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Penumbra Readings

"Who Will Tend the Roses"
by Mark Hendrickson

Who Will Tend the RosesMark Hendrickson
00:00 / 01:57

Mark Hendrickson is a poet who recently relocated to the Des Moines area. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Synkroniciti, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Honeyguide, Dark Onus Lit, and Swing. Before becoming a poet, Mark worked for many years as a mental health technician in a locked psychiatric unit. He has advanced degrees in Music, Health Information Management, and Marriage & Family Therapy. Visit his website at: www.markhendricksonpoetry.com.

"Quinceañera"
by Jan Lee

QuinceañeraJan Lee
00:00 / 04:53
Quinceañera CommentaryJan Lee
00:00 / 01:11

Jan Lee is a digital native, who first published via Telnet in the 1990s. Jan has work published in Soft Star Magazine, Maenad Review, and Whimsical Press (among others), and short stories collected in the book Route One and Other Stories, available on Amazon. Jan is Editor-in-Chief of The Apostrophe, the quarterly magazine of the Hong Kong Writers Circle.

"What Is A Woman"
by Lori D'Angelo

What Is A WomanLori D'Angelo
00:00 / 01:03

 Lori D'Angelo (she/her) is a grant recipient from the Elizabeth George Foundation and an alumna of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. Recent work has recently appeared in Beaver Magazine, Bullshit Lit, Idle Ink, JAKE, One Art Poetry Journal, and Wrong Turn Lit.  Find her on Twitter @sclly21 or Instagram and Threads at lori.dangelo1.

The first line is a reference or perhaps a response to John Donne’s “Meditation XVII.” The poem begins by talking about female anger, but then it moves to discuss the role of women as mothers and there is makes reference to some of the specific frustrations of parenting, in this case, my specific frustrations of parenting my two sons. Then the poem moves again to discuss some current social and political context, specifically the fact that many countries, including including the United States, have recently passed laws limiting women’s bodily autonomy. The end of the poem references Queen Elizabeth I, and the fact that she may or may not have been a virgin. (Some of this speculation is dealt with in the 1998 Cate Blanchett film Elizabeth.) Either way, I don’t think it matters because Elizabeth was a capable ruler whether or not she was chaste. At the end, this poem expresses my frustration with male attempts to define womanhood and limit women.

" fear chased me home"
by Bee LB

fear chased me home [intro]BEE LB
00:00 / 02:43
fear chased me home [poem]BEE LB
00:00 / 00:56

BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; a writer creating delicate connections. they have called any number of places home; currently, a single yellow wall in Michigan. they have been published in FOLIO, Roanoke Review, Figure 1, and The Offing, among others. they are a poetry reader for Capsule Stories. their portfolio can be found at twinbrights.carrd.co and their workshops can be found at poetryasplay.carrd.co

"How to Fix a Girl"
by Elisabeth Flett

How to Fix a GirlElisabeth Flett
00:00 / 01:16

Elisabeth Flett is an award-winning writer, theatre-maker, musician and

general feminist trouble maker. A regular performer at Speakin Weird and a competitor in the 2023 Loud Poets Slam (North East Heat), Elisabeth won University of Aberdeen’s Literary Lights Non-Fiction Prize in 2021 and the July 2023 City of Poets Tiny Prize.

Her writing has been longlisted by Northern Gravy Literary Periodical and published by Hysteria, Coin-Operated Press, Leopard Arts, Bits and Pieces, Queer Out Here, Apricot Press and Out on the Page. Elisabeth is passionate about mental health awareness, LGBTQ+ rights and gender equality, themes which often feature in all forms of her work as a creative practitioner.

"Ode to a Body Sometimes Called Mine"
by Ashley Verela

Ode to a Body Sometimes Called MineAshley Verela
00:00 / 01:04

Ashley Varela (they/them) is a queer writer & author based in Seattle, Washington.Here is my social media handle: @ashleyvarela_ on Twitter.

"The Crossdresser Speaks"
by Mikey May

The Crossdresser SpeaksMikey May
00:00 / 08:43

Mikey May (he/fae/xe) is a queer trans man based in Birmingham, UK. A teacher, poet, and linguist, his work across all disciplines focuses on trans liveabilities, institutional violences, and queer resistances. Fae self-publishes solo and collaborative poetry zines about language, sex, and Taylor Swift at www.mikeymay.itch.io. Xyr first chapbook, would you like to hold?, is forthcoming with Full House. Find out more at mikeymay.carrd.co.

"Pretty Privilege"
by Taylor Mckay Hathorn

Pretty PrivilegeTaylor Mckay Hathorn
00:00 / 06:00

Taylor McKay Hathorn is a Mississippian by birth and a Jacksonian by choice, and you can read more of her work online at www.TaylorMcKayHathorn.com.

"It always feel worse in the summertime"
by Finn Brown

It always feel worse in the summertimeFinn Brown
00:00 / 03:57

Finn Brown is a queer writer and maker, whose short stories Heat, The Girl Who’s Scared of Water and Love and Oranges have been published in Transforming Being (an anthology by Bridgehouse Publishing), The Bombay Review and Queer Life, Queer Love 2 (an anthology by Muswell Press) respectively. Their poetry has been published in Texlandia Magazine, and they have performed spoken word at Hay Festival, Last Word Festival and Brainchild Festival as part of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. They run a queer arts and lit platform t’ART.

