Southern Illinois University Press / "After Opening The New York Times I Wonder How to Write a Poem about Love"

April 28th, 2017

Southern Illinois University Press was founded by President Delyte Morris in the mid-1950s, and its first book--Charles E. Colby's A Pilot Study of Southern Illinois--was published on October 20, 1956. The Press has mounted a global mission, reaching out through all avenues of the worldwide network of scholarship to attract manuscripts from an international corps of authors. 

The Crab Orchard Series in Poetry began in 1998 as a copublishing venture of the Crab Orchard Review literary journal (published by the English department at Southern Illinois University) and Southern Illinois University Press with a mission to publish some of the best new work by established and new voices in American poetry. Each fall, the Crab Orchard Review sponsors an open competition for poetry manuscripts; the winners are then published in the series the following fall. Each spring, the journal chooses a manuscript for their First Book Award as well as an editor’s selection. These manuscripts are then published the following spring.

"After Opening The New York Times I Wonder How to Write a Poem about Love" from Smith Blue by Camille T. Dungy (2011) 

To love like God can love, sometimes.
Before the kettle boils to a whistle, quiet. Quiet
that is lost on me, waiting as I am
for an alarm. The sort of things I notice:
the bay over redbud blossoms, mountains
over magnolia blooms. There is always something
starting somewhere, and I have lost ambition
to look into the details. Shame fits comfortably 
as my best skirt, and what can I do
but walk around in that habit? Turn the page.
Turn another page. This was meant to be
about love. Now there is nothing left but this.