Happy 90th to Willow Springs! Well, 90th ISSUE that is! Included in this installment is a special feature with Albert Godbarth, beginning with several poems and followed by an interview, which is a bit of a unicorn since Goldbarth “is not a fan of interviews. He would rather write poems than speak about them, and he would rather we read the poems than ask about them.” Also included in this issue are works by Hussain Ahmed, Rasha Alduwaisan, Nicole V Basta, Denver Butson, Aran Donovan, Kindall Fredricks, James Grabill, Juliana Gray, Tom Mccauley, Joan Murray, Matthew Nienow, Triin Paja, Amanda Maret Scharf, Emily Schulten, Melissa Studdard, Elizabeth Tannen, Fritz Ward, David Wojciechowski, Gregory Byrd, Anca Fodor, Jason Graff, Julie Innis, Anthony Kelly, and Lauren Osborn. And that beautiful goat on the cover is Heavens Falling by Alexis Trice.
Based out of Spokane, Washington, the newest issue of the biannual Willow Springs features poetry by Dan Albergotti, E. Kristin Anderson, Anne Barngrover, Thomas Brush, Elena Castro-Oliva, Dorsey Craft, Danielle Hanson, Julie Hensley, Karah Kemmerly, Alyse Knorr, David Dodd Lee, Tessa Livingstone, Andrew Rahal, Andy Sia, Michael Spence, John Struloeff, Elizabeth Vignali, Mekiya Walters; fiction by Andrew Furman, Adam Peterson, Sik Chuan Pua, Nickalus Rupert; nonfiction by Amanda Gaines, Maya Jewell Zeller; and an interview with Ada Limón. I’ve Been Told It Could Be Worse, oil on panel by Alexis Trice is the hauntingly gorgeous cover art. Some content is available to read online accompanied by author audio readings.
I’ve decided I will never be a mother, but when friends tell me the good news of their pregnancies, I feel so incredibly happy and excited for them. Hiding under that happiness, though, is always a small part of me that feels sad to know priorities are changing and our friendship is changing along with them. The speaker in “Charles, Delete This Voicemail” by Nate Duke grapples with this sad acceptance.
The poem is honest. Confessional. The speaker admits to their friend they wish “I could turn you / back from a dad into the boys we swore / we’d stay [ . . . ]” and goes on to compare Charles’s daughter to a bear “grunting [ . . . ] outside the tent” she was conceived in. The comparison isn’t pretty. The confession isn’t a pretty thought. And that’s what makes it feel so real, so relatable to the thoughts we hold back from the people we love so we don’t hurt them with our ugly truths. The title brings everything together—a wish to take protect the loved one from those truths, to take it all back. “Charles, Delete This Voicemail” is an almost painfully honest (yet still fully enjoyable) read.
“Charles, Delete This Voicemail” by Nate Duke. Willow Springs, Fall 2021.
Find Willow Springs Fall 2021 is out. New poetry by Roy Bentley, John Blair, Bruce Bond, Kathryn Hunt, Melissa Kwasny, Sandra McPherson, Melanie Tafejian, Lyuba Yakimchuk, and more; fiction by Robert Long Foreman, Amanda Marbais, and Wendy Elizabeth Wallace; and nonfiction by Andrew Farkas, Jeremy Alves da Silva Klemin, and Holly Spencer. Plus closing the issue: an interview with Kevin McIlvoy. Read more at the Willow Springs website.
Willow Springs 87 features prose and poetry from Joseph Millar, Ramona Ausubel, Jessica Lee Richardson, Andrew Furman, Lawrence Lenhart. Plus, John-Michael Bloomquist, Todd Davis, and others.
The Fall 2020 issue of Willow Springs features Joseph Millar, Ramona Ausubel, Jessica Lee Richardson, Andrew Furman, Lawrence Lenhart. Plus Sarah Bates, Dmitry Blizniuk, Bruce Bond, Maggie Graber, Matthew Lippman, J. Estanislao Lopez, Owen McLeod, John A. Nieves, John Sibley Williams, and more.
Magazine Review by Katy Haas
I’m a fan of reading and making blackout poetry, and the Spring 2020 issue of Willow Springs offers one piece of blackout by Jackson Burgess. What makes this a little more unique than other pieces of blackout I’ve read in the past is that Burgess blacks out his own poem.
On one page, readers can find a prose poem called “Medicine,” which details an almost nightmarish account of medical themes exploring a “lifetime trying to learn what another body needs.” On the next page, the prose poem is blacked out leaving only twelve words from the original piece. Dark and creative, I enjoyed the construction and deconstruction of Burgess’s work.
Here is the latest issue of Willow Springs. This issue features Roy Bentley, Michael Hettich, Andrea Jurjević, Michael McGriff, D. Nurkse who is interviewed this issue, Ira Sukrungruang, Jackson Burgess, Dante Di Stefano, Allison Hraban, Michael Hurley, Amy Seifried, Ojo Taiye, Fritz Ward, Ryan Cannon, William Walker, and more.