Phantom Limb is new to us, and we’re glad to be in-the-know.
Yes, their most recent issue features new work from TSky author Shelly Taylor (see Black-Eyed Heifer). But that’s not the only reason to read the issue. There is a conversation with Dorothea Lasky, and prior issues include work by TSky writers and peeps Heather Christle, Patrick Culliton, George Kalamaras, Karla Kelsey, Becca Klaver, Nate Pritts, and Brandon Shimoda.
Also: the Phantom Limb masthead is neither entirely male nor entirely white, nor do any of the staff photos come off as smarmy — all of which makes one want to submit work to them. And you should. They are even reading chapbook manuscripts.
Sure, their links page is tragically flawed, but we’re hoping they’ll fix that.
Sample from the Lasky interview:
Ideas about faith, God, the devil, nuns, etc. are prevalent in much of your poetry, especially throughout Black Life. You seem to have a complicated and conflicted relationship with faith and religion (not to confuse the two). Can you tell me about this presence in your poetry? Why is it there, and why is it important to you, your work, and maybe everybody?
I’ve always loved Emily Dickinson’s statement about faith: “On subjects of which we know nothing, we both believe and disbelieve a hundred times an hour, which keeps believing nimble.” God, the afterlife, faith, death, life, love, the Devil—it’s all very important to me. I think in my poetry, as much as I have been doing anything, I have been setting up my own religious beliefs—working through them, believing and disbelieving, and finding where I stand in terms of the spiritual world and this world—it’s all there. In the books, I’ve tried on many religious voices—taken on the voice of a preacher in AWE, struggled with nihilism in Black Life, and turned the persona into a demonic force in Thunderbird—but it was all to find my true sense of existence. It’s funny, I’ve heard people discuss my work as a sort of confessional poetry. I tend to hate that term, “confessional.” But if I am confessional about anything in my work, it is about my own spiritual struggles. And do I think it is important for everyone to consider their relationship to faith and religion? Not necessarily. But I think everyone will have to eventually consider it, so they may as well get started now. I guess that may mean that I do think it is important.
O, we can scarcely wait to read Thunderbird (Wave Books, coming Oct. 2, 2012).
For now: proceed to Phantom Limb.