The Sealey Challenge: Good Luck Gold and Other Poems

I’ve read rather a lot of Janet Wong’s back catalog this year, and today, my second-to-last day of the Sealey Challenge 2021, I read another: Good Luck Gold and Other Poems, originally published in 1994 (I had that shirt then too, btw), and just as relevant today as it was then. Good Luck Gold is a damn good book of poetry. I’ve said this with … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Good Luck Gold and Other Poems

The Sealey Challenge: Transit Blues

Keijiro Suga’s Transit Blues, translated from the Japanese largely by the author himself, is a strange, often luminous little chapbook, a collection of poetry that explores space and time (and corvidae) with a deft, loving touch. “Walking as a Prayer,” the first poem in the collection, sets the tone for the rest of the book: sometimes meditative, always elegant, loving and deft and tender. Suga … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Transit Blues

The Sealey Challenge: Boys Quarter

Chukwuma Ndulue’s Boys Quarter is an exquisite, difficult, sometimes haunting chapbook, a collection of poetry that deeply explores time and space and self and, along with them, the haunting, violent presence of coloniality. Ndulue’s epigraph comes from Hart Crane, a snippet from “Voyagers” that sure sounds like it’s kissing goodbye to the innocence of youth, pointing out that “The bottom of the sea is cruel.” … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Boys Quarter

the saddest angriest black girl in town: a graphic novel by Robyn Smith

I have a disclaimer here: I backed Robyn Smith‘s The Saddest Angriest Black Girl in Town when Black Josei Press ran its Kickstarter for the second printing, and also, I’m pretty out of it today because I’ve been having an asthma attack ever since the power went out at work a couple days ago. So I am possibly biased, and definitely flaked out. Take that … Continue reading the saddest angriest black girl in town: a graphic novel by Robyn Smith

The Sealey Challenge: New Moon / Luna Nueva / Yuninal Jme’tik

Women and the moon have long been linked, in cultures across the world. In New Moon, originally Yuninal Jme’tik in the poet’s native Tsotsil, Luna Nueva in her own Spanish-language translation, Enriqueta Lunez writes poetry of womanhood, words of woman born, reaching out to the moon. I’ll preface this simply: I’m going to need to read New Moon again, very soon. I read Clare Sullivan’s … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: New Moon / Luna Nueva / Yuninal Jme’tik

The Sealey Challenge: Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams

We’re in the midst of another storm, here, and in the midst of a storm of a week, and so I picked, today, a warm, magical little book of poetry awash with dreamy illustrations: Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams, a 2000 collaboration between poet Janet Wong and artist Julie Paschkis. (They also worked together in Knock On Wood, which I read for … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams

The Sealey Challenge: Fry Bread

I don’t usually read by flashlight—it’s honestly hard on the eyes—but, by God, I was going to finish my twenty-fourth Sealey Challenge book of the month, and I did, even if I couldn’t post it here. And so, by flashlight, in the midst of a massive storm, I finished Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martínez-Neal’s Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story. First I’ll address … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Fry Bread

The Sealey Challenge: The Hill We Climb

The world knows Amanda Gorman’s name. Much of the world, I think, has probably heard her speak, her voice soaring over our capitol’s steps, promising a bright, hopeful new day. I watched her live, and cried my eyes out. Last year I read Maya Angelou’s 1993 inaugural poem, On the Pulse of Morning, and cried my way through it. Today, I read Gorman’s The Hill … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: The Hill We Climb

The Sealey Challenge: Catcall

I think I was seven or eight the first time I was catcalled, although I’m not really sure. I’d say I’ve gotten used to it—I’m in my mid thirties now, after all—but one doesn’t really get used to the invasion, the threat of violence thrumming under the surface, or just above. Holly Melgard’s Catcall is pretty creative—I mean, I don’t think anyone’s ever hollered anything … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Catcall