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Meet Our February Massachusetts Poet in the Spotlight: Anna M Warrock

Highlighted by Slate Roof Press

Anna M. Warrock's new collection, From the Other Room, was the winner of the first Slate Roof Press chapbook contest. She is the author of two earlier works, Horizon and Smoke and Stone. Her work has appeared in The Sun, The Madison Review, Harvard Review, Poeisis, and elsewhere, and anthologized in Kiss Me Goodnight, Poems and Stories by Women Who Were Girls When Their Mothers Died, a Minnesota Book Award Finalist. Her poems have been choreographed, set to music, and inscribed in the brick of an MBTA subway station, and her prose has appeared in The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. AnnaMWarrock.com
Poetic Profession   

"To write poetry is to commit to being awake and on a journey, crafting a way from experience to understanding. The duty is to enlarge the ability to sense where this human life takes us. Poems are carriers of reflection and vehicles for moving. A good poem reshapes the horizon of discovery." 

Looking into Her Death

After my mother’s funeral, I begin
looking into her death. I go home.
Is it still home? It feels so,
the carpet green and worn,
the doors hollow and light. I go
into the kitchen. I am sixteen
and thirsty. Is it all right to be
thirsty? It must be. I open the kitchen
cupboard. The glasses, stacked neatly,
become luminous on the shelves.
By opening the door, I shed light
on their curves, their brittleness.
They are so clear I can see the dust
caught on their transparent sides.
Standing there, I realize they are waiting.
The glasses do not know my mother
is dead, so they wait for her hands
to take them down, fill them with
beer or juice or milk. Then
her hands will wash them,
her hands will put them away.
She is dead, I say softly, she is dead.
Outside a bird calls. Her hands are gone.
Suddenly I am afraid that the glasses
will slip off the shelves and shatter,
and I close the cupboard door quickly,
then, after a moment, open it again.
I want them to slide toward me.
Perhaps I’ll catch them, perhaps 
I’ll let them smash. Nothing 
moves. The glasses are out of reach. 
I close the door, I open it, 
I close it, I open it.

Now in our 13th year, Slate Roof Press is member-run and committed to publishing the best new voices in poetry, with a focus on Massachusetts and regional poets. Members participate in all aspects of the press, including selection, editing, book design, production, marketing and distribution; each poet works closely with master letterpress printer Ed Rayher on design, typography, paper, and binding for his or her book. For more information about the press and our 2017 chapbook contest go to www.slateroofpress.com.

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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