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10 Questions for Gabrielle Bates

- By Edward Clifford

            If I write myself into a state, does that make the state false?

In the background of one of the many pictures I take of Patrycja by the feeding ring,
two of the horses bit each other.

      Without violence, how do I understand my life as meaningful?
—from "Eastern Washington Diptych," Volume 63, Issue 1 (Spring 2022)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I remember, in my journal when I was really young, including lies as little gotchas, which I would reveal to be false on the subsequent page just in case a friend or my stepmother stole my journal, as a way to punish and shame them (but also, I think, to...


10 Questions for Kemi Alabi

- By Edward Clifford

O taxi glass, O broken fall, be soprano, be alto.
Give me sea sharp, give doh doh doh, give mi fa so?
O gravity, slip soft. Lay with this sorry child
              before they soulsplint & ugly up this here garden.
—from "The Lion Tamer's Daughter vs. The Ledge," Volume 63, Issue 1 (Spring 2022)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I recently found a poem I wrote in first grade. It was about the moon.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
When I was 18, I heard Patricia Smith read at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, and I’ve never been the same. Her way with...

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2022 Anne Halley Poetry Prize Reading

- By Robert Whitehead

Emerita MR Poetry editors Ellen Doré Watson and Deb Gorlin selected Robert Whitehead's "David" from Spring 2021 (Vol. 62, Issue 1), for our annual Anne Halley Prize for Poetry.

From the judge's note: "By retelling the story of the fabled hero, the breathless narrator of Whitehead’s inspirational, of-the-moment poem, exhorts us to be like David, to marshal our own naked energies and hard-won hopes, our own ‘all-he-had-to-fight,’ to win an improbable victory over the Goliath-like perils...


A Matter of Control

- By DeMisty D. Bellinger

Toxic relationships abound in Cherish Farrah, but the rub is not knowing which relationship to watch out for. Bethany C. Morrow’s second novel for adults addresses classism and racism, as well as families and friendships. It’s a slow burn from page one and ends in discomfort for all.

Like Mem, Morrow’s first novel, Cherish Farrah is beautifully written, with poetic language and passages full of vivid, intricate imagery. Unlike Mem, her newest novel puts race in the forefront. Cherish and Farrah are two Black teenage girls in a predominately white and very wealthy neighborhood. Cherish’s parents, Jerry and...


2022 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize

- By Emily Wojcik

The 2022 winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Robert Whitehead, for his poem "David" (Volume 62, Issue 1).

ROBERT WHITEHEAD received his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and has been a fellow at the Bucknell...

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