POET OF THE MONTH - january 2021
Please join us in congratulating our January 2021 Poet of the Month, Anaïs Peterson!
anaïs peterson (name //they) is a queer, mixed race asian american, prose poet, lyric essayist, organizer, and lover of the sky currently occupying osage territory (pittsburgh pa). anaïs received a ba in english writing and urban studies from the university of pittsburgh and anaïs' work is now a mix of lyric essays and prose poems writing around the topic of freedom in its many forms and often returning to dwell on sunflowers. anaïs is a climate justice organizer and abolitionist and their work often explores themes of incarceration and abolition, community care, and imagining liberation. anaïs’ words have appeared in sampsonia way, mixed mag, teen vogue, etc and has upcoming in dreams walking and royal rose magazine. anaïs is the digital content coordinator for all female menu, a poetry reader for non.plus lit, and is currently the stop the buildout fellow at earthworks. anaïs writes in black pen and garamond size 11 and tweets from @anais_pgh. you can find a full list of anaïs’ publications and more information at anaispeterson.weebly.com.
you can read their poems below.
the revolution will be beautiful
she calls me my dear, we spill paint on the university carpet. the revolution will be beautiful
what are we without joy? who am i without community? our devotion will be beautiful.
i learn from brave women who take the time to say my name
correctly. bittersweet tongues. what we build with intention will be beautiful.
how can i throw a brick when i am too sick to get out of bed?
dancing is not separate. the solution will be beautiful.
our laughter teeters on the edge of danger. i declare you precious, not invasive but endangered.
to be seen allows you to be hunted, our restitution will be beautiful.
care transcends boundaries, tell me your release date.
i hope i am in your dreams. reunion will be beautiful.
free us all, this is a dream of purple tulips and perfectly flush mangoes.
toes sinking into sweet summer grass; abundance mindset won, be too full.
we should never leave the impossible alone,
whatever happens hun, will be beautiful.
— — —
on being utterly intertwined with the marvelous
the parts of life we cannot believe cannot disprove the parts of living i will always hold closest to my heart the parts of life that will always send delight dancing out of my fingertips / tonight when i look at the stars i whisper to the darkest velvet pockets of the sky my words swirling through the crisp air clinging to the northern winds / tonight when i look at the stars i see them reflecting back the brightness of floodlights on steel fences and barbed wire ripping apart the soft blue of the night sky where i placed you gently nestled in the white clouds / i know you have names i whisper to the stars / i imagine you in a soft cotton shirt, your mother’s arms, a bed you can call your own, a field of sweet grass – anything but state browns /
— — —
a new language
pronouns change with the breeze and long greenblue summer dresses in august on mass ave / sometimes, i still
ask myself who is she and feel guilty in misgendering even though it’s done out of habit / i have stopped thinking about myself and started thinking about dancing in victory garden plots and the speckled flushed red of a
cooked lobster in afternoon sunlight and small black flyaway hairs coming undone from braids and the way
you order dim sum at the chinese restaurant on tyler street
and sometimes when the sun rises all i ever want is to be called my name but as the stars glimmer i remember womanhood is more than white women in pink hats bleeding between their legs and i can hold complexities as i undo confinement
read more about anaïs peterson in their interview with us here.