Exceptional Poetry From Around the Web: April 2022
Dearies! Hello (again)! This is I.S. Jones, Frontier’s Editor-in-Chief and I’m back sooner than expected. I said at the end of my last post that I would be back in May, but the truth is there are too many good poems in the world and not enough eyes on them. Here are five poets and five poems that I hope dazzle you as much as they did me. Featuring the work of Daniel B. Summerhill in the Columbia Journal, Zora Satchell in Brown Study, Hua Xi in The Ekphrastic Review, and Isaura Ren in Okay Donkey Mag. I hope all enjoy and thanks for reading & supporting living poets!
by Daniel B. Summerhill in Columbia Journal
a poem about joy, so much as it is
a poem about dying without ever knowing
it but mama, you’ve always stricken me
as someone who champions distance over
depth or faith over long suffering in
this way, i suppose joy isn’t the antonym
to pain, but the antibody
Part ode, part elegy, all heart, Summerhill’s poem, which was the 2021 Columbia Poetry Spring Contest runner-up, situates itself back and forth through time while paying homage to the women who are the pillars in his family. “Joy” is the word that repeats itself throughout the poem while simultaneously resisting the obvious tropes of what happiness looks like in the face of struggle. What moves me about this poem is the mother here is not made into a superhero, rather she meets the poem’s speaker with “outstretched hands— waiting / for a quarter, for joy”.
by Zora Satchell in Brown Study
I’ve lived off omeletes for an
When it came time to be with
friends I’d invite them over and
would cook one for them too
To me, the kitchen is the most sacred space not only in the landscape of domesticity, but period. I love to cook, especially for friends. I love learning what my friends favorite dish is and as someone who has dealt with food insecurity, this poem sits right in the center of my heart. A love poem to the kitchen space, and to a charming, easy-to-make dish, Satchell weaves an entire tapestry from Bourdain, loneliness, friendship, and so much more. Zora Satchell is a poet who moves through the world with a vivid imagination and meticulous attention.
By Hua Xi in The Ekphrastic Review
Here I have my little life,
entering numbers into a spreadsheet,
through the twinkling, untilled field,
so the cells can conduct electricity
and a flash of people kissing, chatting, staying up at night
can pass through the air.
This poem is deceptively charming. On the surface, the poem talks about the mundane in-and-out of life, of clocking in, but then the poem’s volta segues us back to magnificent terror of the natural world and how small humans are at its mercy.
By Isaura Ren in Okay Donkey Mag
you understand some moments must
be private, clutched so tight the
tendons tremble. others may lay bare
their naked faces to the sun—
not us, not quite yet. not with you
in me in you, hand on hand
The aubade is one of my favorite poetry forms because it is a form governed by the condition of the speaker’s ache and longing, less so by any formal constraints. So many gorgeous lines in this poem: ” this silk cocoon our kingdom. / knight me”. The language here is passionate, insistent and yet remains fully aware time is fleeting. If one could contain “forever” in a single moment, the work is done right here.
That’s all for now! I hope that you discovered a new poet or poem to love on. I’ll write to you next month.
Yours In Letters,