"one gestures to the future, ...and one to the past" ~ Claire Wahmanholm What we told the architect who drew up the blueprints: lay down a green sward that cuts through the valley's length. On one side, the monuments and edifices of government; on the other, open spaces for commerce. Let trails be gravel-swept and leveled, wide enough for a motorcar or old-fashioned carriage. Shoot or move the animals to the outskirts, and it is certain their native owners will follow. Those who remain in the overlap will learn our church and customs. Our schools will make their minds more habitable, their hands ours to train in industry. One green knoll after another, interspersed with the more natural rebellion of rock. These, we'll leave as tokens of the great undertaking that led us here, though we shall make the earth crown our efforts with gold and copper vein.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 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; she also teaches classes at The Muse Writers’ Center in Norfolk. 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.