The writers and artists in this issue of Minerva Rising have taken up the mantle of expressing the humanness of doubt and fear in the face of uncertainty.
In “Wedding,” a couple marries “in the bitter, breath-taking winter.” Kay Holten writes, “We had planned to have a summer wedding, but the rise of a new political regime hurried us along . . . . I had written vows in a moment of pure love in the week following our engagement, and those remained the same, too, though some of the lines took on a more somber tone than I had originally meant . . . . I promise to fight for you and to love you fiercely.”
“Write Yourself Into Existence” shares Kate Carey’s desert experience that changed her life: “Stuck in my solitude, I hadn’t realized that writing is a river you must continue to swim in. You can’t jump out, after you read x number of experts. No matter where it comes from, there is always something to learn about form, about line breaks, about voice, about imagery.”
Ellen J. Perry, who wrote “Dear Alice Paul,” best wisely advises us how to face the effects of the ripples head-on when she writes: “The only thing I can think to do is write and teach, rally and pro- test, draw lines in the sinking sand . . . .”
This issue of Minerva Rising draws that line in the sand with a collective voice that says we will not be overcome.
We are proud to feature the following amazing contributors in this issue of Minerva Rising. Thank you for being a part of the Minerva community.
Write Yourself Into Existence
You throw a rock and have no idea until much later how much that rock meant in creating the ripples of history.
Susan Stamm Evans
Evans’ home and studios are located in the foothills outside Santa Fe. Private yet universal emotions are at the core of Evans’ work. She depicts subtle gestures to draw in the viewer and suggest a narrative. Each piece conveys a feeling of a personal singular moment that is universally familiar. Evans exhibits her work extensively throughout the West and Midwest as well as internationally.
Metamorphosis XXXIII (from the series: Desert)
Gail Factor’s obvious artistic interest and aptitude emerged early on, leading her to attend art classes at the Chicago Art Institute at the age of five. Over the past two decades, Factor has been creating and residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums throughout the United States.
Kathleen D. Gallagher
Kathleen D. Gallagher is a former distinguished senior lecturer of English at the University of Akron/Wayne College and now teaches English to foreign students in a local school. An award-winning writer (2007 Writer’s Digest Honorable Mention for a feature article entitled “Cutting Storm” and a 2011 Honorable Mention for her essay “Flying Objects” in the 2011 Writer’s Digest competition), she is also a poet with works in journals such as South Coast Poetry Journal: Issue #15 (Honorable Mention for “Focal Point,” judged by writer/poet James Dickey). A self-taught collage artist, her work “Somewhere” won honorable mention in the 2001 National Collage Society’s Postcard Contest, “Wishing You Were Here.” A collage entitled “Bone Collage” is posted in the September 2011 Hospital Drive—the literature and humanities journal of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Her collage “One Woman” is now a cover for Pushcart nominee writer Michelle Reale’s book If All They Had Were Their Bodies, through Burning River Press, November 2011. She is a former NEOMFA creative writing student at Kent State University. Gallagher was a finalist in the First Grand Tournament event through Writing Knights Press which resulted in her first poetry chapbook, I See Things are Falling. She was nominated for a Pushcart prize in December 2012 through Writing Knights Press.
Ripples in the Sky
Colleen lives in Wisconsin and enjoys nature photography and writing in various genres.
My poetry has appeared extensively in journals. I served as poetry critic for the Virginian-Pilot, poetry editor for the Ghent Quarterly, and co-founder of New Virginia Review. Light Persists won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. “In the Shadow of Paradise,” my seventh collection, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2017. To know more about me and my work, visit www.janeellenglasser.com.
“Existential Questions” was written in response to my probing the transformation of intimacy over time. Does love destroy itself by simply enduring? Does knowing another’s imperfections put the fire out? The poem offers no answer.
Mark Yale Harris
No Secrets (from the series: Emotions)
Born in Buffalo, New York, Mark Yale Harris spent his childhood enthralled in a world of drawing and painting. Though honored for his creative endeavors, he was encouraged to pursue a more conventional career. After finding conventional success, the artistic passion that existed just beneath the surface was able to present itself. Harris began sculpting, and has since created an evolving body of work in stone and bronze, now featured in public collections, museums, and galleries worldwide, including: Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia; the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, Illinois; and the Open Air Museum in Ube, Japan.
“Birdwings” was written after an exchange in an environmental study group with a good friend. Because my friend is a scientist and keen on evidence, she often demands answers to difficult questions. The poem describes the moment when I realize that, because she is both holy and incomprehensible mystery, my friend is the answer to the questions she asks. My poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including past issues of Minerva Rising.
When Donald Trump won the presidential election, it sent shock waves through minority groups across the nation, causing us all to predict worst-case scenarios. I am a lesbian, and I am engaged to a courageous, brilliant, awe-inspiring woman. I am afraid of what is coming, and I have been imagining what our wedding would look like if we had to throw it together before we lost the chance to have it at all.
Kayaking at Sunrise, Funter Bay, Alaska
Sarah Isto is an Alaskan who divides her time between the Coastal Southeast and the interior near Denali. She is author of two nonfiction Alaska books. Her poetry has appeared in Cirque, Windfall, The Timberline, Gold Man Review, Perfume River Poetry Review, and The Penwood Review.