"gender euphoria as personal hyrule"
by nat raum

gender euphoria as personal hyruleNat Raum
00:00 / 01:30

nat raum (b. 1996) is a disabled artist, writer, and genderless disaster from Baltimore, MD. They’re the editor-in-chief of fifth wheel press and the author of the abyss is staring back, you stupid slut, and several chapbooks and photography publications. Past publishers of their writing include Delicate Friend, Corporeal Lit, and ANMLY. Find them online: natraum.com/links.

"Petunia"
by Is Curtis
 

PetuniaIs Curtis
00:00 / 06:13

Is Curtis (@is_curtis9) is a nonfiction MFA candidate at the University of New Hampshire, where they recently graduated with a degree in journalism. Their journalistic work has received several awards, including recognition from the New England, New Hampshire, and Maine Press Associations. They are currently working on an essay collection examining the intersections of gender, sexuality, and 2010s pop culture.

"Dirk Hardbody"
by Alexandra Weiss
 

Dirk_Hardbody_Drag_LumberjackAlexandra Weiss
00:00 / 02:57

Alexandra Weiss is a graduate student and plant enthusiast. Sasha edits for Another Chicago Magazine, makes indie games as Cerberus Studios, and has written a chapbook, autumn is when the ghosts come out (Blanket Sea Press, 2022).

"Proxy::Desire - An essay on Gender"
by Mateo Perez Lara 
 

proxydesireMateo Perez Lara
00:00 / 08:17

Mateo Perez Lara is a queer, non-binary, Latine poet from Bakersfield, California. They received their M.F.A. in Poetry from Randolph College’s Creative Writing Program. They are an editor for Block Chronicles. They have a chapbook, Glitter Gods, published with Thirty West Publishing House. Their poems have been published in EOAGH, The Maine Review, PANK, and elsewhere.

"I Take My Midwestern Penpal To A Gay Bar"
by Carson Wolfe
 

I_Take_My_Miderwestern_Pen_Pal_to_a_Gay_BarIs Curtis
00:00 / 01:50

Carson Wolfe (they/them) is a Mancunian poet. They are New Writing North’s 2023 Debut Poetry Winner and have previously won awards from The Aurora Poetry Prize and the Button Video Contest. Their debut poetry pamphlet Boy(ish)Vest (2022) was praised by Dr Kim Moore as an ‘unforgettable, wild, risk-taking roller-coaster of a book’. Their work has appeared in Rattle, Fourteen Poems, Poetry by Chance (Button, 2023), and The Penn Review. Carson lives in Manchester with their wife and three children. You can find them at www.carsonwolfe.co.uk.

"on using teeth"
by Nico Ricciardi
You can read "on using teeth" on page 23 of Penumbra 2023

on using teeth Nico Ricciardi
00:00 / 01:32

"Promethius' Inheritance"
by Alex Carrigan
You can read "Promethius' Inheritance" on page 19 of Penumbra 2023

"All I Hold In My Hands"
​By Alise Versella
Alise's poem can be found in Penumbra's Spring 2020 edition, on page 58.

Alise Versella is a Pushcart-nominated contributing writer for Rebelle Society whose work has been published widely. Her newest collection When Wolves Become Birds (Golden Dragonfly Press 2021) is available now. You can visit her at www.aliseversella.com

"​How I Came to Hold the Faerie Close to My Heart"
​By Peter Henrich

Peter Henrich focuses his craft on children’s stories, flash fiction, and poetry. Penumbra's publication of "How I Came to Hold the Faerie Close to My Heart" is his debut as a writer. He is a Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition Honorable Mention recipient for flash fiction. His work also appears in Vanish in Poetry from Wingless Dreamer. He lives near Seattle, Washington where he dreams of becoming a pirate.

"Ontological Fracture" 
​By Katarina Xóchitl Vargas
Katarina's poem can be found in our Summer 2021 edition of Penumbra Online, in the poetry section. 

Katarina Xóchitl Vargas was raised in Mexico City. She and her family moved to Southern California when she was 13, where she began composing poems to process alienation. A dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, Xóchitl views her writing as an act of resistance against colonialism. Her poetry first appeared in Somos en escrito, The Acentos Review and Cloud Women's Quarterly Journal. 

"The Last Days of Vacation"
​By  Lisa Rhodes-RYABCHICH 
​You can read Lisa's poem in Penumbra Online's Summer 2021 edition.

Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich is an adjunct poetry/screenwriting professor at Westchester Community College. She has two poetry chapbooks “We Are Beautiful Like Snowflakes” & “Opening the Black Ovule Gate” and forthcoming in 2021 is a full-length collection of poems "Breaking Out of the Cocoon" all from http://www.finishinglinepress.com. Another full-length poetry book "Peripeteia" was published in 2020 and a third full-length collection "How You Get to There" was published in 2021 both from CyberWit.net. She has a MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her website is http://www.lisarhodesryabchich poetryblog.wordpress.com

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