The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Them Gone by Akua Lezli Hope

Being Here

De Kock’s father beat him,

was an alcoholic, though his

murderous son says “big, strong, strict.”

We see how a stick was bent to life-snuffing sick,

stuck in a culture blinded to its colonial perdition.

In democratic purgatory,

I work to see monsters as human,

that next-door neighbor threatening harm

just an ill-bred girl.

I save money for expensive fences,

cast sea salt along the narrow border.


I pray, moments before a class of fledgling raptors

and grendahls, that my transitory presence makes them rethink

the drone of hate and fear they return to each afternoon,

that by showing them their power to create,

boys won’t make mine an automatic target,

girls might write their way to strength,

and not repeat their mothers

and not make more evil sons.

This selection comes from the book, Them Gone, available from Word Works.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

A third generation New Yorker, firstborn, Akua Lezli Hope has won two Artists Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Ragdale U.S.-Africa Fellowship, and a Creative Writing Fellowship from The National Endowment for The Arts. She’s won scholarships for the Hurston Wright writers’ program and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She is a Cave Canem fellow. She received an Artists Crossroads Grant from The Arts of the Southern Finger Lakes for her project “Words in Motion,” which placed poetry on the buses of New York’s Chemung and Steuben counties. She was the guest poet at the Steele Memorial Library’s 2003 Festival. UNPACKING, her collaboration with dancer choreographer, Lois Welk, was presented in 2003 at 171 Cedar Arts Center. She was a poet-in-residence at the Chautauqua Institute where she read her poetry, lectured on jazz poetry, and conducted a workshop entitled “Writing Poetry as Mythmaking.”
Her poem “Metis Emits” won the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s short poem award for 2015. Her first collection, EMBOUCHURE, Poems on Jazz and Other Musics, won the Writer’s Digest book award for poetry. Her poems, Montserrat and AwaIting Your Return (for Jamal Kashoggi) were nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize. Her manuscript, Them Gone, a finalist in the 2015 Word Works Washington Prize competition, was selected for Red Paint Hill Publishing’s Bryant Lysembee Editor’s Prize and published in December, 2018 by The Word Works.
She is published in numerous literary magazines and national anthologies including: 50 over 50, Minerva Rising, Strange Horizons, Eye to the Telescope, Breath and Shadow, The Crafty Poet II, The Cossack Review, Silver Blade, Tiny Text, The 100 Best African American Poems (2010); Killens Review, Breath and Shadow, Stone Canoe, Three Coyotes, The Year’s Best Writing, Writer’s Digest Guides, 2003; DARK MATTER, (the first!) anthology of African American Science Fiction, Time Warner Books, 2000; THE BLUELIGHT CORNER, black women writing on passion, sex, and romantic love, Three Rivers Press, 1999; Will Work For Peace: New Political Poems, 1999; MASKS, Earth’s Daughters 52, 1998; CHAIN, 1995; SISTERFIRE, an anthology of Black Womanist Fiction and Poetry, ed. by Charlotte Watson-Sherman, HarperPerennial, 1994; WHAT IS FOUND THERE, NOTEBOOKS ON POETRY AND POLITICS by Adrienne Rich, W.W. Norton, 1993; WRITING FROM THE NEW COAST: TECHNIQUE, Buffalo University, 1993; EROTIQUE NOIRE, (the first!) AN ANTHOLOGY OF BLACK EROTICA, Doubleday/Anchor, 1992; POETS MARKET, 1992, ed. by Judson Jerome, Writers Digest Books; CONFIRMATION, an anthology of Afrikan American Women Writers, 1983; EXTENDED OUTLOOKS, the Iowa Review Collection of Contemporary Women Writers, 1983; and Eyeball, 1995; Obsidian II, 1996, 1994, 1992, 1991; Blue Cage, 1993 (England); Hambone, 1992; African American Review, 1992; Catalyst 1992; and Contact II, 1989; among many others.
She holds a B.A. in psychology from Williams College, a M.B.A. in marketing from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and a M.S.J. in broadcast journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is a founding section leader in the Poetry Forum on Compuserve. She served as a founding section leader of African American Resource Forum and in the Books and Writers section of the African American Culture Forum (American Visions) on Compuserve. She also served as a trainer, area coordinator, and group founder and leader for Amnesty International, U.S.A., in the southern tier of New York. She co-authored a biweekly column on social, political, and cultural issues for the Star Gazette in 1995.
She was a finalist in the 1991 Open Voice competition, in the 1990 Barnard New Women Poets Series with her manuscript Fuel for Beginners, and in the MacDonald’s Black literary competition for 1989. Her manuscript, The Prize is the Journey, was a finalist in the 1983 Walt Whitman contest. She is a founding member of the Black Writers Union and the New Renaissance Writers Guild whose alumni include Arthur Flowers, Walter Dean Myers and Terri McMillan.
She led the Voices of Fire Reading Choir from 1987 to 1999, performing her work and that of other African American poets. Akua has given hundreds of readings to audiences in colleges, prisons, parks, museums, libraries and bars. Akua bears an exile’s desire for work close to home, and a writer’s yearning for a galvanizing mythos.
She also creates sculpture, objects, and jewelry in glass, metal and handmade paper; designs crochet patterns, plays with her cat and the soprano saxophone, sings, and makes good manifest.