In Stillness, Motion and Low Tide
A North Carolina resident, Jeanne Julian appreciates landscape photography in the Southwest, where a stormy vista—like one at O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch in New Mexico—conveys the vulnerability of human “settlers” everywhere. Her photographs recently have appeared in moonShine review and Kakalak as well as in a juried exhibit at Theatre Art Galleries, High Point. Her poetry has been published in The Comstock Review, Naugatuck River Review, and other journals. She edits an award-winning photography newsletter.
Mary Ryan Karnes
Mary Ryan Karnes is a Master’s candidate in creative writing at the University of Southern Mississippi. She writes fiction and nonfiction, mostly about family.
Landays on the River Road
Susanna Lang’s third collection, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was released in summer 2017 from Terrapin Books. A two-time Hambidge fellow, her poems have appeared in such journals as Little Star, Prairie Schooner, december, and Verse Daily. Among her current projects is Self-Portraits, a chapbook collection of ekphrastic poems focused on women across the arts.
We thought we were becoming a more perfect union, but the seeds of what feels like rupture were sown long ago. In this difficult time, poetry can help us reach a more complete understanding of where we are and where we need to be.
Bonding Back Then
Julia MacDonnell has lived many lives, among them: urban homesteader, circus performer, modern dancer, waitress, anti-war activist, newspaper reporter, and “gluer” of velvet boxes on a production line in a rosary bead factory. She’s the mother of three grown children and the grandmother of one. Familial relationships have been an abiding concern throughout her writing life. Experience has shown her that the most insignificant acts of daily life, like changing a baby’s diaper, can result in revelations that ripple through relationships and permanently change them. Such revelations, like the one in her story, in turn, ripple outward, impacting in both large and small ways all they touch.
MacDonnell’s second novel, Mimi Malloy, At Last!, was published by Picador in 2014. Her first, A Year of Favor, was published by William Morrow & Co. She lives in Hightstown, New Jersey.
The Ibis Is
The misuses of language and “alternative” facts exploited in the 2016 election ripple through the poem “The Ibis Is,” which, grounded in sensory image, reflects on myth, language, and fact. Mary B. Moore has published three books of poetry, has one book forthcoming, and has won three book prizes. She has recent poems in The Nasty Woman Anthology, Cider Press Review, Orison Press’s 2017 Anthology, The Montreal International Poetry Prize Anthology, Georgia Review, Poem/ Memoir/ Story, Drunken Boat, and Birmingham Poetry Review.
Abby E. Murray
Invocation and Poem for My Daughter Before the March
Abby E. Murray teaches creative writing at the University of Washington Tacoma, where she offers free poetry workshops to soldiers and their loved ones and serves as editor-in-chief for Collateral, a journal that publishes work focused on the impact of military service. Her poems can be found in recent or forthcoming issues of Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Stone Canoe, and the Rise Up Review. She thinks of Minerva often, only partly because she has the goddess and her owls tattooed on her left arm.
Acknowledgement: “Poem for My Daughter Before the March” was originally published in the Rattle feature Poets Respond.
Sandra Ramos O’Briant
Albert was my first best friend. My parents had divorced, and Mom and I had moved to a new town. I realize now that he was ill. His family moved away to be near a treatment center and I never heard from him again. He had the most promising attitude toward life of anyone I’ve ever met. My first positive life lesson came from him.
Ellen J. Perry
Dear Alice Paul
I believe strongly in continuing the work that Alice Paul began in the early twentieth century. Her spirit moved with us at the Women’s March on Washington, and I am grateful for her strength and influence.
More and more moments and images from the past ripple through my present consciousness, sometimes triggered by a photograph, a treasured memento, or a hand-stitched garment. My grandmother was a talented seamstress. There was a time I sought to emulate her. Removing our handiwork from storage, fingering the careful stitching and embellishments, sets the mind in motion. I travel on a river of memory, rediscovering younger versions of myself in time’s swirling eddies.
My Name Is Hanan Aboulafia
Susan Shaw Sailer taught for over thirty years in Tacoma, Washington, public schools and in the Department of English at West Virginia University. After retiring, she earned an MFA in poetry from New England College. Since then, she has published a chapbook, Coal; a book of poems, Ship of Light; and a second book, The God of Roundabouts. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Paterson Literary Review, Red Rose Review, and Persimmon Tree. She lives in Morgantown, West Virginia.
New Year’s Day
I was thinking how actions ripple from one to the next, how one loving touch leads to another loving action, which is rather like writing poetry— one word or image leading to the next. The word play in each stanza seemed a small ripple, too.
Tori Grant Welhouse
Arch and Submerge (from: Water Series)
Tori published her first chapbook in 2014. She also received honorable mention in the Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Contest and third place in the Kay Saunders Emerging Poetry Contest. She lives in Green Bay where she coordinates the poetry reading series IMAGINE for Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.
Jamie Wendt is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Omaha MFA program. Her poetry has been published in various literary journals, including Lilith, Raleigh Review, Blue Lyra Review, and Saranac Review. Her essays and book reviews on Jewish writing have been published in Green Mountains Review, the Forward, and for the Jewish Book Council. Wendt teaches high school English and lives in Chicago with her husband and two children. Her poem, “White Lines,” relates to the theme “Ripples” due to the movement of the drying laundry as well as the “ripple effect” that stories (whether true or fiction) have in their passing from one person to the next.