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MOST RECENT OPA NEWS

  • Spring, 2021, Adult Contest-Winning Poems, Spanish-Language Category

    Spring 2021 Adult Contest Winning Poems for the Spanish Language Category
    Judge: Efraín Díaz-Horna

    “Recuerdo haber escuchado que un buen poema tiene la gracia de invitarnos a bailar, a pensar o a luchar con la ambiguedad de las palabras. El poema nos invita a destilar la esencia, el mensaje, de la ofrenda que nos hace el poeta. Los poemas que he tenido el placer de leer y evaluar – los leí varias veces, en silencio y en voz alta – que resonaron en lo más hondo de mi ser produjeron en mi las ganas de bailar, reflexionar y pugnar con la incertidumbre de las palabras.

    “Escoger los tres poemas que más me gustaron fue un duro dilema para mí.” Efraín Díaz-Horna

    “I remember hearing that a good poem has the grace to invite us to dance, to think or to fight with the ambiguity of words. The poem invites us to ...

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LATEST BOOK REVIEW (EXCERPT)

  • OPA reviews Grim Honey, by Jessica Barksdale, reviewed by Alicia Hoffman

    Reviewed by Alicia Hoffman
    Grim Honey by Jessica Barksdale
    Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2021
    ISBN: 978-1-7354002-1-1
    Available at https://sheilanagigblog.com/sheila-na-gig-editions-quick-shopping/jessica-barksdale/

    Exigence and Apocalypse
    The past is never dead. It’s not even past.
    – William Faulkner

    Like the horrific tragedy of 9/11, everyone will remember where they were when Covid19 shut down the globe. In early March 2020, days before nation-wide school closures, I was standing in a room full of maskless high schoolers, reviewing for the upcoming AP Language exams. We were studying the rhetorical concept of exigence, the idea that writers often come up against a situation that demands action or remedy. It is this impulse, this urgency, that often calls us to act, that prompts utterance, that begs us to better understand our place in the world’s vast and complicated chess game.

    When the pandemic came ...

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MOST RECENT POET’S SPOTLIGHT

  • 2020 Spring Contest Winners: Poet’s Choice: 1st Place Winner

    June 3, 2020

    Baby, It’s Cold Outside

    (a Vivianne sonnet variation)

    Barbara Blanks

    As embryos we each explore the wall

    of womb that holds us. It’s the first place joy

    is felt—mom’s heartbeat like a lullaby.  

    Cocooned in touch, that’s how we interact.

    We’re chastised just as soon as we can crawl

    or walk. Just look! Hands off! That’s not a toy.

    We’re told to view, to listen, smell that, try

    a taste of this—but touch … and hands are smacked.

    And so begins our isolation. All

    those inhibitions finally destroy

    instinctive comfort found in touch, deny

    the core of who we are. Our lives contract.