“I carry my history stitched into my skin.” This line from Linda Schandelmeier’s poem, “Leaving for the University,” perfectly evokes the contents of her second book, Coming out of Nowhere.
But let’s back up a bit. Before university, Schandelmeier grew up in a frame cabin on a 160-acre homestead south of Anchorage around the time that Alaska became a state. In her preface, she characterizes these part-autobiographical, part-historical works as: “These poems sometimes take a circuitous route in order to arrive at a deeper truth.”
If you are looking for a book that fits into the genre of “Creative Nonfiction,” especially as an introduction, your best bet is to pick up The Shell Game immediately, edited by writer Kim Adrian. It is an anthology of lyric essays that range from crossword puzzles about becoming a grandmother, to eBay ads for the writer himself (0 bids, Price = $9.95).
According to Jeffrey J. Kripal, the “flip” is “that moment of realization beyond all linear thought, beyond all language, beyond all belief.” The Flip introduces scientists, philosophers, and average-joes that have undergone some sort of “flip,” some “new real” that took them from point A to B—B typically being a state of consciousness, one in which it is blatantly clear that we are nothing more than stardust, and there are powers at work that we may never comprehend.
Save your congratulations and your flowers
My baby is sunbathing on the moon
And with the eternal blue light she glows
In her clear house, with shutters
Save your kind regards, and visits
With doughnuts and kisses
Save your little nothings that amount to nothing
Save it save it
Purple green and christened blue
—from “Save Your Flowers”
Why do I love this?! Why do I read this book and just love, love, love it?!
Because we’ve all been there, suspended metaphorically or actually between life and death, damage and grief, birth and birthing, these spaces of WTF? where we desperately want to name the space and experience for the shitty, icky, unnameable thing it really is. That liminal emotional edge where, yeah, this agony might be transformed into something beautiful someday but please don’t name it that!
Out of the Woods: Seeing Nature in the Everyday is a collection of essays by Julia Corbett that examines the false dichotomies between humans and nature, culture and wilderness. To break down these divisions, Corbett, a professor in the Department of Communication and the Environmental Humanities Graduate Program at the University of Utah, looks closely at “everyday nature”—the animals, plants, and objects in and around the cities and suburbs of America.
In this issue, the writers and artists use the elements “Bus Stop,” “Stained Glass,” and “Canopy” in their pieces. Fiction by Enya Mayne, Hugh Andreson, and Richard Weems; nonfiction by Misty Urban and Marissa McNamara; and poetry by Laura Mayron, L Greenway, Hannah Blaser, Anna Sandy-Elrod, Kirsten Morgan, Suzy Harris, Rebecca Ellis, Yuri Han, Carol Barrett, and more. Art by Bhavna Misra, Terry Steele Kalet, Nancy Hathaway, Larry Cwik, and others. Photography by Julie Thi Underhill, Martha Nance, Shara Johnson, Kristina Harrison, Maraya Loza Koxahn, Tara Cronin, and more.
For this issue of About Place Journal, we were interested in works that get at the root of our current political disaster. We also wanted work that explored and reveled in our sources of support, interconnection, solace, and strength. We wanted work that could be useful to those of us engaged in this challenge who, on many days, feel exhausted, overwhelmed and disheartened. We wanted work that would challenge us to learn from perspectives outside of our own, that would help us understand history and how we arrived at this moment.
The latest issue features work by Lila Rabinovich, A. Poythress, Stephanie Cotsirilos, Andrew Hughes, KJ Hannah Greenberg, Donald Zagardo, Susan Margaret Scott, Fernando Meisenhalter, Claire Faugeroux, Paul Beckman, Robert Wexelblatt, B.L. Makiefsky, Thomas Genevieve, and Hillary Jo Foreman.
The “Passage Issue” is now on sale and features the poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction of ten writers, with cover art by Naji Chalhoub.
We’re back with our newly designed website, bringing you an issue with featured poet Mark Wunderlich. Joshua Corey reviews From the Files of the Immanent Foundation by Norman Finkelstein. Aldon Mielsen with “White Mischief Redux.” Poems by Karen Skolfield, Stephanie Burt, Troy Jollimore, G.C. Waldrep, Carol Moldaw, Bradford Tie, Angie Estes, and more.