After the racially charged act of hate that killed nine people in a Charleston church in June, Minerva Rising no longer wanted to be silent. We wanted to start a dialogue for social change--a dialogue based in love. We wanted to fuse the schisms and unite as one voice writing to heal the open wounds of the heart, writing to change the world we inhabit. That dialogue created this special edition.
The title, Sparrow’s Trill, comes from the poem "Tapestry I (Mississippi, 2015)" by Jessica Lanay.
rope groans against a high
bough and it sounds
so much like
the end of a sparrow’s trill that
I look for birds
The writers featured in this issue are all too painfully aware of the issues of racism that face America today. Too often, it is easier to ignore these issues, to pretend that the evidence right before us is not a thick rope, but rather the song of a lonesome bird. With this issue, the editors and staff of Minerva Rising, along with the rising chorus of writers printed here, do hereby declare that the darkness of racism shall not overcome us, that we have the hope of birdsong in our hearts, that we are calling for an end to the groan of the past and looking forward to a future where birds warble their hymns in praise of a brighter tomorrow.
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The Revolution Will Have Its Sky
By Maria Garcia Teutsch
This poetry isn't out to convert, but to advert. It doesn’t pledge allegiance or invest in transcendent causes, but rather observes signs of war, wars of sex, hexes of communication. It won’t hallow a transparency; it won’t turn away from an execution. This work’s occasions are implicated in its materials: with trompes l’oeil, jacks and johns, sleights of hand, this poetry registers some serious claims and obligations. Seeing illusions attached to engagements, uses to ubiquities, profanities to idealism, privates to a general, The Revolution Will Have Its Sky reminds us enlistees (whether in grays or blues, whether in wishes or words, whether in war or love) how down-and-dirty signing up can be. --Contest judge Heather McHugh
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Who Was I to Say I Was Alive
By Kelly Nelson
The pretexts of Kelly Nelson’s poems--a young girl learning to shoot, seeing a colleague holding hands with a woman not his wife, reading a prison inmate’s poems--are in themselves charismatic. But what really distinguishes Who Was I to Say I Was Alive are the ways that casual tonalities, economical images, sudden small movements, surprising disclosures or refusals to disclose, all act to put pressure on the poems’ anecdotal surfaces. And then the same elements act as relief valves. In poem after poem you feel you’ve been through something. Put another way, these poems are little bombs going off. Or surprise packages left at the door. --Daisy Fried, author of Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice
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Minerva Rising is an independent literary journal celebrating the creativity and wisdom in every woman. We publish thought-provoking fiction, non-fiction, photography, poetry and essays tri-annually (Fall, Winter and Spring) by emerging and established women writers and artists.
Minerva Rising has grown out of a love of literature and the knowledge that when women come together, we flourish. Just as the Goddess Minerva represented creativity, wisdom, medicine, commerce, arts and education, our journal provides the opportunity for and the evidence of that bounty.
As a magazine with a mission, we pride ourselves on building and maintaining a supportive artist community of women. We stake our reputation on our commitment to working with potential talent to hone and develop women in the direction of growth - both personally and professionally. With outreach efforts such as the donation of a portion of our readers’ fees to charity and the establishment of the Owl of Minerva Women Writers’ Scholarship, we make concentrated outreach efforts into a variety of areas where women are in need of fostering. From paying a stipend to every writer we publish to donating to Women For Women or Care Gifted, your subscription dollars and financial support help us spread our love of literature beyond our pages. Please let us know if you would like more information or to become involved in our exciting philanthropical endeavors!