turnagain arm

by Rose Hunter

in front of the tree
line raze and polar

owl mountain face
tipped with
arctic feathers
tear gush carved

like your
lies, so much grey

where can i
confess this:

i thought
for sure they doctor
those postcards

Rose Hunter is the author of three poetry books. Her next book, glass, will be released by Five Islands Press (Australia), later this year. Journals she has been published in include the Los Angeles Review, Cordite, Australian Poetry Journal, Southerly, Mascara, and DIAGRAM. She is from Australia originally, and is now in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. More information about her is available at “Whoever Brought Me Here Will Have To Take Me Home.”

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

For those who don’t know, Turnagain Arm is a major waterway off the Cook Inlet in Alaska, which you have to go around in order to drive from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula. I made that drive several times in 2015 and was amazed by the awesome beauty of the place, with one ‘postcard’ view after the other. Having seen pictures of this sort of landscape before, but never having seen it in person, it all seemed a little unreal. And of course the name, ‘Turnagain Arm,’ struck me as fantastic — so suggestive. I made a mental note to use it as a title for something.

Later, I was doing some final edits on a book of poetry (what is final, ever, but still) — a large part of which contains poems inspired by this Alaska trip. I thought, I can’t believe I never used that title for anything! I felt unhappy about that. Then I remembered a poem I’d cut, it was actually ‘about/set in’ the town of Seward, to the south, but I suspected it had some parts that could equally apply to Turnagain Arm, as a place, and as a title. The ‘Seward poem’ was quite long, and I’d cut it because it had too many weak points that I couldn’t seem to fix. I found it again and pulled out the lines I liked best, which were basically these lines, and saw that they worked better in shorter lines (rather than the longer ones I had them in originally). I attached the title ‘turnagain arm’ and liked it – it seemed to emphasize the idea of intrusion, geographically and in other ways, as well as the twist, like a knife in the back.


Congrats to the Best Small Fictions nominations from Matter Press for Compressed Creative Arts: Sara Backer’s “Oh, What a Night”; Dan Crawley’s “Powers”; Jill Talbot’s “Malahat Highway on Boxing Day”; Christopher Allen’s “Falling Man;” and Kathy Fish’s “Five Micros.” Congrats to Christopher Allen for being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

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


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


05/23 • Nance Van Winckel (1 of 8)
05/30 • Nance Van Winckel (2 of 8)
06/05 • Rachel Rodman
06/06 • Nance Van Winckel (3 of 8)
06/10 • Erica Soon Olsen
06/12 • Beverly Jackson
06/13 • Nance Van Winckel (4 of 8)
06/17 • Avra Margariti
06/19 • Tommy Dean
06/20 • Nance Van Winckel (5 of 8)
06/24 • Stephen Reaugh
06/26 • Hege Lepri
06/27 • Nance Van Winckel (6 of 8)
07/01 • Danielle Hark
07/03 • Shirley Harshenin
07/04 • Nance Van Winckel (7 of 8)
07/08 • Matthew Barrett
07/10 • Andrew Stevens
07/11 • Nance Van Winckel (8 of 8)
07/15 • Peter Cherches
07/17 • Christopher Ryan
07/18 • Alex Durham
07/22 • Jessica Kehinde Ngo
07/24 • Jillian Pretzel
07/25 • Danielle Hark (1 of 6)
07/29 • Theresa Senato Edwards
07/31 • Stephanie Dickinson
08/01 • Danielle Hark (2 of 6)
08/05 • Callista Buchen
08/07 • Sara Elkamel
08/08 • Danielle Hark (3 of 6)
08/12 • Steven Ostrowski
08/14 • Karie Luidens
08/15 • Danielle Hark (4 of 6)
08/19 • Nick Ackerson
08/21 • Tyler Friend
08/22 • Danielle Hark (5 of 6)
08/26 • Suzanne Verrall
08/28 • Amelia Wright
08/29 • Danielle Hark (6 of 6)
09/05 • Richard Baldasty (1 of 4)
09/12 • Richard Baldasty (2 of 4)
09/19 • Richard Baldasty (3 of 4)
09/26 • Richard Baldasty (4 of 4)
12/23 • Tara Campbell