University of Southern Indiana

Ruth Awad Poetry Picks

It is not my aim to name the spark that makes a poem a poem, but I can show you what is wild and wandering and wondering. I hope when you read these poems, your curiosity ignites. I hope they make you look up at the world around you and seek out its tenderness. I hope they fill you with a righteous rage or become the salve you needed on a hard day. I chose these poems for their breadth and spellwork. Let them transform you, even briefly.

Spring 2022

The Beautiful and Glorious” by Emma Bolden
Numb Aubade with Bloodhound” by Traci Brimhall
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” by Ayokunle Falomo
Who Plays...” by Chanda Feldman
More Husbands” by Rebecca Hazelton
Revelation” by Sara Eliza Johnson
We Are Soft Between Hours” by I.S. Jones
ode to the luna moth & my psychiatrist, who warns me lithium will shorten my lifespan” by Anthony Thomas Lombardi
Object Mother” by Natalie Scenters-Zapico
My People” by Charif Shanahan

Fall 2021

El Chacal” by Jose Hernandez Diaz
Ode to Damage” by Idris Goodwin
A Ghazal for Black Boys” by Rosalind Guy
Reading 'What a Waste' to College Boys” by Jill McDonough
Touch Cave” by Erika Meitner
Family with Dreams Cut Out” by Jenny Molberg
Everything Is on Fire” by Sebastián Hasani Páramo
The Groomsman” by Alexa Patrick
Portrait of My Sister About to Shoplift” by Chelsea Wagenaar

Spring 2021

Night thinks it’s crying again” & “When Everything Is Too Much, I Praise What Didn’t Break” by Kelli Russell Agodon
How to Conquer” by Alyse Bensel
Autobiography via Screaming” by Marianne Chan
Light Home” by Kwame Dawes
Next to the Gas Station That Sells Chicken Wings” by Kendra DeColo & Tyler Mills
Mercury in Cancer” by Rage Hezekiah
How to Let Go, or, I Smudged Lost Loves Away into the Ocean” by Ashley M. Jones
Wife for Scale” by Maggie Smith
Final Poem for the Bullet” by Phillip B. Williams

Fall 2020

Boundless, or On Human Complexity” & “Major Depressive Disorder (Recurrent)” by Marissa Ahmadkhani
Birth Ritual” by Dana Alsamsam
At Crescent Park” by Despy Boutris
The Sun and Moon Began with a Mother Working” by Su Cho
Poem for Tucker Carlson's Face” by Paul Guest
A Villanelle for Jodie Foster” by Julia Koets
Because There Will Always Be People You Don’t Get Along With” by Amelia Martens
Small Fry” by Ayesha Raees
primer” by Michael Waters

Spring 2020

Book of Mild Regrets” by Mary Biddinger
& the white girl tells me i need to marry a Latino man so that my kids can be the world” by Em Dial
Immigrant Elegy for Ávila” by Mónica Gomery
all the girls standing in the line for the bathroom” by Marlin M. Jenkins
Masculine Sonnet” by Sreshtha Sen
salat during deportation proceedings” by Dulie Tahat
hearsay” by Renia White

Fall 2019

Honey” by Allison Adair
An Accommodation” by Sandra Beasley
God Letter” by CM Burroughs
Marigolds of Fire” by Ama Codjoe
Buying Back-to-School Supplies” by Matthew Guenette
Professor Marva Stewart’s Funeral Service at Gilbert-Lambuth Chapel, Paine College” by Kamilah Aisha Moon
Gather” by Jess Smith
The Most Important Word in This Language” by Analicia Sotelo

Spring 2019

Upon Meeting My Father for the First Time, My Mother Thinks—” by Bailey Cohen
Motel, Oregon” by Sophie Klahr
Something Quiet” by Rosalie Moffett
Casida of the Branches” by C. C. Reid
For the Doctor's Records” by Clint Smith

Fall 2018

Aubade in the Old Apartment” by Leila Chatti
Get Out of the Goddamn Car,” by Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley
On the Haunted Hayride with Audrey” by Keetje Kuipers
white girl interrogates her recurring dreams” by Marty McConnell
The Earth Is Rude, Silent, Incomprehensible” by Jacques J. Rancourt
December at Faribault Prison” by Michael Torres

Spring 2018

Crack” by Geoff Anderson
Sunken Place Sestina” by Ashley M. Jones
White Earth” by Erika Meitner
Fawn” by Susannah Nevison
In Praise of the Names of Things” by Chelsea Wagenaar

Contributing editor Ruth Awad is an award-winning Lebanese-American poet whose debut poetry collection Set to Music a Wildfire (SIR Press 2017) won the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is the recipient of a 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY, Poem-a-Day, The New Republic, Pleiades, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review Poem of the Week, Sixth Finch, Crab Orchard Review, CALYX, Diode, The Adroit Journal, Vinyl Poetry, Epiphany, BOAAT Journal, and elsewhere.

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