Ghost Of by Diana Khoi Nguyen (Omnidawn) “elegizes a brother lost via suicide, is a mourning song for the idea of family, a family haunted by ghosts of war, trauma, and history. Nguyen’s debut is not an exorcism or un-haunting of that which haunts, but attuned attention, unidirectional reaching across time, space, and distance to reach loved ones, ancestors, and strangers. By working with, in, and around the photographs that her brother left behind (from which he cut himself out before his death), Nguyen wrestles with what remains: remnants of memory, physical voids, and her family captured around an empty space. Through lyric meditation, Nguyen seeks to bridge the realms of the living with the dead, the past with the present. These poems are checkpoints at the border of a mind, with arms outstretched in bold tenderness.”
Sarah María Medina. Read “When There’s No Bread Fruit” and “Mooring at the Mouth”. Sarah María Medina is a poet and a fiction/creative non-fiction writer from the American Northwest. Her writing has been published in Prelude, Black Warrior Review, Poetry NW, Split This Rock, Raspa Literary Journal, and elsewhere. Her work is also found in Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (Nightboat Books, 2018), and Bettering American Poetry Vol. 2. She is the recipient of an ARTIST UP Grant LAB, a Jack Straw Writer fellowship, and a Caldera AIR 2018. She is also a teaching artist at Richard Hugo House.
Rob Gibsun. Check out “On Grief & Healing” and “Electric Medicine”. Rob is a poet and visual artist from Richmond, Virginia. A TEDxRVA Speaker, his work is published in Kinfolks Quarterly, Minetta Review, Love is the Law Magazine and others. Rob graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Illustration from Virginia Commonwealth University and coached the 2014 VCU slam poetry team, placing 2nd in the nation at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Soon after, he was selected to feature on Season Four of TVOne’s premier poetry and music show Lexus Verses and Flow. Rob combines vibrant imagery with theatrical performance to tell his story and the stories of the unvoiced. He believes “Art is life therapy; through creative expression, we spit out the pains of self-oppression to make room for inner-peace.” Find more of his work at robartistic.weebly.com.
Foglifter (journal) is a LGBTQ+ journal and press, but more than that. We publish powerful, intersectional writing that queers our perspectives; writing that explores the sometimes abject, sometimes shameful, but always honest and revelatory experience; writing that calls into question the things we believe to be true, the things we believe to be known, and turns them on their head for—at least—a moment of consideration. Support the Patreon here.
Inam Kang. Read “Everything My Father Ever Learned About Softness” and “Marathon Avoidance”. Inam Kang is a Pakistani-born poet, student, and curator. His work can be found in Winter Tangerine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and other journals and anthologies. He splits his time working and living between Cleveland and Southeastern Michigan.
Nadine Marshall. Read “Mercy” and “Plunder”. Nadine is a queer black poet from Detroit, MI and has appeared at TED x U of M, The Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in Columbus, OH, and The National Poetry Slam Competition in Oakland, CA. They co-founded FRUIT, an independent, community-led reading and dialogue series for and by marginalized voices. Nadine holds an MSW and currently works as the Content Coordinator for the Allied Media Conference which is hosted every year in Detroit.
the magic my body becomes by Jess Rizkallah (University of Arkansas). In the magic my body becomes, Jess Rizkallah seeks a vernacular for the inescapable middle ground of being Arab American—a space that she finds, at times, to be too Arab for America and too American for her Lebanese elders. Also, Jess is dope.
Michael Dhyne. Read “Kara”. Michael was born and raised in California. He was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in the University of Virginia’s MFA program, where he taught poetry and was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize. Recent work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Fugue, Salt Hill, Sonora Review, and Washington Square Review.
Mezzanines by Matthew Olzmann (Alice James Books). “There’s something inherently spiritual about Olzmann’s Mezzanines. . . . It’s a place of reflection and contemplation, a temporary reprieve from the world’s chaos and a reach for a vision of paradise.” —The Los Angeles Review of Books
Photographer: Naomi Ishisaka