How Darkness Enters a Body // Sarah Nichols

“In this darkness, desire is safe,” begins the title poem for Sarah Nichols’ How Darkness Enters a Body. In this darkness, desire is safe. There are secrets here, confessions. The poet brings us to the photos of Diane Arbus, inspecting contact sheets and images, mining poems from silver embedded in emulsion. Black and white photographs transformed into ekphrastic lines, light and shadow, poet leading reader to artist to begin a conversation. The speaker’s voice is sure, whispering to us in the way Arbus’ images do, pools of darkness unexpected and edged, like shadows thrown under an eclipse. Confront her or take her hand—these and more choices are yours:  “Here is your tongue, sister. / Let me share it.”  (Porkbelly Press, 2018) » available in our shop » more info

 

about the poet

Sarah Nichols lives and writes in Connecticut. She is the author of three chapbooks, including She May Be a Saint (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2016) and Edie (Whispering): Poems from Gray Gardens (Dancing Girl Press, 2015). She also co-edits Thank You for Swallowing, an online journal of feminist protest poetry. Her poetry and essays have also appeared and are forthcoming in Queen of Cups, The RS 500, Rogue Agent, and Ekphrastic Review.

excerpt

SOMETHING WAS THERE AND NO LONGER IS

After Inadvertent Double Exposure of a Self Portrait and Images of Times Square, NYC, 1957, by Diane Arbus

I haunt this place now. Under the
neon, I pass between worlds. The

spirit photograph no one wants to
believe.

I catch my subjects so easily: the
woman, poised before the next cigarette,

almost recognizes herself in the
snare of my lens. Or the crowd,

thinking themselves safe in the light
of the next dime show miracle.

I don’t dare to shut my eyes.

End of Year News

End of year news (December!) for our Porkbelly Press poets & writers:

Dreamland for Keeps (Porkbelly Press, 2018) & How Darkness Enters a Body (Porkbelly Press, 2018) by Sarah Nichols » @onibaba37

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Apples or Pomegranates (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Anita Olivia Koester » anitaoliviakoester.com

  • “Coronation,” a sonnet crown, was nominated for a Pushcart by Pittsburgh Poetry Review.
  • Anita’s poem “Avowal” won the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.

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Love Me, Anyway (Porkbelly Press, 2018)
by Minadora Macheret

  • “Baba Yaga: Her Almost Origin Story” from bramble & thorn was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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MEXICAMERICANA (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Eloisa Amezcua » www.eloisaamezcua.com

  • “Watching Underworld, Inc Episode 3: Human Cargo” from Mexicamericana was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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Feeding the Dead (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by M. Brett Gaffney « blog

  • “Hellhound, Lost” from Feeding the Dead was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Kristi Carter » @kristixcarter

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Blackbird Whitetail Redhand (Porkbelly Press, 2018)
by Lindsay Lusby

  • We’re working on finishing up the design of the cover for this chapbook. Lindsay blogged some thoughts about letterpress. Blackbird Whitetail Redhand will ship in early 2018.

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Bramble & Thorn Anthology

 from the introduction

We ask you to step into the dark forest with us, with these women and girls in poem—their sharp knives, those long fangs may protect you. Reach out—take the hand of the one beside you. Don’t worry if she seems hungry; she’s always hungry; she has her mind already made, blade sharpened to meet the wolf’s heart. (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more information

contributors

Sarah Ann Winn, Donna Vorreyer, Robin Turner, Phoebe Reeves, Lori Propheter, Susan Milchman, Melissa Atkinson Mercer, Rebecca Macijeski, Minadora Macheret, Lindsay Lusby, Sally Rosen Kindred, Sonja Johanson, Alicia Hoffman, Jenn Givhan, Emily Corwin, Emily Rose Cole, Ava C. Cipri, Erinn Batykefer, Stacey Balkun, Stephanie Bryant Anderson, E. Kristin Anderson, & Cassandra de Alba.

covers & binding

bramble & thorn is a handbound anthology limited to an edition of 125. Our cover imagery was provided by Olivia Edvalson.

