"... only when everything is in place does the door open." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein Sometimes I envy those who can eat their soup straight down to the bottom of the bowl then sit, eyes closed, in an armchair to listen to music with absolutely no interruption. I look around the home we've made— though the grout constantly needs refreshing and one little appliance or another always trips the circuit, I can acknowledge it doesn't resemble the inside of a wrecked ocean liner. Often, I wish I could gather the surplus which we have also accumulated: dozens of socks and rain jackets, an assortment of small kitchen implements; clothes and tools and shoes that at one time must have been such a splendid idea, we had to have more than one of each. I think of this place before we opened the door and crossed the threshold—every gleaming floorboard and clear piece of tile, cornices like violin scrolls; the air in the rooms already singing of work and days. If you stood in the center, the years would tumble into your hands. And the only thing to do is open them.
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.