February 27, 2001

Tribute to Nurses

Conversations with
Tess Gallagher & Arthur Sze


Releasing December 2007, issue #28 honored one of the world’s most important professions, in featuring poems and essays written by 24 nurses. Many of them write about their careers, but the scope of their subject matter is impressive, and all of it informed by the intimate work that they do daily. Nurses are present at our most vulnerable moments, and so are given special insight into what it means to be human. This ‘unusual access’ makes for a collection of poems not to be missed.

Also in the issue, Alan Fox interviews Tess Gallagher and Arthur Sze, and we share the 11 winning poems from the 2007 Rattle Poetry Prize.



Judy Bowman At Four in the Morning
Jeanne Bryner Saucer
Jeanne Cook Equations of the Heart
Cortney Davis Essay: Nursing and the Word
Diagnosis HIV
T.S. Davis Essay: A Kind of Gift
The Gravedigger Thinks Of
Cheryl Dellasega Dressing Room Without Curtains
Monica Groth Farrar Things They Save
Maggie Greene All-Consuming
Marsha Smith Janson Sky Stays the Same
Nancy Kerrigan Ward 24
Tracy Klein Nursing Internship, LA County, 1990
Sean Aden Lovelace Nursing Note #8
Veneta Masson Conga! at the Rio
Allan Nicoletti Open House
Mary H. Palmer The Sea Turtle
Geri Rosenzweig The Street of the Cellist
Judy Schaefer Dad’s Report of a Tornado in Missouri…
Kelly Sievers Ceremony
Kathleen Walsh Spencer Her Brother’s Pickhole
S Stephanie The Traffic of Tulips
Shawna Swetech Midwifing My Father
Anne Webster Essay: A Split Personality
Dry Drowning
Christine Wideman Howlin’ Moon

Rattle Poetry Prize Winner

Albert Haley Barcelona

Honorable Mentions

Chris Anderson Living the Chemical Life
Devika Brandt What My Parents Want
Debra Marquart Buoy
Glenn Morazzini Ars Poetica Harmonica
Gretchen Steele Pratt Hitch-Hiking
Brian Satrom Corner Store
Alison Townsend Spin
Jay Udall Of Unity and Wholeness
Nathaniel Whittemore You Never Know When You’re Gonna Live …
Maya Jewell Zeller Amber


Kristin Abraham Hair of the Dog
José Angel Araguz Gloves
Joseph Bathanti Jesus Meets the Women
Judi K. Beach Tomato and Knife
Craig Beaven Are You Okay?
Nicole Bestard Ortolan
Michael Boccardo Weighing In
Ronda Broatch Considering a Position as a New Planet
Bill Brown The Rubber
Erik Campbell Sound and Sense
M.L. Clark On Realizing There Are Too Many Poems …
Peter Cooley Instructions for Assembling the Miracle
Jim Daniels The Dark Miracle of Insomnia
Andrea Defoe For a Piano Abandoned in the Breadbasket
Matt Dennison Parable of Displeasure
James Doyle Schoolgirls
Edison Dupree Poem for Frank Owens
Damien Echols First Love
Uncle Charlie
Anna Evans Feeling Compassion for Others
Alan Fox A Poet Is Supposed to Live His Life Out Loud
Richard Garcia Just Like Two People
John Goode Happiness
Brent Goodman Maps
Michael J. Grabell Drifting
Gordon Grilz Reunion
Jenny Hanning Known
Rob Hardy To the Daughter I Never Had
L.L. Harper Assassin
Judith Harris The Facts
Mark D. Hart Torching the Playhouse
Lisa Hickey Mail Order Tadpoles
John Oliver Hodges The Teller on the Right
Tom Holmes My Mouth (An Apology)
Roy Jacobstein Sustenance
Aseem Kaul A Poem for Valentine’s Day
Keetje Kuipers Prayer
Lyn Lifshin Being Jewish in a Small Town
Diane Lockward Love Song with Plum
Teddy Macker Sycamore Canyon
Marty McConnell Fable Telling How Night Invented Herself …
M.K. Meder Blessing in Disguise
Susanna Mishler The Afterlife: In the Summer House
Peter Moore Stud Spray
Barbara Paparazzo Not Knowing Better
Tim Poland Seven Simple Exercises to Prepare for …
James Ragan Richmond Hill
Sophia Rivkin Man, Boy, Dog
Lee Rossi Underground
Mather Schneider County
Patricia Smith Speculum Oris
Lianne Spidel Homeland in an Old War
Daniel Stewart Singularity
Christine Stewart-Nuñez Lost
Kandie St.Germain Nails
Kendra L. Tanacea Stepmother
Alison Townsend Persephone Remembers: The Bed
Liliana Ursu Circles and Circles
Jeff Vande Zande Green
Martin Vest Man on Fire
Jessicca Daigle Vidrine Still Life
Scott Weaver Lessons
Joe Weil Morning at the Elizabeth Arch
Hilda Weiss My Neighbor Gives Me Meat Bones
Jake Willard-Crist Miss Memory


 Tess Gallagher
 Arthur Sze

March 1, 2001

Albert Haley
Abilene, TX

In his poem “Barcelona,” 2007 Rattle Poetry Prize winner Albert Haley examines brief love—something more than infatuation—and the impossible magic of what never was. The style is deceptively simple, but Haley renders a world of nostalgia so rich that the experience becomes universal. The poem operates holistically, as an engulfing incantation that at once revives the wistfulness of youth, and laments the delicacy of human relationships. For these reasons and others, we are proud to introduce “Barcelona””as winner of the second annual Rattle Poetry Prize.

Honorable Mentions


Chris Anderson
Corvalis, OR
Living the Chemical Life

Devika Brandt
Occidental, CA
What My Parents Want

Debra Marquart
Ames, IA

Glenn Morazzini
Cumberland, ME
Ars Poetica Harmonica

Gretchen Steele Pratt
W. Lafayette, IN

Brian Satrom
Minneapolis, MN
Corner Store

Alison Townsend
Stoughton, WI

Jay Udall
Reno, NV
Of Unity and Wholeness

Nathaniel Whittemore
La Habra, CA
You Never Know When…

Maya Jewell Zeller
Spokane, WA

August 4, 2008

Jay Udall


The problem with unity is the problem
with the thesis, the ego, monotheism:
Everything must fit into the Idea
or be disregarded, pushed away, driven out.
So the man came looking for his lost book,
mumbling something about quantum mechanics,
growing louder and angrier as he searched
our tables, shoving aside our books
and papers, puncturing the atmosphere
of our poetry reading, his face, hands, clothes
burnished with dirt, eyes flitting like moths
behind thick glass. When he suddenly asked
if he could take a turn at the mic, we said no.
Right about then the sun would have been rising
in Manilla. An old woman I will never know,
and can say nothing more about, opened her eyes.
Every summer the fur on my cat’s back
gets so matted I have to cut it off with scissors
and for many weeks after he walks around looking
like a post-op patient. Weeds grow in my garden,
even when I’m not thinking of them. Someone found
the book, The Elegant Universe, torn in two
unequal pieces, cover gone, outer pages
smeared and stained, pale yellow glue
splintering off the spine. The man took it
in his hands, smiled, softened. He said
his seven-year-old son had wanted to be like him,
so stole some of his stash, smoked from his hollowed
chicken-bone pipe, then ran laughing in front of a car.
One theory says a perfect, absolute unity existed
once, before creation. Since then it’s all a matter
of broken symmetries. The man walked away,
out of this poem, across the street,
into the open night.

2007 Rattle Poetry Prize Honorable Mention

Rattle Logo