available in our shop » $9.50

Pushcart Prize Nominations 2017

Our 2017 Pushcart Prize nominations are drawn from our anthology, bramble & thorn, and chapbooks from this year’s line:

“Tincture” by Emily Corwin from bramble & thorn

“Vestigial Epithalamium” by Erinn Batykefer from bramble & thorn

“Baba Yaga: Her Almost Origin Story” by Minadora Macheret from bramble & thorn

“Watching Underworld, Inc Episode 3: Human Cargo” by Eloisa Amezcua from Mexicamericana (Porkbelly Press, 2017)

“Hellhound, Lost” by M. Brett Gaffney from Feeding the Dead (Porkbelly Press, 2017)

“My Mother Is Certain” by Kristi Carter from Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem (Porkbelly Press, 2017)

November’s Good Stuff

Good news, interviews, happenings, & pubs from our Porkbelly family.

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Dreamland for Keeps (Porkbelly Press, 2018) & How Darkness Enters a Body (Porkbelly Press, 2018) by Sarah Nichols » @onibaba37

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Apples or Pomegranates (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Anita Olivia Koester » anitaoliviakoester.com

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The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Donna Vorreyer » donnavorreyer.com

  • Some Magic” is up on SWWIM. A little spellwork as we go into winter.

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Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Patrick Kindig »

  • a new poem, “PDA,” in The National Poetry Review.

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A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Amorak Huey » amorakhuey.net

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Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem // Kristi Carter

Carter’s work investigates the intersection of intergenerational trauma, survival, feminism, and power. Body-heavy and image-rich, these poems evoke a landscape of the scars and blood we carry with us, all the things that make up our lineage of memory and modes of recovery/survival/learning. It’s an intensely intimate series of poems about the claiming and finding of voice, body, and agency. “And ever since I anchored myself to the ground / and split off from myself, from the cracked husk / of girlhood finished, I return replenished. /  I return, to burn. / I return, with the wound / like a medal—in its gleam, how it sings.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » available in our shop » more info & excerpt

about the poet

Kristi Carter is a PhD student in Creative Writing–Poetry with a specialization in Women’s and Gender Studies at University of Nebraska Lincoln. Her poems have appeared in publications including So to Speak, poemmemoirstory, CALYX, Hawaii Review, and Nimrod. Her work examines of the intersection of gender and intergenerational trauma in 20th Century poetics. She holds an MFA from Oklahoma State University.

 

Apples or Pomegranates (Anita Olivia Koester)

Apples or Pomegranates is an intimate exploration of the spirit housed inside a body, the failings and the strength in each. Sometimes erotic and at other times full of another kind of wanting, this micro chapbook delves into the experience of living boldly, step by step along the path—”a tight-rope walking girl, a pit of lions beneath.” This is the route she takes on these pages, hand out, palm up, if you’ve courage enough to join her. (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more info & excerpt » available in our shop

about the poet

Anita Olivia Koester is a Chicago poet and author of the chapbooks Marco Polo (Hermeneutic Chaos Press) and Arrow Songs which won Paper Nautilus’ Vella Chapbook Contest. Her poems have been nominated for Best New Poets and Pushcart Prizes, and won Midwestern Gothic’s 2016 Lake Prize in Poetry, So to Speak’s Annual Poetry Contest, and the Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Award. She is currently the poetry editor for Duende. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Vinyl, CALYX Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Her work as been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, and Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA). Visit her online at www.anitaoliviakoester.com.

blurbs

In this collection, Koester gives us three central lessons. One, it is not always necessary to be loud to be ferocious. Two, there are unlimited ways to be naked, most of which happen clothed. Three, even longing that begins with nostalgia can blossom into something altogether and luminously new.

—Marty McConnell

Apples and Pomegranates unravels and interrogates a universe set on its denial of the body feminine. Artistic canon, the expectations and consequences of relationships, biology itself, and even language (its translation or mistranslation) are called into light by Koester’s words. “Travelling the fallopian tubes of the Milky Way” is a tender prospect in every sense of the word. Koester’s command of passion and utterance is that kind of double-edged wonder.

—Keith S. Wilson

Anita is also the cover artist for her chapbook.