Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Julie Sellers’

On the Edge of the Story — By Julie Sellers

There, in the distance,

rushing inexorably onward,

a gray-clad forward guard

charges across the plains.

Skin tingles with a rumbled warning,

a timpani crescendo

crashing without and within.

An electric tension perfumes the air,

an uncompromising will-o’-the wisp

playing hide and seek amongst the clouds,

calling hearts against their will.

And as the first drops

raise dusty whispers,

there is no retreat,

no option other

than to wait

for the inevitable collision

to bring new life

or ravage this one.

~ Julie Sellers

Julie Sellers: An Associate Professor of Spanish at Benedictine College, Julie Sellers has twice been the overall prose winner of the Kansas Voices Contest. She has published in Kansas Time + Place, The Write Launch, Kanhistique, and New Works Review. Her third academic book, The Modern Bachateros, was published in 2017 (McFarland).

June Editor Bio: Ramona Vreeland McCallum is the author of a collection of poetry entitled Still Life with Dirty Dishes (Woodley Press, 2013). She earned her MFA from UMKC in 2017 and her Master of Arts in Teaching from KSU in 2018. She lives in Garden City, Kansas where she teaches 5th grade English Language Arts and co-parents six children with her husband, Brian McCallum. For June’s poems, Ramona selected work whose avian and weather imagery convey metaphoric and dichotomous themes of restlessness & peace, anxiety & security, and which communicate the power of presence when reflecting on the past and looking toward the future.

Viernes Santo, León, 1997 — by Julie Sellers

I stand
precariously
watching the Passion
from atop this narrow wall.
I teeter,
wedged beside a portly matron
casting suspicious glances
at this blonde foreigner
who dared to ascend
for just a glimpse
of the pageantry
and solemnity
intermingled in the plaza below.
Somber music;
swaying penitents
in crimson robes
and conical black hoods;
the heavy scent of so many flowers,
bright against the ancient stone walls.
Christ crucified,
La Dolorosa looks on
as the faithful lower
His broken body.
Silence.
Tears.
I find my arm around my neighbor’s waist,
hers around mine,
holding each other safe,
bound by something
that transcends all else.

 

An Associate Professor of Spanish at Benedictine College, Julie Sellers has twice been the overall prose winner of the Kansas Voices Contest. She has published in Kansas Time + Place, The Write Launch, Kanhistique, and New Works Review. Her third academic book, The Modern Bachateros, was published in 2017 (McFarland).

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).

Up Against the Wall — By Julie Sellers

My words are up against the wall,

monochrome whispers

that slither along the outer rim

of the greater prismatic signified.

No alcanzan

estas alas luminosas 

de tantos pensamientos,

su vuelo refrenado

por este vidrio opaco.

 

My words

mis palabras

up against the wall

contra el muro

two lonely tongues

dos lenguas solitarias.

 

But

juntas

I weave them

ensartando sílabas

like so many pearls,

una escalera de luz

that overcomes the limits,

que derrumba los muros,

words that fly on shimmery wings

en todos los colores de

my voice.

~ Julie Sellers

An Associate Professor of Spanish at Benedictine College, Julie Sellers has twice been the overall prose winner of the Kansas Voices Contest. She has published in Kansas Time + Place, The Write Launch, Kanhistique, and New Works Review. Her third academic book, The Modern Bachateros, was published in 2017 (McFarland).

Monthly Editor Maril Crabtree’s poems have been published in I-70 Review, Coal City Review, Main Street Rag, and others. Her book Fireflies in the Gathering Dark (Aldrich Press, 2017) is a Kansas Notable Book and Thorpe Menn Award finalist.

Yellow Butterflies by Julie Sellers

Gossamer wings150kansas-poems-submission
shiver around my ankles, knees—
momentary flickers of sunlight
that spring from my dusty steps
and glisten on waves of three o’clock heat.
Around me,
everything plays in August slow-motion,
everything…
except the nervous hearts around my legs,
the fluttery wings within my chest.
Yet I continue numbly on,
surrounded, inundated
by yellow butterflies,
forbidding myself to question
the motive for their dance.

~ Julie Sellers

(Originally published in Sunflower Anthology. Ed. Bryan Penberthy, Jonathan Holden, and Quoc Nguyen. Vol. 1. Manhattan, KS: Ag Press, 1996. 40. Print.)

Julie Sellers is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Benedictine College. Julie has published in CAPPER’S, Kanhistique, New Works Review, and Troika. She was twice the winner of the K-State Alumni Association’s Nonfiction Writing Contest. Julie’s second book, Bachata and Dominican Identity, is forthcoming as a bilingual text from McFarland (2014).

Guest Editor Al Ortolani’s poetry and reviews have appeared in Rattle, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, The Writer’s Almanac, and the New York Quarterly. He has published several collections of poetry. His Waving Mustard in Surrender (NYQ Books) was short-listed for the Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award from Binghamton Univesity. Paper Birds Don’t Fly was released by New York Quarterly Books in April of 2016. His poems been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Writers Place, The Brick Mountain Foundation, The Little Balkans Press, and is currently a member of the Board of the Woodley Press at Washburn University in Topeka.

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