It is not yet time for singing.Although I could allow this lake stroking the shore as song.I feel a tenderness towards the small stones under my feet.That's a good sign.And gratitude for the sun warming my neck.I am learning the names of birds.At the pond last week,a soft-colored green bird with a white stripe down its head.A widgeon.And just now, a small shore bird, black with hints of red at the back of its neck,hops across the wave foam, pert and legged like a gymnast.It has a name.For praise, one needs vocabulary,to know the difference between a call and a song,and that birds that sing are among the passerines.
Copyright © 2021 by Michelle Poirier Brown.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Michelle Poirier Brown is an internationally published poet and performer, currently living in Lək̓ʷəŋən territory (Victoria, BC). She is nêhiýaw-iskwêw and a citizen of the Métis Nation. Her poem “Wake” won PRISM international’s 2019 Earle Birney Prize. Other poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Arc, CV2, Grain, Emrys Journal, Plenitude, The Puritan, untethered, and Vallum; several chapbooks and anthologies; and the 2021 song cycle, “The Length of a Day,” which includes “Praise” (Jeffrey Ryan, composer). Her debut book You Might Be Sorry You Read This is forthcoming from the University of Alberta Press in the Robert Kroetsch Series in 2022. www.skyblanket.ca
For more than fifty years, the MFA Writing Program at UNC Greensboro has published The Greensboro Review. The journal began in 1966, when students in the first years of the MFA wanted a place to publish their creative work. With $500 from the Chancellor—“an amount that hardly covered the cost of printing 500 copies,” according to Robert Watson, poet and co-founder of the MFA program—students and faculty used the campus duplicating shop to print the debut issue, then collated it by hand. Greensboro painter Betty Watson designed the logo that is still in use today.
The mission of the journal quickly shifted from “a house organ for our MFA students,” and the Review began to publish writers like Ezra Pound and Joyce Carol Oates. But as longtime editor Jim Clark described, “the GR has always taken the most joy in publishing work by new writers at the beginning of their careers, and we are proud to include in this group such writers as Lewis Nordan, Yusef Komunyakaa, William Matthews, Alan Shapiro, Charles Simic, and Dave Smith.” In 1984, the GR established its Literary Awards thanks to an anonymous donor, and these prizes led to a more global following. Works from the journal are consistently included in the Pushcart Prize anthologies, Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Awards, New Stories from the South, and other collections honoring the finest writing by both established and emerging voices.
Today, the GR continues to be faculty- and student-run, and our editors regularly showcase writers whose work may be risk-taking or overlooked.
As of 2019, the journal is proud to partner with the University of North Carolina Press for publishing and distribution.