Highlighted by The Fine Arts Work Center
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Meet Our August Massachusetts Poet in the Spotlight: Leslie Marie Aguilar

Highlighted by The Fine Arts Work Center

Leslie Marie Aguilar originally hails from the heartland of Texas. She has served as the Poetry Editor of Indiana Review and received her MFA from Indiana University. Her work has been supported by the National Society of Arts and Letters and the Fine Arts Work Center. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Callaloo, Hobart, Ninth Letter, Rattle, Sonora Review, and Washington Square Review among others. She is the author of Mesquite Manual (New Delta Review, 2015).
Poetic Profession   

"My writing practice is cyclical. Unfortunately, I’m part of the class of writers who experience bouts of unfettered productivity followed by debilitating periods of inactivity. This might sound a bit dramatic, and of course it is, but the cyclical nature of my process affords me time to revise. The act of revising a poem is the closest a poet can come to getting away with murder, I think. Though in all seriousness, I look forward to the revision process because it allows me to unburden myself of the guilt associated with this inactivity. For me, revision is a form of alchemy that renders raw material pure." - From Interview with Speaking of Marvels, March 2017 

 
EXILE


In this myth,      I’m queen of a capsized throne.
    Robes      thrown over my head      are a curtain

of heavenly bodies   —   a personal planetarium
    of ruin.      My compass points north,      when

the only direction      I want to travel is home.
    A place      beneath      the sleeves      of a star

wheel,      where      plains become      a borderland
    of splintered skeletons.      I carry these skulls

for centuries      in a funeral procession      over prairies.
    I’ve lost      my hourglass.      Replaced it

with      a secondhand sundial.      But the moon rises
    across my face.      Too late.      Tremors

radiate      through my skull.      Cold fronts crawl
    over      the balcony of my collar      bone

as cosmic winds.      & the web      stemming
    from my nose      becomes a star-studded veil.

Another      body shrouded      in mirrored thread,
    I’m fastened      to a darkening      desert sky.


The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown was founded in 1968 by a group of artists, writers and patrons. The founders envisioned a place in Provincetown, the country’s most enduring artists’ colony, where artists and writers could live and work together in the early phase of their careers. 
 
Today the Work Center offers one of the most renown long-term residency programs for emerging artists and writers in the U.S. Each year the Work Center offers the gift of time, space and community to twenty Fellows selected from some 1,500 applications worldwide. From October to May, the Work Center gives the Fellows living and workspace, a modest stipend, and the support of established visiting writers and artists.

In addition to the Fellowships, the Fine Arts Work Center offers returning residencies for former Fellows, collaborative residencies for visiting artists and writers, an open- enrollment summer workshop program in visual arts and creative writing and 24PearlStreet, an online writing program.

Massachusetts Poet in the Spotlight is a monthly installment from Mass Poetry. Each month we shine the spotlight on a poet affiliated with, and nominated by, one of our poetry partners.

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