"No geology is neutral." - Kathryn Yusoff Divide, they said. And they divided valleys into troughs, separated water from its native names, our people from each other. Collectors flapped their arms under the canopy, marveling at the ruffled crest of the umbrella cockatoo while thinking up possible carnival routines. The tiny footprints of chevrotain disappeared in dense carpets of moss. Domesticate meant: make a hole large enough for a body to occupy, so the work of expansion continues from inside. Mountains hollowed for silver and gold, for copper vein. The opening in the land a skylight for all the dark bodies dropped into it, made to extract their most sacred elements. In time, the land publishes every incursion— Open any rock face to read the overlapping tables. Make a pin map of every place where matter was atomized for some kind of conquest or consumption.
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.