Mix-Tape X: Writing the Poems that Look Out & Guide Us

Rosebud Ben-Oni
July 29, 2020


On Twitter yesterday, I shared a poetry prompt: Write a poem that will look out for you. I’ve been thinking about the poems we could write that would look out for us, which aren’t necessarily the poems that would keep us feeling satiated, or grounded, or even act as a healing. How a poem looks out for you depends entirely upon the one creating it, while asking, whether in the content of its final draft or in the process of the writing itself, what it means for it to look out for you. What can you write that will watch over you? Advocate for you? Remember a moment that you might forget, or want to forget, especially if you are still living it? A poem that looks out for you might also be a poem that you keep to yourself for a time, or for years, or perhaps forever. Or perhaps that poem becomes a guide for your half-imagined fragments, or poems that need but defy seemingly endless revisions. There’s also the chance that you’ve already written this poem; you only need to return to it now, for your own reasons, your new reality…


It’s my pleasure to share my 10th MixTape, which some poetry news and publications. For the second half of 2020, I’ll also be picking up my Verve {In} Verse conversation series again, featuring recent collections by Philip Matthews, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Leila Chatti, Deborah Paredez, Albert Abonado, Jihyun Yun, Vincent Toro, Joy Priest and Diana Marie Delgado. I’ll also be returning to my Little Monsters series on the various natures of Poetic Forms (if you missed my two-parter on Sestina Llamas, in which this particular poetic formed tormented me with their free-range, free-verse natureyou can find it here and here.)


Ruben Quesada and Pank Magazine are featuring Latinx poets and writers every Tuesday and Thursday, through the end of August. Find this exciting new work at [Pank] Daily.

 Esther Lin has a new poem, “Listening,” in New England Review.

Watch a recording of KT Herr read her poem “Lickspittle,” which received an Honorable Mention in the Small Orange Poetry Journal’s Emerging Woman Poet Honor.

Congratulations to Susan Nguyen Kristina who won the 2020 Prarie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry for her manuscript Dear Disaspora, and to Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry who won the 2020 Prarie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction for her manuscript What Isn’t Remembered, and congratulations too to the finalists. Read more here.

Gustavo Barahona-López has a micro-chapbook that is free to download entitled Where Will the Children Play? about the treatment of immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

M. Hooft has two new poems, “The Great Edwards High Lesbian Epidemic” and “Southern homecoming,” in Lammergeier.

FlowerSong Press has acquired Leslie Contreras Schwartz’s collection Paloma Negra and will be publishing it in early Winter 2020. (Check out their current catalogue here.)

Read Tyree Day’s poem “From Which I Flew,” excerpted from CARDINAL (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), over at Poetry Daily.

Chen Chen has new work from his long poem “holiday” in the latest issue of The Cortland Review.

Check out Patrick Mullen-Coyoy’s poems “Ariana Grande Guts a Fierce Deity” and “IN MEDIA RESURRECTION” in Lit Magazine.

Jaime Zuckerman has a hybrid piece “The Cult of Two” in the inaugural issue of Afternoon Visitor, founded by TR Brady and Maggie Nipps.

Lastly, please someone write a poem about Quokkas.




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