a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Love, the dogwoods are fish shaking loose their pale scales. I like it when you’re not here so I can tell you what you’re missing: a skein of black dirt stretched like lace across the kitchen floor and through the windows two birds tussling in a sea of felled petals. The river was once a place for me to drown myself, tying to my ankles the weight of what I’d lost, then jumping in: Tensaw, Paint Rock, Coosa, Sipsey, Cahaba, Mobile, Chattahoochee, Pea. Nothing could have stopped me from my own agreement with regret. Now the river is for showing me the uselessness of sharp edges, how each thing that curves away is not a body resisting but a pleasure waiting to be reciprocated. When you come home, there’s nothing that won’t be waiting for you.
Keetje Kuipers has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College, and a Bread Loaf fellow. A recipient of the Pushcart Prize, her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in such publications as American Poetry Review, Orion, and Best American Poetry. In 2007 Keetje completed her tenure as the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident, which provided her with seven months of solitude in Oregon’s Rogue River Valley. She used her time there to complete work on her first book, Beautiful in the Mouth, which was awarded the 2009 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and was published by BOA Editions. Her second book, The Keys to the Jail, was published in 2014 (BOA). Previously a tenured Associate Professor at Auburn University, she now lives and writes in Seattle, where she teaches at Hugo House and is an associate editor at Poetry Northwest.