Here’s a link to Swenson’s poem if you’d like to follow along as Laura reads. Read more about the Mormon Poetry Slam here and see the posting schedule here. Vote for your favorite performance here (the link will go live once all the entries have been posted). Use #MormonPoetrySlam if you post about this in your social media circles.
Anthology Poet Highlight 41/82: Paul Swenson, “Negative Space” [Audio clip: view full post to listen] (My reading of “Negative Space”) On the afternoon of the first resurrection, I want to sit on my sister May’s bench and read her new poems. So, maybe, if you’re still around when I go under, I wonder—could you burn me, turn me into ash,… Read more »
Anthology Poet Highlight 39/82: Jim Richards, “Cleave” [Audio clip: view full post to listen] (My reading of “Cleave”) I take Jim’s “it” to be, yes, sex—but also more than sex. It take it to be the much deeper state of being, the more-than-intimate connection, the dual state of oneness entered into when partners become more than lovers, lovers more than… Read more »
Anthology Poet Highlight 30/82: Elaine Wright Christensen, “Sermon On Manchac Swamp” Ah, “[t]he world is charged with the grandeur of God. / It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; / It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil / Crushed.” So Hopkins, for whom “nature is never spent.” For whom creation is a living fountain of… Read more »
Anthology Poet Highlight 28/82: Danny Nelson, “Creation” Danny’s “Creation” revises the Old Testament’s opening text. As such, it delves deeply into the “procreant urge of creation,” a phrase straight out of Whitman. Indeed, in Danny’s poem, as in Whitman and, I would argue, most poetry, I find this “Urge and urge and urge, / Always the procreant urge of the… Read more »
Anthology Poet Highlight 26/82: Will Bishop, “When I Do Go On My Honeymoon” Afraid but not afraid to let her touch me, we’ll undress slowly like passing the sacrament … Will captures the thrill—and the anxiety—of embarking on a (pro)creative journey in this poem. He begins by engaging a paradox experienced by unsuspecting virgins when they sexually collide atop the… Read more »
Anthology Poet Highlight 24/82: Timothy Liu, “The Tree that Knowledge Is“ (scroll down) This short poem illustrates Tim’s double-voice as both a gay and deeply religious poet. As Bryan Waterman observes, “A number of signifiers [in the poem] resonate with a Mormon audience: God’s ’still small voice’” “a favorite Primary phrase” with considerable cache in the Church’s pedagogical culture. Additionally,… Read more »