In her third po­etry col­lec­tion,

Poets and Writers - - Trends - –DANA ISOKAWA

Witch Wife—forth­com­ing from Sara­bande Books in De­cem­ber—Kiki Pet­rosino reck­ons with the de­ci­sion of whether or not to have a child. It’s a ques­tion she says has no yes-or-no an­swer: “This is one ter­rain I can’t nav­i­gate with any map,” she says. “It’s per­sonal, it’s emo­tional.” The book is for­mally in­ven­tive, with prose po­ems and free-verse lyrics along­side vil­lanelles and other tra­di­tional forms. With such a di­verse set of po­ems, Pet­rosino says the ed­i­tors who so­licit her work also tend to pro­mote an eclec­tic va­ri­ety of styles in their jour­nals. In ad­di­tion to the five pub­li­ca­tions be­low, Pet­rosino has been pub­lished in ju­bi­lat, Tu­pelo Quar­terly, and Po­etry, among oth­ers.

With their in­can­ta­tory lan­guage and some­times dark, fan­tas­ti­cal bent, many of Pet­rosino’s po­ems are right at home in the on­line jour­nal

(weare­g­ri­, named af­ter a book of mag­i­cal spells and in­vo­ca­tions. Estab­lished in 2016 in Chicago, Gri­moire pub­lishes two bian­nual is­sues of po­etry, fic­tion, non­fic­tion, and art­work—plus spells, séances and fan let­ters to dead au­thors, and de­scrip­tions of dreams. “De­spite Gri­moire’s in­ter­est in dark sub­ject mat­ter, there is some­thing buoy­ant, even fes­tive, about the jour­nal’s take on the macabre,” says Pet­rosino. “Be­ing in­vited to con­trib­ute my po­ems was like be­ing asked to at­tend a se­cret party in a glim­mer­ing, un­der­ground cav­ern.” Sub­mis­sions in all gen­res are open year-round via e-mail; the ed­i­tors are in­ter­ested in work that echoes ev­ery­thing from Shirley Jack­son and Miss Hav­isham to dooms­day cults and “okay, maybe a re­ally good vam­pire.” While Gri­moire pre­sides over the mag­i­cal, (fork­lifto­ bills it­self as a jour­nal of “po­etry, cook­ing, and light in­dus­trial safety.” Based in Cincin­nati and pub­lished one to two times a year, the pub­li­ca­tion is one of con­tem­po­rary po­etry’s trea­sures, says Pet­rosino, as well as one of its best-kept se­crets. Ed­i­tors Matt Hart and Eric Ap­pleby have made ev­ery is­sue by hand since start­ing the mag­a­zine in 1994; the lat­est is­sue was con­structed out of the blue­prints of a slaugh­ter­house, and ear­lier edi­tions have been made of ma­te­ri­als such as car­pet sam­ples and wine corks. Fork­lift, Ohio pub­lishes mostly po­etry, as well as flash fic­tion, recipes, safety tips, and cre­ative non­fic­tion re­lated to top­ics like home eco­nom­ics, in­dus­try, and agri­cul­ture. The ed­i­tors vow to “take po­etry quite se­ri­ously, if lit­tle or noth­ing else” and keep the jour­nal ad-free. Queries are ac­cepted via e-mail dur­ing the month of May. Pet­rosino says that for a long time she was too shy to sub­mit to (crazy­ “This is a jour­nal with a half cen­tury of mag­nif­i­cent lit­er­ary his­tory be­hind it,” she says—and she’s right. Estab­lished by poet Tom McGrath in 1960, the bian­nual print jour­nal has pub­lished writ­ers such as Ray­mond Carver, John Ash­bery, Jorie Gra­ham, Ha Jin, and John Updike. Housed at the Col­lege of Charleston in South Carolina,

Crazy­horse pub­lishes po­etry, fic­tion, and non­fic­tion. “The po­etry con­tri­bu­tions are al­ways ro­bust and for­mally di­verse,” says

Pet­rosino, “so my two strange lit­tle lyrics about the mys­ter­ies of mar­riage found a ready home there.” The mag­a­zine is open for sub­mis­sions each year from

Septem­ber through May, ex­cept dur­ing

Jan­uary, when the ed­i­tors ac­cept only en­tries for their an­nual writ­ing con­test. Edited by Bri­tish po­ets Sarah Howe, Vidyan Ravinthi­ran, and Dai Ge­orge, (prac­ is an on­line jour­nal whose tagline is “po­etry up close.” Each is­sue of the tri­an­nual pub­li­ca­tion fea­tures only a hand­ful of po­ems, but these are jux­ta­posed with a critic’s close anal­y­sis of the poem and an in­ter­view with the poet. “In a lit­er­ary cul­ture too re­liant on vague state­ments of praise or blame,” write the ed­i­tors, “we be­lieve there’s a re­newed need for read­erly at­ten­tion grounded in the specifics of ac­tual po­ems.” Each is­sue also fea­tures “Deep Note,” in which a poet an­no­tates a poem. Pet­rosino wrote one for her vil­lanelle “Scar­let,” which en­abled her to “cu­rate a kind of guided tour of the piece” and share the ex­pe­ri­ences in her life—ba­ton twirling, con­tract­ing scar­let fever, play­ing Su­per Mario Broth­ers—that in­formed the poem. The ed­i­tors do not ac­cept po­etry sub­mis­sions, but they do ac­cept pro­pos­als for es­says or in­ter­views on con­tem­po­rary po­etry via e-mail year-round. Fo­cused on the no­tion of place, the bian­nual print jour­nal

( is lo­cated at Illi­nois State Univer­sity in Nor­mal, Illi­nois. Estab­lished in 1976, the re­view pub­lishes po­etry and po­etry in trans­la­tion, as well as in­ter­views with and chap­book-length port­fo­lios of work by po­ets with a con­nec­tion to Illi­nois. The jour­nal al­lows for “tra­di­tional un­der­stand­ings of home and re­gion to as­sume new mean­ings in our in­creas­ingly glob­al­ized world,” says

Pet­rosino. She pub­lished her poem “Young,” a line-by-line reen­vi­sion­ing of Anne Sex­ton’s poem of the same name, in the Sum­mer 2015 is­sue. The poem ex­plores the “po­ten­tially magic qual­i­ties of a sub­ur­ban ado­les­cence,” Pet­rosino says. “Of course, ado­les­cence it­self is a kind of place, one we pass through, briefly, on our way to ev­ery­thing else.” Spoon River Po­etry Re­view is open for sub­mis­sions via the on­line sub­mis­sion man­ager or by postal mail un­til Fe­bru­ary 15, 2018.


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