#56 – Summer 2017

Poets with Mental Illness

Conversation with
Francesca Bell

Rattle #55The summer issue of Rattle features a tribute to poets living with mental illness. An estimated 26% of Americans experience mental illness in a given year, and we wanted to acknowledge and explore that reality, while also helping to diminish the associated cultural stigma of these illnesses. Twenty-nine poets contributed to this issue, chosen from over 2,400 submissions. While the topics of the poems themselves vary greatly, each of the poets live with some form of depressive, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, bi-polar, post-traumatic stress, or eating disorder—all of discussed openly and bravely in their contributor notes. In the conversation section, we talk about mental illness and a wide range of other topics with Francesca Bell.

The issue also includes a dozen poets in another eclectic open section, featuring some reader-favorites like David Kirby and Rhina P. Espaillat, as well as many names new to our pages.

Ships June 1st!



Poets with Mental Illness

Roberta Beary Lunch Break
Francesca Bell Containment
Katie Bickham A Different Animal
Jackson Burgess Heirloom
Michelle Chen Kootenai Cradleboard
Rachel Custer Color Study While Withdrawing
Rhonda Ganz What Gets Us out of Bed in the Morning
James Gering Have Coffin, Need Pallbearers
John Gosslee My Beautiful Father the Fire Bird
Dan Haney Re: Heaven’s Spam Filter
Alex Harper Fallers
Steve Henn What I’m All About
Leland James The Sanitarium Window
Ted Jonathan This Has Nothing to Do with Willpower
Sam Killmeyer When You Tell Me That You Feel Alone
Lorena Parker Matejowsky Long Car Line Prayer
Beth McKinney Promotion to Outside Resources in Marion …
Aaron Poochigian Divertimento
Colin Pope Why I Didn’t Go to Your Funeral
Claudia Putnam The Battle of Brintellix
Cinthia Ritchie Crazy, They Said
Jamie Samdahl Medicated Dream Fragment
Sara Springer Spring
Dana Stamps II Buddha’s Villanelle
Jill Talbot Diversity Checkbox: When I Was Twelve
Padma Thornlyre After Reading a 12/4/2001 …
Martin Vest The Day I Tried to Commit Seppuku …
Mark Lee Webb What Happens When You Don’t Wear Gloves
Jess Weitz The Knife


Sandra Anfang The Hatred of Poetry
Tom Chandler The Chandlers
Kevin Coval 400 Days
Rhina P. Espaillat Here
Alan C. Fox Wake-Up Call
Maria Mazziotti Gillan What Isn’t Said Crushes
Ceridwen Hall Changing the License Plates
David Kirby Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las …
Ron Koertge Cat Women of the Moon
George Ovitt That Summer
Ron Riekki I Had a Librarian Tell Me …
Francis Santana Letter Found in a Crate


Francesca Bell

Cover Art

Jasmine C. Bell