A famous poet wrote in a famous essay this bit of advice: spend it all, don't save it for a day that might never come— which can mean any of these things: your best work isn't holding off from your reach, rare fruit ripening at the end of a long branch; or you think the options in the present moment might be upstaged by something grander, bigger, shinier—if you just waited a little more. She wasn't just talking about art, was she? There's so much evidence around you of what could be called judicious thought, forethought, afterthought; or maybe just a miserly spirit. "Good plates" still wrapped in tissue, gifts you were given by friends no longer in this world; a letter from a once upon a time love you never answered. Clearly the world is always changing, not even mildly inclined to take your sensibility into account. Before you know it, it's high summer again and the trees are filled with the high humming of cicadas. They've awakened from a long pause, an interlude. Should their bodies become spore-infested so parts fall away, they won't even notice. They'll keep at it for hours, leaning wholly now into that old, blind frenzy to mate before they die.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (website) is the 2023 Immigrant Writing Series prize winner for Caulbearer: Poems (due out from Black Lawrence Press in 2024), and Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 2020). She was appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2020-22, and in 2021 received 1 of 23 Poet Laureate Fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Mellon Foundation. 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.
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