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Deep Wheel Orcadia

Orkney is a small group of islands off the north coast of Scotland, and my home. Deep Wheel Orcadia is a space station a few hundred years in the future, which is almost but not entirely unlike Orkney. I wrote a verse novel about this place in my home language, Orcadian, which is a form of Scots strongly shaped by Old Norse. I wanted to take Orkney into space because small languages and small places are rarely imagined in futurity, and because doing that helped me write about things I care about, like how hope folds time over on itself, and how homecoming is a difficult utopia, and how the places the centre imagines as fringe are where life is made. The poems here are an extract of the central plot, a love story between Astrid, who grew up in the Deep Wheel and is returning home from art school in Mars, and Darling, who is running from a Martian life and looking for a place to call home. As in the book, the poems come with a parallel English translation of sorts, and you can read them as you please.

-- Harry Josephine Giles

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Featured on November 1, 2021

Two Murals

In two long poems, Jesús Castillo’s TWO MURALS explores love, selfhood, and transformation in a wasteful age. With musicality and memorable images, “Variations on Adonis,” the first sequence, evokes the decline of civilization along with a desire to live. The second poem, “A Mural After Darwish,” is a love letter to a woman, to nature, and to memory. Castillo’s visions span different countries and ages, always questioning and curious. Abundance and destruction intertwine in his consideration of language, life, and death. And despite the traps of the past and the future's uncertainty, the beauty of the landscapes offered by TWO MURALS makes a case for perseverance.

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Featured on October 25, 2021

Basic Needs

These excerpts from my second poetry collection, BASIC NEEDS (October 26, 2021, Rescue Press), explore and report on capitalist existence, the ways in which labor informs and alienates the self. These poems believe that love, then, is a most radical act, a way to survive and defy as we await the inevitable. —Vanessa Jimenez Gabb

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Featured on October 18, 2021

A Symmetry

“If every book of poetry, from now until the end—or the terminal twisting—of time, were to offer itself as a field guide to the apocalypse by attrition in which we are living, in which we are forcing each other to live, then I would nominate Ari Banias’s A SYMMETRY to be among the books that we consult first. In its clear and capacious inventory of the inter- and codependence of what feels like the fullness and failing of all things, Banias’s poetry is transcribing a kind of vigilance that is mournful yet magnetizing, altruistic yet self-adhesive, and always enflowered by the daily uprising of new manifestations of love.”

—Brandon Shimoda, author of THE GRAVE ON THE WALL

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