by Alice Pettway

A friend
told me, life
can rush
at you faster
than metaphor,
than the water
sea birds
break, diving
retina to wave,
until their eyes
too deeply to
hunt. They starve.

Alice Pettway’s work has appeared in print and online journals, magazines and newspapers including The Bitter Oleander, INSIGHT Into Diversity, The Miami Herald, The Progressive, Teaching Tolerance and WomenArts Quarterly. Her chapbook, Barbed Wire and Bedclothes was published by Spire Press in 2009, and her full-length collection, The Time of Hunger | O Tempo de Chuva, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2017. Pettway is a former Lily Peter fellow, Raymond L. Barnes Poetry Award winner, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Currently, she lives and writes in Bogotá, Colombia. alicepettway.com

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Dive”?

I tend to write my poems last line up. “Dive” was no exception. The last couple of lines came to me as I watched blue-footed boobies plunging into the water along the cliffs of the Galapagos islands. Their descent—graceful and violent and ultimately fatal—was too good of a metaphor to pass up.


Congrats to Christopher Allen for having a work from HOUSEHOLD TOXINS being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

New titles available from Robert McBrearty and Tori Bond.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now OPEN. Check out our new category triptychs! The submission period closes December 15, 2019; submit here.


10/07 • Socorro Venegas
10/10 • Lilian McCarthy
10/14 • Marlin Jenkins
10/21 • Mary Grimm
10/28 • David Galef
11/04 • Douglas Milliken
11/11 • Janiru Liyanage
12/02 • Tara Campbell