You drop into the little terrarium world of a story or poem. There is a talking clay dinosaur in it. You look familiar, you say. She grunts and steps over the broccoli-tufted forest. Trust means you can be fully here, next to a citizen of Mesozoic time, and also exist outside the glass. All I want to do sometimes is sleep, you sigh; or read. Every now and then, the shadows of flying pterosaurs stretch a fleeting canopy that blots out the sun. You're convinced the writing residency you heard about is here, somewhere beyond the teaspoon-sized pond ringed with moss and breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs! All you have to do is find the trail, follow the warm, yeasty smell to its source. A pearly moon rises, the color of abalone shells. You must be nearly there, since you've gotten this far. Fern fronds brush against your fingers like deckle-edged pages.
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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