7:00pm, Give What You Can
Join us to celebrate the publication of Brittany Cavallaro's Girl-King (University of Akron, 2015) and Cynthia Marie Hoffman's Paper Doll Fetus (Persea Books, 2014)
Brittany Cavallaro's first poetry collection, Girl-King, was published by the University of Akron Press in January 2015. Individual poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Gettysburg Review, Tin House and the Best New Poets anthology, among others. No Girls No Telephones, a chapbook co-written with Rebecca Hazelton, is now available from Black Lawrence Press. Cavallaro’s awards include scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry. In addition, Cavallaro’s young adult novel, A Study in Charlotte, is forthcoming from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins in winter 2016, with sequels to follow in 2017 and 2018.
Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of Paper Doll Fetus (Persea Books, 2014) and Sightseer (Persea Books, 2011)—winner of the 2010 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, as well as the chapbook Her Human Costume (Gold Line Press, 2014). Hoffman is a former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Director’s Guest at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Her poems have appeared in Pleiades, Fence, Blackbird, diode, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. She co-edits the online interview series on poetry project books, The Cloudy House. Visit Cynthia online.
City where no one is from, city
that billows like the tumescent
moon, city that closes down
when the girl arrives with her bags
and her ragged diadem and all
her men. She announces herself
to the deciding park and the main gates
close. She shows her mother’s brooch
and the main gates close, they cry
and they close, they’ve rusted. She isn’t
the first. Her men attend,
they paint themselves & they press
those paintings on her, their books
explain the beginning, those waves.
The structures that wavered when
the moon came down. She has no
new reasons to send them away
& the city is hers, it wears her name
underneath, always, it won’t protest –
she is terrible in her rule.
The Paper Doll Fetus Speaks to the Viable Twin in Utero
Days, a week, or two weeks passed before I discerned I was dying
and the things which were to be my eyes shriveled up like pricked balloons.
It is always night in here. I cannot know if it is you, though something
is wringing out my heart (what was to be my heart) my tongue my skin
is being ground to a pulp. There was not enough time to rehearse a graceful pose
before I was wedged against the wall. I am splayed like a weather vane.
Your head is enormous. When did it happen that I am no bigger than your footprint?
I am becoming a scrap of parchment on which is scrawled my flattened waxy face.
Unfold me. You will find a tiny skeleton stirred into the paper. I am a letter
to you, and it says if you held me up to the wind I would flutter away. At times
in the future you will feel that something has been lost but you will not remember
what it is. No one understands why this is happening. Look at me, you know me
better than anyone. I am not angry.
—Cynthia Marie Hoffman
Reprinted from Paper Doll Fetus (Persea Books, 2014). Originally appeared in Fence.