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Old Mountain Press
Old Mountain Press
A Pushcart Prize-nominated poetry collection.
From the Introduction:
Sara Claytor, Phyllis Jean Green, Barbara Kenyon, and Susan Stalt --the women whose poems fill these pages -- are my band of sister-poets. We provide each other with that crucial counterbalance to the hours spent alone writing lines, crossing them out, starting over, wondering if the new is any better than the old. We create together a space where our work is heard, appreciated, lovingly torn apart and restitched, to much better effect. The twins of solitude and community are necessary for good writing, and I'm fortunate to now have both.
I was pregnant with my second child (now two years old) when I joined this poetry critique group -- unnamed at that time, later christened Carrboro Poetica because we meet in Sara's cozy cottage in Carrboro. After my daughter was born, I brought her to Sara's with me, different poets holding her when my poems were discussed. I mention Selah not out of maternal pride (or not solely for that reason), but because, as many others have noted and written about, there are common threads between writing and giving birth. I think of Sara, Barbara, Phyllis, and Susan as poetry midwives -- coaxing to light what kicks and breathes in my mind's dark womb -- and godmothers, responsible with me for bringing up my poetry, helping to rear my work.
I hope you enjoy the poems in the pages that follow as I have enjoyed the work of these women. And I will continue to appreciate their work -- and these women -- for a long time to come.
Celisa Steele, Carrboro, North Carolina, October 26, 2012
From Under the Gangster, Under the Clown
The scar that people could see tented your left eyebrow, then ran to hide in your jet black hair. "Chick magnet!" you'd point and chortle...