Black Lawrence Press
April 14, 2015

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Lisa Fay Coutley

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2015! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections. In turn, the featured poets will introduce poems they love. Happy April!

Today’s featured poet is Lisa Fay Coutley, author of In the Carnival of Breathing.

 

 To Sleep   In the Carnival of Breathing

not as a woman who brews tea and kneels
on rice but one who swims with narcolepsy,

who cinches all the alleys into darkness
and fells trees, who forces a bit into the mouth

of aurora borealis until the moon parades
its wounds in color, until her limbs go numb

scene by scene, by sleight of hand, by flip
turning in a lukewarm pool between what walls

we build, between what shocks we tuck in
tight, between what we somersault and dredge

from our eyes at the temperature of sleep
without drowning, without burning

our temples, without righting the lies we tell
our minds to make us fade, to make us stay

still and take it, to make us love paralysis
to such a point we jump in water, legless.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lisa has chosen to introduce: “Sincerely, the Sky” by David Hernandez.

She says:  I’m a sucker for a poem that can take a unique perspective and demonstrate paradox through seemingly simple but careful craftsmanship. David Hernandez’s “Sincerely, the Sky” doesn’t just take an unusual perspective by making of the sky a somewhat pissed-off wallflower that exudes both bravado and fragility; it includes the sky in a universal brokenness in order to call to action every broken reader (since we are, of course, all broken) in a way that is both bossy and loving, which I find to be a challenging and an admirable balance to strike.  

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Lisa Fay Coutley is the author of EScan 2rrata (Southern Illinois University Press, forthcoming 2015), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, and In the Carnival of Breathing (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), winner of the Black River Chapbook Competition. Her poetry has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and an Academy of American Poets Levis Prize. Recent and forthcoming publications include Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Crazyhorse, and Poets & Writers. Coutley completed her PhD at the University of Utah and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing-Poetry at Snow College in Utah.

 

 

 

 

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