obsessively check your grammar, makes you come back with updated lists of why you shouldn't be demoted or fired, nonrenewed, disinvited, sent back- to-square-one-do-not-pass-go. (When nothing more can be found wrong, proofread for mechanics.) What doesn't kill you makes you cover one more hour or one more shift or one more long weekend—shouldn't it be compensation enough that it didn't kill you? And what doesn't kill you makes you harder to break the next time around, unless the sugar binges and emotional eating have made you dangerously soft and bloated. What doesn't kill you sometimes makes you do rash or foolish things like shout I quit! in the middle of traffic, or run away from everything you think your life has become without knowing where the hell you're going in the middle of the night— just that your lungs are about to burst but you feel alive in the cold, exhilarating air.
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.