M

Magnetic

by Heather Altfeld

Who returns to the same place
as though the anniversary of its absence
was in need of a reminder of its presence?
Birds and murderers, stricken as they are
by the power of wings and blood.

Heather Altfeld is a poet and essayist. Her first book of poetry, “The Disappearing Theatre” won the Poets at Work Prize, selected by Stephen Dunn. She is the recipient of the 2017 Robert H. Winner Award with the Poetry Society of America and the 2015 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. Her poems and essays appear in The Georgia Review, Lit Hub, Narrative Magazine, Conjunctions, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, ZYZZYVA, The Los Angeles Review, and other literary journals.

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

My name is Heather Altfeld, and I have a long-form problem… That is to say, I have very, very few poems that are less than a page long, and I feel somehow that my work is ‘incomplete’ if it is short. I am usually not much of a candidate for the Compressed Arts! But I began a longer poem about the idea of “returning” earlier this summer and decided to see what would happen if I broke the poem into several poems rather than trying to exert my usual stretching force upon it. San Quentin is the imagined setting here, with its strangely gorgeous view of the entire San Francisco Bay, the cacophony of marsh hawks and herons and humans who suffer and caused suffering all present in the same landscape.

News

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.

Submissions

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.

Upcoming

05/20 • Clint Margrave
05/22 • Leah Griesmann
05/23 • Nance Van Winckel (1 of 8)
05/27 • Natasha Sajé
05/29 • Carolyn Oliver
05/30 • Nance Van Winckel (2 of 8)
06/03 • Ankita Banerjee
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
07/22 • Jessica Kehinde Ngo
07/24 • TBA
07/29 • TBA
07/31 • TBA