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Welcome New Tab Staff
Anthony Alegrete (he/him) is a poet and writer located in Orange, California, where he is enrolled in Chapman University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. He earned his BA in English and Communications at Santa Clara University. He has headlined and performed at spoken word events throughout the Silicon Valley area and is now performing in Orange County.
Anthony’s favorite book of poems at the moment: frank: sonnets by Diane Suess. You can read former Tab Staff Liz Harmer’s review of frank: sonnets in Vol.9, Issue 2 of Tab Journal.
He also shared that, if he could have any superpower, it would be shapeshifting: “Living through the perspective of something else sounds interesting.”
Miles Enriquez-Morales (he/him) is a writer and amateur boxer from Whittier, California. He is an MFA in Creative Writing student at Chapman University and earned his BA from Colorado State University. He is a member and facilitator of the all LGBTQ+ writing group WriteNow! He can be found on Instagram as @menriquezmorales.
Miles’s favorite poet is Claudia Rankine, and his favorite poetry collection is Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke.
Miles would also choose shapeshifting as his superpower, in part because you could change shape to fly or breathe underwater, thereby having bonus superpowers.
Henneh Kwaku Kyereh (he/him) is a poet and health educator from Gonasua in Ghana. He is the author of Revolution of the Scavengers, selected by Kwame Dawes for the New Generation African Poets chapbook series. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, Lolwe, World Literature Today, Olongo Africa, Tupelo Quarterly, Agbowo, 2035Africa, Poetry Society of America, Air/Light Magazine, and elsewhere. He is the founder and co-host of the Church of Poetry. He is an MFA in Creative writing student and MFA program assistant at Chapman University. Find him on Twitter/Instagram via @kwaku_kyereh.
Tab Journal at AWP
Join Tab Journal at this year’s Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference in Seattle.
FREE copies of Tab Journal
2023 & 2022 print issues
AWP Bookfair Booth #903
Plus, Editor Anna Leahy and Communications Coordinator Lydia Pejovic will share Tab Journal‘s approach to design on.
Leading, Styling, and Other Navigations:
Writers and Editors as Designers
Friday, March 10, 2023, at 3:20 pm to 4:35 pm
Rooms 333-334, Summit Bldg, Seattle Convention Center
Tab’s Pushcart Nominations!
Tab Journal has nominated the following six poems for a Pushcart Prize. This list of poems isn’t what’s best or what’s most popular but, rather, represents the mix of voices and aesthetics of Tab Journal‘s range. Because we understand text in relation to how the reading experience is designed, we also considered the apparent constraints of the Pushcart Prize volume’s design. We have a terrific batch of poems here!
We’re grateful that each of these poets and many more trusted us with their work. Cross your fingers for a Tab Journal Pushcart win this year. And read the issues in Volume 10 for these poems and many others.
“Into Wildflower Into Field”
Kai Coggin | https://www.kaicoggin.com
Issue #2 (March; online)
Jenny Qi | https://jqiwriter.com
Issue #2 (March; online)
“an essence always is lost in translation, but also an essence is thereby created:”
Issue #4 (July; online)
“How Not to Build a Model Rocket”
Orlando Ricardo Menes | https://www.orlandoricardomenes.com
Issue #4 (July; online)
“Glome” with Artist Statement
Kazim Ali | https://www.kazimali.com
Issue #5 (September: online)
“The Apiary Library and Falling Back in Love”
Alison Lubar | https://www.alisonlubar.com
Issue #5 (September; online)
Tab Journal has published one poem that’s won a Pushcart Prize. “Snow White” by Chloe Honum was published in Volume 2 (2014) and appeared in Pushcart Prize XL (2016).
Welcome New Tab Staff
Emily Velasquez has joined the Tab Journal staff and is now reading submissions. She earned her BA at Cal State Fullerton and is now a Dual MA/MFA student at Chapman University.
Emily Velasquez has written for Soapberry Review, an online journal dedicated to amplifying the work of Asian American writers and provide thoughtful critical analysis of their work. Soapberry Review was launched earlier this year by another Chapman MA/MFA student, Audrey Fong, with essayist and tech worker Sarah Sukardi.
Congratulations to Ada Limón, named 24th Poet Laureate of the United States. What marvelous news for poetry and culture.
In the Current Issue (July 2022) of Tab Journal, Ian Koh reviews Limón’s new book, The Hurting Kind:
In these poems, there is something in the reflecting and the reflection that is about resilience and healing, which are just as essential as sleeping and breathing. Change is its own process. It can seem chaotic, or it can be appreciated, seeing the miracles in the changing of the seasons, which is also how the sections in this collection are structured. To see change as miraculous is admirable because it nourishes appreciation of patience and love instead of revealing endurance as gullibility and foolishness.