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, and Instagram at @nilsawrites.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Them Gone by Akua Lezli Hope

950 Hoe Ave

(The Bronx)

The child does not love this place

It is skin it is light it is

her bubble bath

her curtains lifting

her yellow records on

her record player

let us give three cheers for Gaston and Josephine

i’ll be a sunbeam for Jesus

her stack of golden books

her room next to her parents

the long list for God to bless each night

her forbidden short cut through the alley to school

her treasured malteds at the fountain with Daddy

with an egg for health

and special sundaes on the boulevard with Mommy

she loves them but not this place

this five flights up

these French doors

this first to conquer living space

Castro sofa pull-out bed

where nights of blue glow heaven she waits

with Mommy, watching old myths,

Flynn, Fontaine, Niven, De Haviland, for Daddy

She does not love the fire escape

where she can glimpse other peoples’ lives

where summer brings baratata musics

(where her parents heard John Cage’s 777 misplayed

and Makeba’s clicks and trills shaped that age)

nor does she love her friends

black, blonde, brown, beige

where she met yogurt, hammen-

taschen, tortillas, grits

it took forever to learn to fight, fit, roller skate

concrete claimed her knees

she has blooded this place.

for her there was no before,

she has not come to after

she does not hold these memories –

the adult she becomes summons the ghosts,

holds the after,

loves that nonexistent place.

This selection comes from the book, Them Gone, available from Word Works.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

