Day #19: Arkana
Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.
Do you have a friend who is happiest in the dark, always willing to fling themselves into mystery for some kind of enlightenment? This describes my friend Alicia who also happens to be happiest when traveling. Anywhere. Any how. Always trying to learn something from someone she doesn’t know. For Alicia, and fellow explorers, I recommend Arkana: A Literary Journal of Mysteries and Marginalized Voices.
From the “About” page:
Arkana lives in the Arkansas Writers’ MFA Program at the University of Central Arkansas. The magazine was spawned in Spring 2016 and launched its inaugural issue in November that same year. This fully online publication is staffed and edited by graduate students and accepts submissions from the whole universe at large.
Arkana seeks and fosters a sense of shared wonder by publishing inclusive art that asks questions, explores mystery, and works to make visible the marginalized, the overlooked, and those whose voices have been silenced.
There are so many excellent poems in the current issue online, but for Alicia, I must recommend two poems by Alyea Pierce, a National Geographic Explorer, an award-winning author, educator, international speaker, and performance poet. Alyea Pierce’s work, according to an interview in National Geographic, is “aspiring to provide a voice for the voiceless, I center my creative projects around the exploration of Latino and Hispanic, Caribbean histories, the celebration of all things woman, and the untold narratives of marginalized persons.”
You can listen to her, and read for yourself, “28 Days” and “Return” in Arkana’s current online issue. The words have haunted me.
“Return” begins like this:
On her first morning
back in this village
her mind is empty
and bones numb to the smell of heat
She tells her body
to unbind itself into loose change
and bury high-tide shoulders
back into its place…
FROM “RETURN” BY ALYEA PIERCE
Explore a little more today. Ask a hard question. Listen well.