Tabula Poetica hosted Ada Limón in 2017 for a Poetry Talk and a Poetry Reading. It was a memorable day with with an amazing poet, and we’re happy to have the videos to share with Tab Journal readers.
July 2022 marks 32 years of celebrating Disability Pride Month, which began after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Tab Journal joins the disability community in appreciating and understanding the range of human ability and the diversity that can be found within the disabled community. We think it fitting to discuss the steps some of our staff are taking to create more inclusive experiences.
Tab Journal’s Creative Director, Claudine Jaenichen, piloted a course this past spring at Chapman University entitled “Disability, Accessibility, and Design.”
[This course] presents a body of work, methodologies, and creative scholarship from a diverse group of designers, creative practitioners, and researchers representing neurodiversity, sensory, physical, cognitive, and cultural diversity within the visible and invisible disabled community. The course uses project-based learning focusing on the foundations of design. Students learn the fundamental principles of accessibility and prepare for further study in inclusive and collaborative design work.
Designing for the disabled community is important for representation and understanding. The human-made world in which we live is most often built with normative bodies and abilities in mind. Claudine Jaenichen’s class is exciting because it challenges these assumptions. Students are calling for it to become a required course in the Graphic Design major.
Meanwhile, Tab Journal‘s Editor, Anna Leahy, has spent the last two years heading the effort to launch a Health Humanities program at Chapman University. The minor in Health Humanities complements the long-standing Disability Studies minor, and the college’s annual Engaging the World program will focus on health equity in Fall 2023. Leahy committed herself to this effort while working on her article for The Washington Post celebrating the 30th anniversary of ADA.
In addition, this year, Editor Anna Leahy and Creative Director Claudine Jaenichen have been awarded a Scholarly/Creative Activity Grant from Chapman University to explore “Crip Time, Poetry Curation, and Design Thinking: New Directions for Tab Journal” in 2022-2023. As part of this exploration, Leahy and Jaenichen are meeting with a disabled designer this month, considering how we can avoid putting time and effort into disability dongles (see Liz Jackson’s work), and investigating best practices for visual poetry. We’re also seeking out language and developing practices that reflect our varied abilities and schedules as staff, contributors, and readers.
Though Tab Journal has not explicitly recruited staff who identify as D/disabled, our survey last year indicated that many of our staff identify as having a disability. By representing the disability community in our staff demographics, we hope to ensure a range of perspectives and ideas at play in the literary community.
How are you celebrating Disability Pride Month?
Did you like what you read in the Current Issue (July 2022) of Tab Journal? We want to share more of what our amazing contributors are up to, so here are some links to their websites, social media, and more.
Allison Blevins: http://allisonblevins.com/
Joshua Davis: https://www.joshuadavispoet.com/
Brenda Cárdenas: https://twitter.com/CardenasBrendaE
Ed Go: https://edgosblog.wordpress.com/
Alicia Byrne Keane: https://twitter.com/keane_byrne
Orlando Ricardo Menes: https://www.orlandoricardomenes.com/
Dan Murphy: https://twitter.com/danielconor
Donna Vorreyer: http://donnavorreyer.com/
Kory Wells: https://korywells.com/
Kirby Olson: Kirby Olson is a professor at SUNY Delhi in the western Catskills. His published books include Gregory Corso: Doubting Thomist (Southern Illinois UP 2002), and Andrei Codrescu and the Myth of America (McFarland 2006) and Comedy after Postmodernism (Texas Tech UP 2000).
Ian Koh: https://twitter.com/iannkoh
Thanks to these wonderful writers for trusting Tab Journal with their work!
Tab Staff Q&A
What is your favorite piece that has been published in Tab Journal?
Liz Harmer: I love the weirdness and ecstasy of Hilary King’s “Icebreaker with Neruda” in this year’s print issue.
Sam Risak: “Hop In, Clive” by Hilary King. As someone raised in rural Florida, I have spent a decent amount of time on golf carts, and I love how King calls out C.S. Lewis for not understanding joy by stating he obviously “never careened down / a Florida road, a tanned tangle / of cousins hanging off the back.”
Vesper North: For me, “Migration Seasons” by Dia Roth in the January issue of Volume 9.
What’s the most recent poetry book you’ve read?
Vesper North: Blue in Green by Chiyuma Elliot.
Jay Dye: The Nuclear Shadows of Palm Trees by Nikolai Garcia. I picked it up on a whim at LibroMobile in DTSA [Downton Santa Ana] because I liked the title. Most of the poems are about LA, so it’s made me reminisce of the time I spent living there in 2016-2017.
Sam Risak: The Earth Is Not Flat by Katharine Coles. I picked up this collection at AWP, and while I have not yet finished it, I can already tell it’s a work I will read more than once. Coles wrote the book through the Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, and each poem feels like it edges me slightly closer to seeing a landscape that we know so little about. Or, if not seeing it, then at least asking the questions such an overwhelming environment would incite.
