Winter 2017: Pick / Simkins / Phalen

Winter 2017: Pick / Simkins / Phalen

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The very first issue as a quarterly features three short collections of new lyric poetry: Nina Pick's Leaving the Lecture on Dance, Jonathan Simkins's This Is The Crucible, and Thomas Phalen's Useless Lodestone & Other Poems. Each poet's language courses through concerns (experiences) rooted in the metaphysical, the mythical, and the mundane; taken together, their voices arch in and out of our lives with uncanny specificity and compassion. We are honored to know these craftspeople and could not hope to share work more prescient than theirs.

The serrotenous pinecones open in the
heat and drop seeds into the black earth.
Is there something to be ashamed of?
Is there nothing to be ashamed of?

Nina Pick, Leaving the Lecture on Dance

The clock hands spin backwards,
And moths pour in through the air vents.
The way to the river is clear,
And the way to the heart is its compass.

Jonathan Simkins, This Is The Crucible

I turn to the moon
Pouring silver through the opened window.
The muslin curtains bloom
And the stars fall down on me.

Thomas Phalen, Useless Lodestone & Other Poems

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About the Authors

Nina Pick is the author of two chapbooks, À Luz and Leaving the Lecture on Dance (The Lune, 2017). The recipient of a 2016 Mesa Refuge Poetry Fellowship, her work has appeared in journals such as Arion, Bombay Gin, Tule Review, Stone Canoe, Dark Mountain, and ISLE, online as part of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, and in various anthologies. She is a founding editor of the Inverness Almanac and Mount Vision Press and currently serves as lead editor of The New Farmer's Almanac. She holds masters degrees in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and in Comparative Literature from UC Berkley, a bachelors with a concentration in Comparative Literature from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU, and an ordination from the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute. She is passionate about working at the intersection of literature, ecology, and spirituality.

A Florida transplant, Jonathan Simkins lives in Denver's RiNo District. He is the author with artist Justin Ankenbauer of the ekphrastic chapbook, Translucent Winds (Helikon Gallery & Studios, 2016). The title poem of his second chapbook, This Is The Crucible (The Lune, 2017), received a Best of the Net nomination. His poems have appeared most recently in Crack The Spine and Visitant.

Thomas Phalen (website) is an Irish/American dual national, raised in the American West. He has been writing poetry nearly all his life, but with a degree of diligent consistency for the last 25 years. He has five "self-published" collections of poetry that he has assembled over the past two decades: Beatific Visions, Ravaged Angel, Love to Ashes, Mountain Wizard, and Achill Sounds. The things he does well are few indeed, but he is a fly-fisher, a poet, a gardener, a marathoner, a student of the French language, an ardent international traveler, and a woodworker. He lives with his beautiful and talented wife, Stacie, and his genius border collie, Finnbar. They have a house in Phoenix and a cabin in the woods in Flagstaff, Arizona. Praise for Thomas Phalen's poetry:

"On one level there are the quick pirouettes in tone and register, the incredible sprung rhythms (a la Hopkins) and gorgeous sonics, the fruitful anachronisms; on another, the penetrating mind that gathers in the landscape--although seemingly effortless, the result of years of attentiveness and haptic training.  The whole affects an enchantment that is the opposite of mystification: rather one feels as if one has gazed through to the core of the living cosmos, which is also to say, all the worthless crap that normally ruins the day falls away.  Through a glass clearly." — Gina Maranto