Jackleen Holton: “I put myself through college waiting tables, and have fallen back into it a few times when I was feeling less than enthusiastic about my career options. I was good at it, but not as good at managing the stress I caused myself in doing it. What I didn’t realize, at least in the early days, is the spiritual value of service, of discarding one’s self-importance for a time to give to others. I’ve since discovered that all work is service work.” (web)
Jackleen Holton: “John Dean said to President Nixon during the Watergate scandal: ‘We have a cancer within—close to the presidency, that’s growing. It’s growing daily. It’s compounding.’ In the week following Trump’s acquittal by senate Republicans, it is more apparent than ever that the cancer on this presidency has compounded and continues to spread throughout our republic.”
Jackleen Holton: “I write poems to gather my thoughts and make sense of things, though it rarely works that elegantly. More often than not, it comes from something like being down with the flu, and hearing from an evangelical leader that my condition would have been entirely preventable had I possessed the right brand of faith, which gets me thinking about faith, all the ways I’ve tried to catch it, and how those attempts have always felt a little bit like trying to breathe underwater.” (web)
Jackleen Holton: “For me, this was the saddest week yet in our nation’s recent history, mainly owing to the continuing crisis on the Southern border, and infant internment camps, or ‘tender age’ facilities. While the family separation policy has been reversed by the administration that created it, the fate of many parents and children remain in the balance.” (web)
This fall we’re celebrating the joy of first publication with fourteen poets who have never before had their poems appear in print or online. Rattle has always been a testament to the fact that publishing histories do not matter—powerful poems lurk inside all of us—and this issue highlights that truth. Culled from over 1,000 submissions, these standout poets are starting what we expect to be long careers in literature. The issue is also the breakout party for Marvin Artis, a previously unpublished lawyer in New York City who has enough brilliant poems hidden away to fill up a book. We’re publishing four of them in this issue, and Alan C. Fox visited with him for a conversation to learn more.
Also in this issue, an especially deep open section draws on love, death, and life in a hot dog factory. Featuring two poems each from Heather Bell, Kim Bridgford, James Valvis, and Roberty Wrigley, plus two Francesca Bell translations of German poet Max Sessner—this is the most poems we’ve ever published in a quarterly issue—47 of them.
Jackleen Holton: “The Trump campaign imploded this week, although it has been headed in that direction for some time, and although the media continues to milk the sideshow for ratings. If there is any symbolic meaning to the butter sighting, it may be, as Jan Castellano, the woman who found the contorted face looking back at her from a tub of Earth Balance said, she hoped his campaign ‘melts away like butter.’ But that can’t happen if we continue to give this candidate our attention and energy. Meanwhile, the Olympic games provided a welcome, sometimes inspiring distraction. While the precise nature of filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl’s relationship with Adolph Hitler was not known, she did praise him effusively in a letter she wrote during the war, and she benefited greatly from the Nazi regime in a way that only a few individuals can with such a system in place.” (website)