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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Molly Sutton Kiefer

About Place Journal, Volume II Issue I


A name might lie dormant inside of us, ribboned,
like any long, nestled organ.  It’s drawn from us,
like tapeworm, or a magician’s tie-strung flags,
our mouths open and helpless, tilted
to the great cave of the sky.  That’s why we home here,
beneath oak or willow, why we press our names
in the bark with the palms of our hands.  I wonder
how these scars grow, if our names morph
into rivers or song.  Will it burn in someone’s fireplace,
make a post, watch while others touch and untouch?
Is this how names become guardians, written in the sky?
Molly Sutton Kiefer’s chapbook The Recent History of Middle Sand Lake won the 2010 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Award. Her second chapbook, City of Bears, will be published in 2013 by dancing girl press.  Her work has appeared in Harpur Palate, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Berkeley Poetry Review, you are here, Gulf Stream, Cold Mountain Review, Southampton Review, Wicked Alice, and Permafrost, among others.  She earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota, is in the mentorship program at the Loft Literary Center, serves as poetry editor to Midway Journal, and runs Balancing the Tide:  Motherhood and the Arts | An Interview Project.  She currently lives in Red Wing with her husband and daughter and is expecting a son in February. She is at work on a manuscript on (in)fertility.  More can be found at



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