A third generation New Yorker, firstborn, Akua Lezli Hope has won two Artists Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Ragdale U.S.-Africa Fellowship, and a Creative Writing Fellowship from The National Endowment for The Arts. She’s won scholarships for the Hurston Wright writers’ program and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She is a Cave Canem fellow. She received an Artists Crossroads Grant from The Arts of the Southern Finger Lakes for her project “Words in Motion,” which placed poetry on the buses of New York’s Chemung and Steuben counties. She was the guest poet at the Steele Memorial Library’s 2003 Festival. UNPACKING, her collaboration with dancer choreographer, Lois Welk, was presented in 2003 at 171 Cedar Arts Center. She was a poet-in-residence at the Chautauqua Institute where she read her poetry, lectured on jazz poetry, and conducted a workshop entitled “Writing Poetry as Mythmaking.”
Her poem “Metis Emits” won the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s short poem award for 2015. Her first collection, EMBOUCHURE, Poems on Jazz and Other Musics, won the Writer’s Digest book award for poetry. Her poems, Montserrat and AwaIting Your Return (for Jamal Kashoggi) were nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize. Her manuscript, Them Gone, a finalist in the 2015 Word Works Washington Prize competition, was selected for Red Paint Hill Publishing’s Bryant Lysembee Editor’s Prize and published in December, 2018 by The Word Works.
She is published in numerous literary magazines and national anthologies including: 50 over 50, Minerva Rising, Strange Horizons, Eye to the Telescope, Breath and Shadow, The Crafty Poet II, The Cossack Review, Silver Blade, Tiny Text, The 100 Best African American Poems (2010); Killens Review, Breath and Shadow, Stone Canoe, Three Coyotes, The Year’s Best Writing, Writer’s Digest Guides, 2003; DARK MATTER, (the first!) anthology of African American Science Fiction, Time Warner Books, 2000; THE BLUELIGHT CORNER, black women writing on passion, sex, and romantic love, Three Rivers Press, 1999; Will Work For Peace: New Political Poems, 1999; MASKS, Earth’s Daughters 52, 1998; CHAIN, 1995; SISTERFIRE, an anthology of Black Womanist Fiction and Poetry, ed. by Charlotte Watson-Sherman, HarperPerennial, 1994; WHAT IS FOUND THERE, NOTEBOOKS ON POETRY AND POLITICS by Adrienne Rich, W.W. Norton, 1993; WRITING FROM THE NEW COAST: TECHNIQUE, Buffalo University, 1993; EROTIQUE NOIRE, (the first!) AN ANTHOLOGY OF BLACK EROTICA, Doubleday/Anchor, 1992; POETS MARKET, 1992, ed. by Judson Jerome, Writers Digest Books; CONFIRMATION, an anthology of Afrikan American Women Writers, 1983; EXTENDED OUTLOOKS, the Iowa Review Collection of Contemporary Women Writers, 1983; and Eyeball, 1995; Obsidian II, 1996, 1994, 1992, 1991; Blue Cage, 1993 (England); Hambone, 1992; African American Review, 1992; Catalyst 1992; and Contact II, 1989; among many others.
She holds a B.A. in psychology from Williams College, a M.B.A. in marketing from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and a M.S.J. in broadcast journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is a founding section leader in the Poetry Forum on Compuserve. She served as a founding section leader of African American Resource Forum and in the Books and Writers section of the African American Culture Forum (American Visions) on Compuserve. She also served as a trainer, area coordinator, and group founder and leader for Amnesty International, U.S.A., in the southern tier of New York. She co-authored a biweekly column on social, political, and cultural issues for the Star Gazette in 1995.
She was a finalist in the 1991 Open Voice competition, in the 1990 Barnard New Women Poets Series with her manuscript Fuel for Beginners, and in the MacDonald’s Black literary competition for 1989. Her manuscript, The Prize is the Journey, was a finalist in the 1983 Walt Whitman contest. She is a founding member of the Black Writers Union and the New Renaissance Writers Guild whose alumni include Arthur Flowers, Walter Dean Myers and Terri McMillan.
She led the Voices of Fire Reading Choir from 1987 to 1999, performing her work and that of other African American poets. Akua has given hundreds of readings to audiences in colleges, prisons, parks, museums, libraries and bars. Akua bears an exile’s desire for work close to home, and a writer’s yearning for a galvanizing mythos.
She also creates sculpture, objects, and jewelry in glass, metal and handmade paper; designs crochet patterns, plays with her cat and the soprano saxophone, sings, and makes good manifest.

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, and Instagram at @nilsawrites.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Look Look Look by Callista Buchen

Threshold


How she measures the days and their small bodies against her own. The child curled
against her arm, against her ribs, the toddler on her chest. Everyone is breathing. She
builds her body into home, into refuge, tries to fall into the moment like a well.

Her body is a fortress. Her body is a monument. She wants to say, but where is the
original map? But where have we buried my body?
You can’t ask this of children. She
grows stiff, tries to hold them until she becomes a door, and they all walk through.

This selection comes from the book, Look Look Look, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Colleen Abel.

Callista Buchen holds an MA from the University of Oregon, an MFA from Bowling Green State University, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. She is an assistant professor at Franklin College in Indiana, where she directs the creative writing program, advising the student literary magazine, The Apogee, and curating the visiting writers reading series.

The winner of DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the Lawrence Arts Center’s Langston Hughes Award, she is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, October 2019), the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, October 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, October 2017). Her poetry appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, Salamander, and others, while her reviews have been published in journals like Prick of the Spindle, The Literary Review, and The Collagist. She also writes frequently with the poet Amy Ash. Their collaborative work has appeared in journals like BOOAT and Poetry South, as well as been featured in the Inflectionist Review and in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing.

Colleen Abel is a Chicago-area native. Her debut collection of poems, Remake, won the 2015 Editors Prize from Unicorn Press and was published in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, as well as a recent Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2018), Abel has also held fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, KHN Center for the Arts, and Wassard Elea in southern Italy. She currently teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Look Look Look by Callista Buchen

Flashes


I hammer and turn, and everything I touch goes glass.

A mountain made of houses, all the walls and doors.

You don’t know what to say.

My mother watches. My father watches.

