There are stories about people who, at the edge of some extremity, somehow find the audacity to hail the future— I don't mean that the hero turns around at precisely the moment the firing squad releases a volley of shots just to say Hey or There will be more books written about me than there will be of you. I mean, is the future a straight line that intersects with the horizon or does it know there are interesting little towns along the way, where in a thrift shop one might find the kind of old-fashioned alcohol stove where a folded note might be hidden after the ashes of the fire have cooled? I mean a poem, certainly, could be a kind of letter to the future. But I mean I don't always know what to say or if I should say anything from inside what feels like a woefully banal moment. And should that even be delivered into the time we hope will survive us, our bad habits of procrastination, our love for sugar, our petty materialisms? But I'm a sucker for fountain pens and inks with names like Armada or Piloncitos; so when I read All the stars in the sky will be dissolved and the heavens rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the tree, I can see the gleaming wash of water over paper: how streams of color find their way, how the tip of a brush fills in outlines of shapes that look as though they've always been there. How some moments are really envelopes, holding the very message you need and that you find when it finds you.
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.