Aphasia

Mary Peelen

It’s what you listen for—the repetition of a word
both noun and verb,stroke, for example. Or love.
In therapy, my sisterrecites her children’s names
like a profession of faith.Afterwards, they disappear
and it’s just me again,benign, vaguely familiar.
I push her chair aroundthe square glass corridor.
Courtyard snowmelting in the afternoon sun
goes gray around the edges.Rubber wheels on linoleum
make no sound at all.

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Mary Peelen won the Kithara Book Prize for her first full-length poetry collection, Quantum Heresies, forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press in 2019. Her writing has recently appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Antioch Review, Gulf Coast, Alaska Quarterly Review, Bennington Review, New American Writing, Poetry Review (UK), and other journals. She lives in San Francisco.

Beloit Poetry Journal

Winter 2018

Windham, Maine

Editors: Melissa Crowe, Rachel Contreni Flynn
Associate Editor: Jessica Jacobs
Senior Editor: Lee Sharkey

Our longstanding mission is to seek out and share work of fresh and lasting power, poems that speak startling, complicated, necessary truths and that do so in surprising and beautiful ways. Since 1950, the BPJ has cleaved to a set of editorial practices that enable discovery of vibrant new voices and that foster long-lasting relationships with some of the most gifted, important poets of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Our aim is to offer work that pushes boundaries of content, aesthetic, and form—to showcase what’s becoming of contemporary poetry—and we do so the old fashioned way. Senior staff read each submission thoroughly and openheartedly; when a poem moves, informs, and inspires us, we forward it to the entire editorial board, a group of about half a dozen skilled volunteer readers. These readers weigh in, and what continues to engage the group comes with us to the next biannual editorial board meeting.

…[W]e’re known for publishing long poems other journals won’t make space for. We’re known for publishing formally challenging poems, for printing the brutally honest and the unparaphrasable alongside the wryly funny, alongside lyrics that ring clear as bells. As a staff, we’re convinced there’s no other method by which the BPJ could remain so urgent, so eclectic, and so bold. Whatever other changes we embrace, we’re steadfastly committed to the editorial practice that has proven itself with issue after issue for nearly seven decades.

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