National Poetry Day 2021
-Matthew Clegg says
@fayay ‘s (Fay Musselwhite’s)’Goat Boy’ is right up there for me; I love @JMThras ‘s ‘Our Man’ sequence; @Joe_coghlan‘s [brand new] ‘John Clare in Norfolk’ sequence have been on my mind a lot recently, though there have been others over the years, may others.
-Matthew Clegg from his collection “West North East, Longbarrow Press, 2013). Chosen by Jamie Thrasivoulou.
-Andy MacGregor. Chosen by Regine Ebner who says “‘The north wind’s a crooked jailer’… Like much of his poetry, it has a deep, haunting feel but this one ends with a wisp of hope that moves me every time.”
We’ve tucked the skylights in, stapled the curtains
to the wall. Still the night won’t close,
not completely. In a pale orbit of your hair I sit
watching the sky as if what it does it does so
with purpose, like these dusky string lights
that pass for the souls of orange groves
drawn back to Los Angeles by the August heat.
I turn them off. You’re inside with a migraine,
refusing your pills. Even a seed could plant itself
in your throat, a strawberry’s, a spider’s, a man’s.
When your skull struck the concrete
like a match, some light went out for good and now
I must hold you through each eclipse, each passing
shadow of that other world—the one
where I caught you or your last lover hadn’t
sunk black holes in the drywall with your head.
No one meant to hurt you forever,
not when you asked if you looked like Jean Seberg
and I said, Yes, as Joan of Arc, or when you said,
Tell me the truth, and I told you
how the moon returns from being impossibly thin,
how gravity clings to our missing pieces and one day
they will close a lid on the sun
and kings, priests, soldiers will tremble and pray.
-Nicholas Yingling. Chosen by Kari Flickinger. She says “Like most poems by @Donyingling this one makes me weep every time I read it.
Bios and Links
is a teacher in Tucson, Arizona. Her poetry has been featured in Black Bough Poems, Consilience, Sledgehammer Lit, Loft Books and others. She loves and writes about the great Sonoran Desert of the American Southwest.
is the author of The Gull and the Bell Tower (Femme Salvé Books). She has a new chapbook forthcoming. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the SFPA Rhysling Award. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley.
was born in Leeds in 1969. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 1997, and from 1999-2001 he was poet in residence at the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. His published works include Lost Between Stations (https://longbarrowpress.com/current-publications/matthew-clegg/… ), West North East (https://westnortheast.wordpress.com ), The Navigators (…https://matthewcleggthenavigators.wordpress.com ) and Cazique (https://longbarrowpress.com/2018/10/19/cazique/…). He has worked as a Literature Officer for Arts Council England, and has taught at Sheffield University Lifelong Learning, and for the Open College of Arts. He currently lectures in creative writing at Derby University, and he lives in Sheffield.