Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Noemi Martinez is a crip queer femme poet-curanderx and writer with magical roots in Mexico and Puerto Rico living in the Rio Grande Valley, in deep South Texas. A long time zinester, Noemi is interested in alt.media, diy, solarpunk, crip futures and cyborg worlds. Her work was saved by her mother on her nightstand, a few of her friends have her books and a few friends might be in possession of her letters. https://twitter.com/hermanaresist

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: South Texas Experience: Love Letters by Noemi Martinez


In honor of Autism Celebration Month, this selection comes from the book, South Texas Experience: Love Letters, available from Hermanx Resist Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Noemi Martinez is a crip queer femme poet-curanderx and writer with magical roots in Mexico and Puerto Rico living in the Rio Grande Valley, in deep South Texas. A long time zinester, Noemi is interested in alt.media, diy, solarpunk, crip futures and cyborg worlds. Her work was saved by her mother on her nightstand, a few of her friends have her books and a few friends might be in possession of her letters. https://twitter.com/hermanaresist

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Fever Dream/Take Heart by Valyntina Grenier

NEROLI

Lost echo
an arching sigh
Segments of citrus
your love is mine
I trace a helix over your sleeping eye
The tips of a trident
lift me
I float on my back
my arms spread wide
as I course out to sea
beseeching Chaos/ infinity
Help me
What is it
The embarrassment
the fulfillment
What
A sinister whorl


In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this selection comes from the book, Fever Dream/Take Heart, available from Cathexis Northwest Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Valyntina Grenier’s FEVER DREAM / TAKE HEARTmarks a poetic “double debut” with a tête-bêche chapbook, two titles bound upside-down with two front covers (featuring paintings by Grenier), which can be read from either side. The poems shape their sense from sound, but do not hesitate to critique/navigate/decipher reality with a feminist protest. Associative and dreamy, the poems also prove to be starkly political. They explore how we are miraculously alive in the midst of degrading political and weather systems. Some of the poems derive their initial lexicon from source texts, but they all confront the tenderness and violence that mark our human natures. With subtle humor, word play, and linguistic inventions, Grenier has written a surprising tour de force whose discrete short books, taken together, range from the sexual and sinister to the prayerful and divine.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Fever Dream/Take Heart by Valyntina Grenier

CREATION MYTH

He tells the child about the turn of the seasons
about seeds and how flowers rise
Her chest compresses against the bathroom sink
He gazes in his eyes jerking and panting lies
See it’s raining he sighs
+
As I touch the bleeding swords of the sun
I say as I climb
through the scorching front seats
I’ll drive
to the center of the sun
to save our lives
I leap stone steps
built into the curve of a tower wall
to find my self dreaming this life
I run screaming to my mother’s side
away from a future
adolescent me
revolving slowly in a cave
w/ rays of light streaming
from my mouth nose and eyes
Fetal light like the tip of my toddler finger
translucent over the power light
on my great grandmother’s electric organ


In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this selection comes from the book, Fever Dream/Take Heart, available from Cathexis Northwest Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Valyntina Grenier’s FEVER DREAM / TAKE HEARTmarks a poetic “double debut” with a tête-bêche chapbook, two titles bound upside-down with two front covers (featuring paintings by Grenier), which can be read from either side. The poems shape their sense from sound, but do not hesitate to critique/navigate/decipher reality with a feminist protest. Associative and dreamy, the poems also prove to be starkly political. They explore how we are miraculously alive in the midst of degrading political and weather systems. Some of the poems derive their initial lexicon from source texts, but they all confront the tenderness and violence that mark our human natures. With subtle humor, word play, and linguistic inventions, Grenier has written a surprising tour de force whose discrete short books, taken together, range from the sexual and sinister to the prayerful and divine.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.

Lyric Essentials: moira j. Reads Joy Harjo


For this installment of Lyric Essentials, we are joined by Sundress author moira j. They read poems from poet laureate Joy Harjo, and talk about the role of storytelling in indigenous poetry. Thanks for reading!


Erica Hoffmeister: What is your personal connection to Joy Harjo that led you to read her poetry for Lyric Essentials?

moira j.: Joy Harjo is the first Indigenous poet I was ever introduced to, my first connection to seeing how storytelling could be done on our terms through poetry. Her book, “Map to the End of the World” was the first poetry book I read outside of school and I instantly felt bonded to it. Her and her work have been integral to my creative landscape since I was a child. I cannot imagine a world without her work.

EH: Of Joy Harjo’s expansive body of work, why did you choose these two poems?

mj: These poems have been sitting in my mind recently. To think of the ways my people, and Indigenous people all over the world, have survived or haven’t survived these apocalypses of settler colonialism and all its violence. I think it’s necessary to look at the ways in which we interrogate the systems that have displaced and dispossessed our people, and the methods in which we continue ceremony and connection to each other. This includes questioning the ways America is seen as America by settlers and non-Indigenous people who may benefit from settler colonialism now.

moira j. Reads “An American Sunrise” by Joy Harjo

EH: How do you think it’s important to experience Harjo’s poetry read aloud?

mj: Her work has unshakable cadence, the ways in which she utilizes line breaks has such concussive force. I love being able to feel the way in which her words form landscapes, the low valleys to high peaks. She is one of my favorite poets to read aloud. 

