From Carly Rae Zent's "When She Got Happy"
Winners Selected by judges Carmen Maria Machado, Leslie Jamison, Ada Limón, & Meg Lionel Murphy Fiction: Lady Sings by Mant Bares Nonfiction: To Be Loved by Chloe Vassot Poetry: Cricket Noon by Tennessee Hill Visual Art: Tapadas, Saints and Other Heroines by Kathy Bruce Fiction Finalists Black Girl Inside Outpatient by Maya Pearson Coronation by […]
Field Notes, Staff Picks,
Caught up in the everyday dread and surreality of life in quarantine, it can be hard to remember the beauty of our past lives or the small joys the world has to offer in the strangest, most idiosyncratic ways.
Arts & Culture, Field Notes,
In the name of productivity during social distancing, Porter House Review is republishing Matt Bell’s first exercise from his Writing Exercise Newsletter, which is based on a sentence from Carmen Maria Machado’s story, “The Husband Stitch.”
The prose poems and tankas in Victoria Chang’s Obit are less traditional elegies than a series of verbal proofs through which Chang investigates those aspects of experience––grief, pain, love––that seem beyond our capacity to represent them. “Language fails us” more than once in this collection (it gets three obituaries of its own), and yet words are what the speaker of these poems must use both “to calculate my grief” and to convey it. These poems’ generous, meticulous record of grieving is inseparable from Chang’s retooling of poetic form and language.
A good writer drops readers miles from where they expected; great ones like Raphael Bob-Waksberg take readers just where they want to go, but when they arrive, the landscape doesn’t look how they remember.
But presently what interests me is my soul.
He’s been absent for weeks. He left one night
when the clouds flamed purple behind the lacy tree,
and usually he loves this type of thing.