Do you remember when everything still seemed possible—when a small vacation to someplace with wide skies and sunlight bouncing off white sand and the white walls of a village felt within reach; when paying for contingencies didn't break the bank; when starting over didn't feel like privilege or just another chance to make the same mistakes, but simply the universe finally recognizing it was willing to give you the break it should have given you all those years ago? Toward the end of the year, towns along the Rhine set up fairy lights and Christmas markets, and the cruise ships let out passengers from other worlds— They walk amid tables groaning with gingerbread, jaunty tin soldiers, red-vested nutcrackers and glass ornaments. Can you imagine the clove- scented air and the cold, everyone's frosted breath the thinnest tinsel threading the air? Once, you held a snow globe and shook it to watch the little storms of dust and sparkle trapped under glass: how they cycloned around a miniature house whose inhabitants, if any, would never dream of evacuating to a safer port.
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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