Where else would you go?

Someone imagines climbing through a window.

A whole forest of parents, a brickyard of parents.

I can’t, I say. I can’t.

Whispers: lie down with the baby. Map the baby. Build the baby.

I find sharp edges. I make sharp edges.

You wrap up in arms.

This selection comes from the book, Look Look Look, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Colleen Abel.

Callista Buchen holds an MA from the University of Oregon, an MFA from Bowling Green State University, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. She is an assistant professor at Franklin College in Indiana, where she directs the creative writing program, advising the student literary magazine, The Apogee, and curating the visiting writers reading series.

The winner of DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the Lawrence Arts Center’s Langston Hughes Award, she is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, October 2019), the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, October 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, October 2017). Her poetry appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, Salamander, and others, while her reviews have been published in journals like Prick of the Spindle, The Literary Review, and The Collagist. She also writes frequently with the poet Amy Ash. Their collaborative work has appeared in journals like BOOAT and Poetry South, as well as been featured in the Inflectionist Review and in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing.

Colleen Abel is a Chicago-area native. Her debut collection of poems, Remake, won the 2015 Editors Prize from Unicorn Press and was published in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, as well as a recent Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2018), Abel has also held fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, KHN Center for the Arts, and Wassard Elea in southern Italy. She currently teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Look Look Look by Callista Buchen

Quick Change


She keeps her body around the house. There is body in the coat closet in the hall by the
front door, body under the bed in plastic bins, a pile in the garage by the recycling bin.
The spares, she calls them. She misplaces her body like she loses her keys. She releases
it, lets her body carry her from this room to that, lets her body stretch until it must be
replaced. It is better this way, she says, slipping into a fresh one as the baby cries. I never have to worry about being recognized.

This selection comes from the book, Look Look Look, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Colleen Abel.

Callista Buchen holds an MA from the University of Oregon, an MFA from Bowling Green State University, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. She is an assistant professor at Franklin College in Indiana, where she directs the creative writing program, advising the student literary magazine, The Apogee, and curating the visiting writers reading series.

The winner of DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the Lawrence Arts Center’s Langston Hughes Award, she is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, October 2019), the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, October 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, October 2017). Her poetry appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, Salamander, and others, while her reviews have been published in journals like Prick of the Spindle, The Literary Review, and The Collagist. She also writes frequently with the poet Amy Ash. Their collaborative work has appeared in journals like BOOAT and Poetry South, as well as been featured in the Inflectionist Review and in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing.

Colleen Abel is a Chicago-area native. Her debut collection of poems, Remake, won the 2015 Editors Prize from Unicorn Press and was published in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, as well as a recent Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2018), Abel has also held fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, KHN Center for the Arts, and Wassard Elea in southern Italy. She currently teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Look Look Look by Callista Buchen

Look Look Look


At first, we think we need to wash the windows, but the problem is that they all have
broken seals. Moisture grows between panels. It is easy, they say on the phone. You just
replace each window with a new one.
Later, I read that the cells of children move through the placenta, latch on to the mother’s
lungs, liver, brain, her skin. The daughter’s cells, the cells of the new baby, the cells of
the baby that was lost. All the people of this body. A fissure leads to fog.
We squint when we try to watch the birds in the garden. The daughter doesn’t care. She
lifts her shirt and points to her navel and I tell her, this is where we were attached.
The knot on her belly.
The knot on my belly.
The knot on my mother’s belly.
After the baby comes out, she wants to know, can she have another turn. Then she’s back
to the window, pointing to what flies

This selection comes from the book, Look Look Look, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Colleen Abel.

Callista Buchen holds an MA from the University of Oregon, an MFA from Bowling Green State University, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. She is an assistant professor at Franklin College in Indiana, where she directs the creative writing program, advising the student literary magazine, The Apogee, and curating the visiting writers reading series.

The winner of DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the Lawrence Arts Center’s Langston Hughes Award, she is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, October 2019), the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, October 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, October 2017). Her poetry appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, Salamander, and others, while her reviews have been published in journals like Prick of the Spindle, The Literary Review, and The Collagist. She also writes frequently with the poet Amy Ash. Their collaborative work has appeared in journals like BOOAT and Poetry South, as well as been featured in the Inflectionist Review and in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing.

