Remember Claudia Cortese’s “Lucy” poems? We published “Lucy lives in a box” in Meridian 29, back in 2012, then in November, I highlighted three new “Lucy” poems appearing in Blackbird. Well, if you’re wondering what Claudia has to offer beyond little miss Lucy, check out her piece “The Red Essay” in Volume XXXIV, Number 1 of Mid-American Review. MAR categorizes “The Red Essay”–an artistic mediation on sexual violence, victim blaming, and gendered power–as nonfiction; I might call it poetry. In fact, it probably falls into that amorphous category the lyric essay, alongside Maggie Nelson’s Bluets and Kazim Ali’s Bright Felon (I highly recommend both those books, as an aside: astonishing). Regardless of the genre label we attach to it, the piece is thoughtful, tender, fierce, and fragile, in turns. Really lovely.
Several other past Meridian contributors appear in the latest Mid-American Review as well. Rochelle Hurt, whose “In Last Chance, California” also appeared in issue 29, has a poem called “In the Century of Fumes,” while G.C. Waldrep also supplies two poems: “On Protestantism” and “The Bridge.” His poem “The Vanishing Days” was the first piece of verse in Meridian 26.
Finally, we turn to work by Alexandra Teague, who has two poems appearing in our brand new issue, Meridian 32. MAR includes her gloriously titled/themed poem “Sarah Winchester, 23 Years Dead, Watches House of Dracula.” If you are unfamiliar with Sarah Winchester, I suggest you Wikipedia her a bit for your own enjoyment. I’m from the Bay Area, where the Winchester Mystery House is a historical-oddity-cum-tourist-trap with a creepy backstory and omnipresent freeway billboards. I love the way Teague plays on the Winchester myth in her poem, which, despite its funny premise, is thoughtful and a bit philosophical.
P.S. The two Katherine Fishburn paintings on the issue’s front and back covers are titled “What Color Is Your Orgasm? I and II.” When I mentioned that in our office, a staff meber who will remain nameless took one look at the cover and said, “Well, not blue!” And yours?