EH: There is a particular line from “Perhaps the World Ends Here” that reads: “It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human.” Do you make use of that concept of what it means to be human in your own writing, or in your newest poetry collection Bury Me in Thunder, specifically? 

mj: Storytelling in my community, and so in many others, is a reflection of humanity itself, to explain or process the situations we’ve encountered since time immemorial. Bury Me in Thunder specifically looks at how we are made through intergenerational trauma, the experiences of our family members, and how we process our individual life events. In the case of the book, it was the ways in which I came to terms with grief and healing through these facets, and how it reinforces, instead of diminishes, my humanity as a transgender, Indigenous person.

moira j. Reads “Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo


Joy Harjo is member of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv (Hickory Ground). An acclaimed poet, musician, playwright, and activist, Harjo was named the 23rd U.S. poet laureate, becoming the first Native American to serve the position. She is also the chancellor of the American Academy of Poets, directs For Girls Becom­ing, an arts mentor­ship pro­gram for young Mvskoke women, and is a found­ing board mem­ber of the Native Arts and Cul­tures Foun­da­tion. She is the author of nine books of poetry, two award-winning children’s books, and a musical play. As a poet, she is best known for writing about vast landscapes and incorporating indigenous storytelling and histories, and social justice traditions into her work by exploring the violence of settler colonialism and the reclamation of her heritage. Awards for her work include: the Ruth Lily Prize for Life­time Achieve­ment from the Poet­ry Foun­da­tion, the Acad­e­my of Amer­i­can Poets Wal­lace Stevens Award, the New Mex­i­co Governor’s Award for Excel­lence in the Arts, a PEN USA Lit­er­ary Award, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund Writ­ers’ Award, a Ras­mu­son US Artist Fel­low­ship, two NEA fel­low­ships, and a Guggen­heim Fellowship, among others. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Further reading:

Purchase Joy Harjo’s book How We Became Human
Read NPR’s feature, announcing Joy Harjo as the first Native American U.S. poet laureate
Listen to an interview with Joy Harjo, from the Academy of American Poets

moira j. is an agender writer of Dził Łigai Si’an N’dee descent. They were the winner of the 2018 Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize and were Frontier Poetry’s 2019 Frontier New Voices Fellow. Their work is published/forthcoming in The Shallow EndsWILDNESS, and Black Warrior Review. They currently live with their partner in the occupied Massachusett homelands of Nutohkemminnit (Greater Boston). Their debut poetry collection, “Bury Me in Thunder” (January 29, 2020) is out now with Sundress Publications. You can find more of their work at www.moiraj.com.

Further reading:

Purchase Bury Me in Thunder from Sundress Publications
Read Frontier Poetry’s interview with moira j.
Follow moira j. on Twitter

Erica Hoffmeister is originally from Southern California and earned an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English from Chapman University. Currently in Denver, she teaches college writing and is an editor for the Denver-based literary journal South Broadway Ghost Society. She is the author of two poetry collections: Lived in Bars (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019), and the prize-winning chapbook, Roots Grew Wild (Kingdoms in the Wild Press, 2019). A cross-genre writer, she has several works of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, articles and critical essays published in various outlets. Learn more about her at http://ericahoffmeister.com/

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Fever Dream/Take Heart by Valyntina Grenier

KITTEN AND CROCODILE

The soft nape of her neck
Woman and god
another rape another child
Why are there twins
Why does it thunder
We make this wind
its wrath


In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this selection comes from the book, Fever Dream/Take Heart, available from Cathexis Northwest Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Valyntina Grenier’s FEVER DREAM / TAKE HEARTmarks a poetic “double debut” with a tête-bêche chapbook, two titles bound upside-down with two front covers (featuring paintings by Grenier), which can be read from either side. The poems shape their sense from sound, but do not hesitate to critique/navigate/decipher reality with a feminist protest. Associative and dreamy, the poems also prove to be starkly political. They explore how we are miraculously alive in the midst of degrading political and weather systems. Some of the poems derive their initial lexicon from source texts, but they all confront the tenderness and violence that mark our human natures. With subtle humor, word play, and linguistic inventions, Grenier has written a surprising tour de force whose discrete short books, taken together, range from the sexual and sinister to the prayerful and divine.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Fever Dream/Take Heart by Valyntina Grenier

WE’RE POSSIBLY OUT OF CAKE
our brainstay
Tomorrow earth clear skies /w
degrees of intervention and departing no
spontaneously combusting selfblind
a chance of embitterment or cathexis
I feel it arriving something fast
making against some same
Sine and rain we condensate
Think of beads of mist gathering
along the outside of a water glass
Cool down against them and we do
have a pool
on some deeper hunter from go


In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this selection comes from the book, Fever Dream/Take Heart, available from Cathexis Northwest Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Valyntina Grenier’s FEVER DREAM / TAKE HEARTmarks a poetic “double debut” with a tête-bêche chapbook, two titles bound upside-down with two front covers (featuring paintings by Grenier), which can be read from either side. The poems shape their sense from sound, but do not hesitate to critique/navigate/decipher reality with a feminist protest. Associative and dreamy, the poems also prove to be starkly political. They explore how we are miraculously alive in the midst of degrading political and weather systems. Some of the poems derive their initial lexicon from source texts, but they all confront the tenderness and violence that mark our human natures. With subtle humor, word play, and linguistic inventions, Grenier has written a surprising tour de force whose discrete short books, taken together, range from the sexual and sinister to the prayerful and divine.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.