Black Lawrence Press
November 15, 2018

Welcome, Becca Klaver!

This month we are celebrating the titles that we’ve acquired during 2018. These manuscripts came to us through our open reading periods. Today we bring you Becca Klaver, author of the poetry collection Ready for the World, which will be published in early 2020.

Have a manuscript you think we’d like? During our November Open Reading Period we are looking for poetry (chapbooks and full-length collections), short fiction (again, both chapbooks and full-length collections), novels, novellas, nonfiction (CNF, biography, cultural studies) and translations from German. Also, our Big Moose Prize for the novel is currently open to early bird submissions.

 

The Author

Becca Klaver is the author of two books of poetry—LA Liminal (Kore Press, 2010) and Empire Wasted (Bloof Books, 2016)—and several chapbooks. Black Lawrence Press will publish her third full-length collection, Ready for the World, in 2020. Becca was a founding editor of Switchback Books and is currently coediting, with Arielle Greenberg, the multimedia anthology Electric Gurlesque. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Fence, jubilat, and in Poem-A-Day and Verse Daily. She was also the curator of Women Poets Wearing Sweatpants and is cohost, with Lauren Besser, of the podcast The Real Housewives of Bohemia. Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, she is a graduate of the University of Southern California (BA), Columbia College Chicago (MFA), and Rutgers University (PhD). She is the 2018-2020 Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow at Cornell College in Iowa.

 

On writing Ready for the World

 

I wrote the poems in Ready for the World over the course of about a decade, and later plucked them out of various nested folders on my hard drive. Women’s poetry has been my focus as an editor and scholar, and I’ve always thought of myself as a feminist poet, but this is my first book specifically for and about women and girls. The spells that thread the book together arrived relatively late in the process (as a NaPoWriMo project), as did many of the poems about astrology and the occult. I think it was reconnecting to my teenage witch self—something that happened, not coincidentally, at a time in my life when I was making, performing, and publishing art in circles and pairs of women—that allowed this book to become both a bildungsroman and a grimoire. At its heart, Ready for the World is about the psychic tradeoffs many girls make to get “ready for the world,” or enter patriarchy as women; it’s also about the ways we loop back around, in cyclical time, to access a spirit of magic, play, friendship, and artmaking.

 

 

Excerpts

The Woods
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I never go to the woods anymore
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But when I go to the woods I remember
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How to burn things at water’s edge
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If I never go to the woods again
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I’ll live to die another
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Die to live another day
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In the woods I just fan myself out among the mosses
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Place my laptop gingerly on a stump
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Set a timer for the webcam
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Hug a tree and
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A squirrel comes to visit me
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Could I ever really live and love in the woods, I muse
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Grinding my cigarette beneath the bower
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What is the sorrow sound of this wood
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The creak or the crickets
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In the woods I see my sisters
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They are there and there and there
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Walking in figure eights with their hands full
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I dance around them
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Little pyro with a lust for making
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Hauling logs to the fire
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…..
…..
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Spell for Actualizing Art
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be a child
before the internet
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make
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need not be material
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try beats on wall
conversation
arrangement
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or
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delay
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