20---> erin & wright

Name: Erin Gendron
Hometown: Allegan, Michigan
Current City: Atlanta, GA
Occupation: Writer/educator
Age): post-modern

What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry is the connective tissue between experience and explanation. It is the stuff that holds the pieces together so that we can find and experience greater meaning.

Favorite Poet/Poem

I will always feel something when I read James Wright’s “A Blessing.”

Why do you like this poet/poem?

The smell of the air, the hum of the spring insects, the heat lifting from the horses; I experience all of these things, including the lightness in my chest that Wright alludes to at the end. This electric feeling that you get (if you’re very lucky) when you happen upon something that is truly good. Those moments can make you feel so alive and so filled with gratitude. As you can tell by my explanation, it’s a hard thing to describe, but somehow, Wright captures it perfectly.

19---> perry & ferlinghetti


Name: Perry Guevara
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Current City: Atlanta, GA
Occupation: PhD Candidate
Age: 30

What does poetry mean to you? 

Poetry is language in extremis, reaching for the edges of legibility as it attempts to speak the ineffable.

Favorite Poets: 

Since the age of 16, I’ve loved the poems of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I’ve read A Coney Island of the Mind more times than I can count. I also love Edna St. Vincent Millay, Frank O'Hara, and John Donne, especially his holy sonnets.

Favorite Poem

Nanas de la Cebolla” by Miguel Hernandez

Why do you like this poem? 

“Nanas de la Cebolla,” or “Lullaby of the Onion,” demonstrates language under duress. It refuses to surrender its lyricism and remembers that tenderness is possible even in desperation. Robert Bly beautifully translated this poem to English, but Joan Manuel Serrat’s 1972 musical version is simply stunning. Here’s my favorite verse:

En la cuna del hambre
mi niño estaba.
Con sangre de cebolla
se amamantaba.
Pero tu sangre,
escarchada de azúcar,
cebolla y hambre.