Dear fledgling self that's left the homestead, I used to be content in another's comforting shadow: gladly took dictation, carried a typewriter from office to home and back, fine with cleaning up before and after. But someone was always saying Speak up or Speak louder; Hurry or Make more friends. Aristotle once said whoever has no need to live in society because he is sufficient for himself must be either a beast or a god. What does it mean that there are some people who believe they are a cow (there's actually a name for it: Boanthropy)? Others believe they're the one everyone's been waiting for; they're usually quick to do things like explain your own culture to you, or say What's a pretty little thing like you doing in a joint like this? Outside in the field, flies buzz in the heat. Nothing moves; only an occasional ripple through grass and the sharp flick of a tail.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for her manuscript Maps for Migrants and Ghosts, forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press in fall 2020. She is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.