Ansel Elkins is the author of Blue Yodel, winner of the 2014 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. Her other honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Antiquarian Society, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, as well as a “Discovery”/Boston Review Prize. Elkins’s writing appears regularly in the American Scholar, the Believer, Virginia Quarterly Review, and this magazine.
A poem from the Place Issue
Two hundred thousand miles away / in this ashen desolate terrain / you could almost forget our gun-smoked globe, / the wars raging like wildfire back home.
When I first opened Stanford’s slim book of posthumously published selected work, The Light the Dead See, every word rang true and glowed like burning coal. I was enraptured by his recklessness, his rebelliousness, his loneliness; I drank up his language like whiskey and was pulled into his dangerous, nocturnal world full of energy and eroticism and death.
A poem from the summer 2014 issue.
When the sky threw down hail, I knew
our world was sudden, changing. In the violence of rains
we ran, I held my daughter with her water-soaked braids.
She covered her ears and counted
one Mississippi, two Mississippi
the space between lightning and thunder.