Saturday, July 15, 2017

Poetry Pop-Up: Dan Vera

Queen Anne's Lace

Constellations on a slender stalk,
how you have spread through the wind.
Brought by boat over oceans,
seeded in the first gardens,
who could contain you to a plot?
Once planted remain where you are
means nothing to a seed,
or a weed
which is what they call you now—
what we call what was never intended
by those who had no right to their intentions.

Now you grace the empty lots
in the cities of America,
populate the cracks of green with your lacework,
accompanied by the blue tongues of August—
your consort, chicory.

You were never part of any botanical plan
bishop's lace, wild carrot, zanahoria...
all the names we give to your persistence.

Speaking Wiri Wiri, by Dan Vera.  Red Hen Press, 2013

Dan Vera is a writer, editor, and literary historian. He's the co-editor of Imaniman: Poets Writing In The AnzaldĂșan Borderlands (Aunt Lute) and author of Speaking Wiri Wiri (Red Hen Press), the inaugural winner of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. His work is featured in college and university curricula, various journals and online sites including Poetry Foundation, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle, and anthologies like The Travelers Vade Mecum and Queer South. The recipient of awards from the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vera publishes other poets through Poetry Mutual Press and Souvenir Spoon Books, co-curates DC Writers’ Homes and chairs the board of Split This Rock Poetry. For more visit

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