#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.



Poets with Mental Illness

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


 Audio Available Sandra Anfang The Hatred of Poetry
 Audio Available Tom Chandler The Chandlers
Kevin Coval 400 Days
Rhina P. Espaillat Here
Alan C. Fox Wake-Up Call
 Audio Available Maria Mazziotti Gillan What Isn’t Said Crushes
Ceridwen Hall Changing the License Plates
 Audio Available 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