Having just put together an anniversary issue, this question is downright cruel! It was hard enough to narrow down to that thick issue, let alone a single poem. I am also a libra so I’m deeply indecisive and my excuse for that is a strong belief in fairness. Is it even right to pick just one? Different poems work for me at different times and in different moods or in conversation with other things I’m thinking and reading and feeling. My unending gratitude for the embarrassment of riches in our archives.
In addition to history, the divine, and stories from sacred texts, the speaker also wrestles with empire. In the poem “My Empire,” the speaker says, “My empire made me happy / because it was an empire, cruel, / and the suffering wasn’t my own.”
However, Heather Swan does not write from a place of abandoned hope. She questions what must we do? but does not despair
I will be discussing only my own experience, but extrapolating beyond it to make a strong claim about some ill-defined, amorphous group of people whom I imagine to have experiences identical to my own. In other words, I’m writing a personal essay masquerading as a social critique. How very millennial of me.
The “People of MQR” series highlights the people who make up the MQR staff as they consistently contribute to the richness of the magazine and work towards making each issue the best it can be. As the people of MQR work behind the scenes, their