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Welcome, Kristina Marie Darling!

This month we are celebrating the titles that we’ve acquired over the past twelve months. These manuscripts came to us through our open reading periods. Today we bring you Kristina Marie Darling, whose poetry collection Daylight Has Already Come: Selected Poems 2014-2020 is due out next summer. 

Have a manuscript you think we’d like? During our June Open Reading Period we are looking for poetry (chapbooks and full-length collections), short fiction (again, both chapbooks and full-length collections), novels, novellas, nonfiction (CNF, biography, cultural studies), anthology proposals, and translations from German. 

 

The Author

Kristina Marie Darlingis the author of thirty-six books, which include Look to Your Left:  A Feminist Poetics of Spectacle, which is forthcoming from the Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics at the University of Akron Press; Stylistic Innovation, Conscious Experience, and the Self in Modernist Womens Poetry, forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group; Daylight Has Already Come:  Selected Poems 2014 – 2020, which will be published by Black Lawrence Press; Silence in Contemporary Poetry, which will be published in hardcover by Clemson University Press in the United States and Liverpool University Press in the United Kingdom; Silent Refusal:  Essays on Contemporary Feminist Poetry, forthcoming from Black Ocean; Angel of the North, which is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry; and X Marks the Dress: A Registry (co-written with Carol Guess), which will be launched by Persea Books in the United States.  Penguin Random House Canada will also publish a Canadian edition.  Her work has been recognized with three residencies at Yaddo, where she has held the Martha Walsh Pulver Residency for a Poet and the Howard Moss Residency in Poetry; a Fundación Valparaíso fellowship to live and work in Spain; a Hawthornden Castle Fellowship, funded by the Heinz Foundation; an artist-in-residence position at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris; six residencies at the American Academy in Rome; two grants from the Whiting Foundation; a Faber Residency in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, which she received on two separate occasions; an artist-in-residence position with the Andorran Ministry of Culture; and the Dan Liberthson Prize from the Academy of American Poets, which she received on three separate occasions; among many other awards and honors. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press & Tupelo Quarterly.

 

On Writing Daylight Has Already Come

 

For me, all of language – including the forms we use, as well as the rules of grammar – is politically charged.  I think the belief that form is political explains my gravitation to, and ardent championing of, hybrid and experimental literary forms. Adrienne Rich once said that she refused to write in forms that are hostile to women’s voices.  From the very beginning, I’ve felt the same way about couplets, tercets, sonnets, and many of the vestiges of the artistic tradition we’ve inherited, and I’m certainly not alone, as recent years have seen a veritable explosion of cross-genre writing, the vast majority of which is by women. With that in mind, Daylight Has Already Come gathers selections of my hybrid feminist texts from 2014 through 2020, including excerpts from Women and Ghosts, Dark Horse, Fortress, and Angel of the North: Poems


Excerpt: Essays on Props

 

I.

That whole winter, I worked on a production of Hamlet, in which I oversaw the placement of props.  It was my responsibility to perfect the various objects before they manifested onstage, and to make sure that they were visible without being too visible.  One night, after my divorce was finalized, I stayed late to determine where the iron goblets should appear on set.  I was also drunk.  I decided that Ophelia should have a gun.  After all, she was led and misled by the man she loved, her consent taken from her as she smiled like a glass of cold water.  I placed the shimmering revolver inside one of several trap doors, which the stage manager had prepared for the play-within-a-play scene.  I gathered my things and left. 

The production opened the following week.  I attended the first of seven scheduled performances and by then, I had sobered up.  Perhaps more importantly, I no longer remembered where I had stashed the gun.  The soliloquies went on and on until one of the courtiers opened the trap door.  A gunshot sounded before the audience gasped and the velvet curtain drew closed.  The prince was dead.  I was the executioner who destroyed the kingdom, though it all seemed like an anxiety dream, as though I were spending the night in a strange bed. 

The reviews appeared like blemishes on my perfect face.  Many read as condemnations, lecturing us all on how the stakes of art are too high.  We should embrace the artifice of theater, they said, and suffering should be made less real.  One critic delivered a different verdict, arguing that the violence had only just begun. What’s more, the production would have been more authentic if I had shot the prince myself, poised on the edge of the stage in a white dress.  When I try to fire the gun, I realize that he’s already dead.