#70 – Winter 2020


Conversation with A.E. Stallings



Rattle Poetry Prize

Conversation with
A.E. Stallings

Rattle #70 cover, colorful painting of two figures embracing near bright red trees, one of the pointing up at an eye in the skyThe Winter 2020 issue of Rattle has arrived, and with it comes good news: Despite the challenges of this year, poetry is as vibrant, beautiful, and necessary as ever. The proof is here, in poems like “Psalm of the Heights” by Dana Gioia, a reverent homage to Los Angeles; “Deitic” by A.E. Stallings, a formal poem about a museum visit during a pandemic; and “Graffiti” by Josh Lefkowitz, which begins with Indonesian cave art and ends with bathroom graffiti. “A Litany of Lukewarm Sentiments” by Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal made us laugh (“On being gaslighted by a millennial/the millennial will ask another millennial/if gaslighting is a millennial thing. The millennial/will not know.”); “Modesty” by Richard Luftig made us nod in understanding (“I am still waiting for the university to figure out that they meant/to send it to the other guy who had the same name as mine”); and every poem made us feel grateful that poetry exists. We hope you’ll feel the same way.

Additionally, we’re proud to present the finalists of the 2020 Rattle Poetry Prize and their diverse poems, including “I Admit Myself to the Psych Ward in a Pandemic” by Beck Anson, a long poem that approaches its subject matter with honesty and depth; “Mega-” by Shelly Stewart Cato, which colorfully explores the now-trendy “megachurch,”; “Farm Sonnet” by Kitty Carpenter, a beautifully restrained and evocative portrait of farm life; and more. Not to mention, of course, the winning poem, Alison Townsend’s “Pantoum From the Window of the Room Where I write,” a masterful work that moves us more each time we read it.

Finally, Timothy Green and A.E. Stallings meet up via Skype for a conversation that runs the intellectual, literary, and cultural gamut, from classical mythology to quantum physics to the Syrian refugee crisis. It’s a thoughtful and in-depth discussion to round out an issue of Rattle.


Open Poetry

Audio Available José A. Alcántara Divorce
Audio Available Paola Bruni Why I Joined the Cult
Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal A Litany of Lukewarm Sentiments
Audio Available Fay Dillof Self-Therapy
Alan C. Fox Throughout This Teeter-Totter World
Audio Available Nicole Caruso Garcia Warning Sign
Audio Available Dana Gioia Psalm of the Heights
E. Laura Golberg First Night as a Widow
Laura Gregory Tiffani’s Testimony at the 11:30 a.m. Service
Audio Available Lola Haskins The Discovery
Audio Available Ron Koertge Because Wolves Are a Protected Species …
Audio Available Josh Lefkowitz Graffiti
Audio Available Next in Line
Audio Available Richard Luftig Modesty
Audio Available Joan Murray The Book Pitch
Audio Available Jim Peterson Following You
Alice Pettway Homestead
Derek Sheffield Exactly What Needs Saying
A.E. Stallings Deictic
Lockdown Puzzle: Hokusai’s Great Wave …
Sophia Stid I Am Tired of the Movie About …
Sarah P. Strong My Tie
Anthony Zick When My Mom, for the Millionth Time …
Theodora Ziolkowski At the Memory Care Center

Poetry Prize Winner

Alison Townsend Pantoum from the Window of the Room …


Beck Anson I Admit Myself to the Psych Ward in a Pandemic
Chaun Ballard Survival Is a Matter of Perspective When
Kitty Carpenter Farm Sonnet
Shelly Stewart Cato Mega-
Skye Jackson Spoon-Rest Mammies
Gordon Kippola Army Service: Tikrit
Lance Larsen And Also I Ran
Jessica Lee Greener Pastures
Austen Leah Rose Dear Husband
Alexis Rotella Empty Souls


A.E. Stallings (web)

Cover Art

James Christopher Carroll (web)