National Poetry Month: New Poetry in the Spring 2019 Issue of Colorado Review

~by Katherine Indermaur, Managing Editor, Colorado Review

Cover of Spring 2019 Issue of Colorado ReviewOn Colorado State’s campus, the Center for Literary Publishing is the home of Colorado Review, a nationally recognized literary magazine. Colorado Review is published three times a year and features short fiction, essays, and poetry by writers from all over the world.

The poetry in this issue, curated by editor Donald Revell, welcomes the yearly awakening that is the spring season. Some poems question our role in all this blossoming, whether it’s in seeing and upholding it, in keeping or abandoning it, or in simply saying its name.

In “Pomp,” Sam Gilpin grapples with all we think the morning owes us:

POMP

arc of bird flight overhead,

a moment unnoticed,

 

early morning gray along the river

owing us nothing.

 

lay down these words

in the slopes of light

 

hanging over the fragile horizon.

this is a shadow you cannot keep to yourself alone,

 

circumstance and nothing more,

these little plans and designs,

 

still nothing more.

the gravel gray by the river’s edge.

 

In “Leaving Red Rocks,” Katherine Fallon watches landscape shift to burning, to Styrofoam, but not without its promises:

 

LEAVING RED ROCKS

The something changes. Fire licks along the interstate’s

plunging edge, Styrofoam plates of rice and sucked bones

are left out for yard dogs. Beauty is not what it once was.

 

On the outskirts of town, promises of asparagus

if the weather holds. Head another direction. Peel past

the clinging skin of the Havana. Make the harder choice.

 

Some of our favorite moments of the issue come when there’s an intimacy to the tender interstices of human and animal, like in this poem by Laura Paul Watson:

 

NUTHATCHES

I stop myself from waking you

to make you listen with me.

 

Even in your sleep, you turn toward me.

The rosin of morning moves into the valley.

 

First light hits our bed. I am all pine for you.

Still, among the two-by-fours

 

and the pinkness of insulation: nuthatches

nesting hot within the wall:

 

the small thunder of them,

the clutch of them, out-flaps me.

 

They body themselves together, two in the sage,

the suet, the mud they’ve flown into our walls.

 

When I touch the hand you’ve slipped in sleep

from the covers, this soft day

 

triggers a choir behind our heads:

one voice wakes and finds itself hungry,

 

stretches a thin song to the beak,

opens one wide and wanting mouth

 

and wakes the others

who stretch their smallness alongside it.

 

To see more great poetry from Colorado Review, please visit our website to purchase subscriptions to the magazine as well as other books of poetry published right here on CSU’s campus.