Liz Harmer: I have devoured, several times, Diane Seuss’s frank: sonnets. [And the review appears in Tab Journal Issue 2 (March), Volume 9 (2021).]
How do you get inspiration to write poetry?
Liz Harmer: Inspiration comes from small feelings and images or scraps of language that arise here and there. Something odd in the atmosphere or the view. A novel way of speaking.
Vesper North: Images will pop into my head–like a nebula or an empty highway or sometimes it’s an emotion that I visualize in color and shape, and I’ll think, I’ll try to turn that into a poem.
Jay Dye: I focus on what I have been feeling, reading, and thinking about lately. If all else fails, I silence my inner critic and see what comes out. With a little work, messy and uninspired drafts can turn into some pretty good poetry.
Sam Risak: I usually find inspiration before I know what to do with it. I’ll see or hear something that grabs my attention (which can be anything from an interesting texture of algae to some fact I heard on Science Friday) and take note of it with a photo or on a piece of paper. Later, when I go to write a poem, I think about how I can give language to that cool “thing.” It’s only once I have the language down on paper that I’m able to figure out why that “thing” mattered to me.
Let’s change the topic, just for fun. If you could choose to be an animal, what animal would you be and why?
Sam Risak: Raccoon. I’m a scavenger. I eat everything that’s on my plate and then try to steal whatever I can off everyone else’s. And, if I’m being honest, the food doesn’t necessarily even have to be on a plate. If it’s been thrown out but isn’t touching anything too suspicious, that’s fair game, too.
Jay Dye: I think I would be an octopus. Their powers of metamorphosis are incredible and they’re very smart. It would also be a lot of fun to explore the ocean.
Liz Harmer: My answer has always been that I’d choose to be a tiger, and I’ll stick with that out of loyalty to my childhood self.
Vesper North: Phoenix–what’s not to like about a phoenix.
a special post by Lydia Pejovic
From as young as three years old, I remember carefully reading ingredients on wrappers, bags, boxes, nutritional facts PDFs. My severe food allergies made me realize that, when my parents were not around, I had to rely on my own knowledge to keep myself safe. When teachers would hand out snacks at school, I would look at them suspiciously, turning the packages over in my hand and searching the label for keywords like eggs, egg albumen, lecithin (soy lecithin was okay), almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, coconut, macadamia. Oftentimes, my teachers would gently remind me that I had this same snack just the other day and offer to open the package themselves, just to get me to start acting like a normal child, one who didn’t obsessively read and reread and reread cookie wrappers.
“I can’t be sure you checked. My parents need me to check.”
Every year, my mom would take me to the allergist to get the same sort of spiel about my allergies. Normally, a very elderly man with a clipboard and cold hands would ask me if anything had changed (it hadn’t), and then say, “It’s likely your daughter will grow out of her allergies. Many children are able to wake up and eat things they were allergic to out of the blue!”
I always sensed that “growing out” of my allergies was impossible for me. Maybe I thwarted the possibility through sheer frustration at how unlikely supposed mystery cures seemed, but I did not grow out of my allergies. My food restrictions are still severe: I don’t allow roommates to keep or cook eggs in the house (cross-contamination), I can’t go into breakfast restaurants (egg proteins travel in the air and give me hives, plus the possibility of cross-contamination), I don’t touch walnut wood (it makes me break out in a rash), I can’t kiss my boyfriend if he’s eaten anything that contains nuts (he needs to brush his teeth first), and much more.
However, despite the severity of my allergies, I cannot imagine my life without them. In fact, my allergies taught me to read carefully and to read a lot. I constantly had reading material, and that material mattered. The words written on those packages were life or death for me. I learned to value words, even seemingly boring ones. It’s significant that words mattered to me from a young age, that I was trained to read and react accordingly. In a funny way, my restrictions and challenges intertwined me more deeply with my first and greatest love: reading.
Growth can be found in the strangest of places. For me, it was found on the ingredient labels I had to, and still have to, read. I wouldn’t choose to have food allergies, but they remind me that words matter. Even if I grew out of my allergies today (I won’t, I’m far too old for that) or if they were magically cured, I wouldn’t change my habits or mindset. And I think I’m satisfied with that because that’s part of who I am.
April 29: Poem in Your Pocket Day
It’s National Poetry Month, and Friday, April 29, is this year’s Poem in Your Pocket Day! Feel free to peruse the Current Issue and the Archives of Tab Journal for some great pocket poem options.
In fact, the poems you’ll find here at TabJournal can be shared easily in visual and audio versions on social media with the hashtags #PocketPoem and #TabJournal. Leave the poem open on your phone so you can kick off your Friday meeting with a recitation. Or to keep a copy in your physical pocket, you can print an individual poem from an issue PDF.