* Who was responsible for the suffering of your mother? When she was locked up in her own house, the neighbors said they heard her crying out for help. The people she lived with (her own blood) told everyone she was losing her faculties. Imagining things. Now imagine a room without a light bulb. * What is the shape of your body? I dream of a cello and the way it is held. The warm wood sound of its voice. The answering echo. * How will you live now? What an illusion, to have turned back the clocks. But what a veil the early light weaves for when you open your eyes. * What are the consequences of silence? When someone asks you to give up something and you hear a door closing in the sky. * How will you/have you prepared for your death? There will never be enough bookshelves. * What would you say if you could? Haven't you always wanted the beautiful thing that you could almost hold? [Note: as a lead-in to the 12-year anniversary Sunday, 20 November 2022, of my writing at least a poem a day, I decided to use Bhanu Kapil's famous "12 Questions" as a prompt. There are the first six. My students in Advanced Poetry Workshop and I have been using it too, also because one of our course texts this semesteer was Chen Chen's Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency— he also uses "12 Questions" for a number of poems in his new book.]
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.