Colleen Abel is a Chicago-area native. Her debut collection of poems, Remake, won the 2015 Editors Prize from Unicorn Press and was published in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, as well as a recent Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2018), Abel has also held fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, KHN Center for the Arts, and Wassard Elea in southern Italy. She currently teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Look Look Look by Callista Buchen

Metaphysics

Our most ambitious work: mother as birthplace, where woman becomes location.
Someone singing: rejoice! A body in service, a graft here, a graft there.
Call and response: how she (nearly) disappears inside ritual and imprint.
Let’s situate: Where were you born?
In a (nearly) different life, the child stands between her parents: a record, a stain, a
photograph of the future.
Contextualize: There, says the child, pointing toward her mother, home.
Later, how (nearly) altered: child becomes mother, the X on a map.
Call and response: why didn’t you warn me?
A prayer: but who would believe it? says the mother, and turns on the music.

This selection comes from the book, Look Look Look, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Colleen Abel.

Callista Buchen holds an MA from the University of Oregon, an MFA from Bowling Green State University, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. She is an assistant professor at Franklin College in Indiana, where she directs the creative writing program, advising the student literary magazine, The Apogee, and curating the visiting writers reading series.

The winner of DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the Lawrence Arts Center’s Langston Hughes Award, she is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, October 2019), the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, October 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, October 2017). Her poetry appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, Salamander, and others, while her reviews have been published in journals like Prick of the Spindle, The Literary Review, and The Collagist. She also writes frequently with the poet Amy Ash. Their collaborative work has appeared in journals like BOOAT and Poetry South, as well as been featured in the Inflectionist Review and in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing.

Colleen Abel is a Chicago-area native. Her debut collection of poems, Remake, won the 2015 Editors Prize from Unicorn Press and was published in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, as well as a recent Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2018), Abel has also held fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, KHN Center for the Arts, and Wassard Elea in southern Italy. She currently teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: How to Tell If You Are Human by Jessy Randall

This selection comes from the book, How to Tell If You Are Human, available from Pleiades.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Colleen Abel.

Jessy Randall’s previous books include the poetry collections Suicide Hotline Hold Music, Injecting Dreams into Cows, and A Day in Boyland (a finalist for the Colorado Book Award). Her poems, comics, and other things have appeared in Poetry, McSweeney’s, and Best American Experimental Writing. She is the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College, where she teaches a class in The History and Future of the Book. She lives in Colorado Springs with her family.

Colleen Abel is a Chicago-area native. Her debut collection of poems, Remake, won the 2015 Editors Prize from Unicorn Press and was published in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. 

A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, as well as a recent Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2018), Abel has also held fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, KHN Center for the Arts, and Wassard Elea in southern Italy. She currently teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: How to Tell If You Are Human by Jessy Randall

This selection comes from the book, How to Tell If You Are Human, available from Pleiades.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Colleen Abel.

Jessy Randall’s previous books include the poetry collections Suicide Hotline Hold Music, Injecting Dreams into Cows, and A Day in Boyland (a finalist for the Colorado Book Award). Her poems, comics, and other things have appeared in Poetry, McSweeney’s, and Best American Experimental Writing. She is the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College, where she teaches a class in The History and Future of the Book. She lives in Colorado Springs with her family.

Colleen Abel is a Chicago-area native. Her debut collection of poems, Remake, won the 2015 Editors Prize from Unicorn Press and was published in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. 

A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, as well as a recent Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2018), Abel has also held fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, KHN Center for the Arts, and Wassard Elea in southern Italy. She currently teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: How to Tell If You Are Human by Jessy Randall

This selection comes from the book, How to Tell If You Are Human, available from Pleiades.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Colleen Abel.

Jessy Randall’s previous books include the poetry collections Suicide Hotline Hold Music, Injecting Dreams into Cows, and A Day in Boyland (a finalist for the Colorado Book Award). Her poems, comics, and other things have appeared in Poetry, McSweeney’s, and Best American Experimental Writing. She is the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College, where she teaches a class in The History and Future of the Book. She lives in Colorado Springs with her family.

Colleen Abel is a Chicago-area native. Her debut collection of poems, Remake, won the 2015 Editors Prize from Unicorn Press and was published in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. 

A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, as well as a recent Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2018), Abel has also held fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, KHN Center for the Arts, and Wassard Elea in southern Italy. She currently teaches at Eastern Illinois University.