Inklette Magazine X NYC Poetry Festival Reading

Inklette Magazine hosted a reading at the 2021 NYC Poetry Festival‘s on July 25 at Colonel’s Row, Governors Island. The NYC Poetry Festival is a project of the Poetry Society of New York and is hosted every year during the last weekend of July on Governors Island. After being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was held this year and brought together poets, artists, journals, presses, literary and arts organizations.

The poetry readings on behalf of Inklette Magazine were delivered by Devanshi Khetarpal (Founder and Editor-in-Chief) and Maria Prudente (former contributor and Prose Editor).

The video below was recorded by Ian Gittler.

We would like to extend a special thanks to the audience, participants, Maria Prudente, Ian Gittler, Poetry Society of New York and the NYC Poetry Festival, and Matthew Baker.

Love Letter

I outline my mother’s flower garden

with fieldstones, though heat 

shimmers around me and cicadas rattle

in nearby trees, scolding I am too late

for this year’s blooms.  Undaunted,

I push another wheelbarrow load,

the weight welcome, rooting me

deeper into the sandy soil she nurtured.

Her departure before spring softened

the earth left promises and chores

suspended in air electric with her absence.  

My hands inside her gloves, their 

fingertips frayed from years of toil,

find stones shot through with mica and quartz.  

Sheeted in silver and white veined,

they catch sunlight only to break it, 

a thousand love letters cast to the sky.

PEGGY HAMMOND‘s poetry is featured or forthcoming in The LyricistOberon PoetryHigh Shelf PressSan Antonio ReviewWest Trade ReviewRogue Agent, and Ginosko Literary Journal. Her full-length stage play A Little Bit of Destiny was produced by OdysseyStage Theatre in Durham, North Carolina.

Our Meekness Reeks of Old Cabbage and Tubers

we are the turnip-head ghosts that haunt the cellar,

the onion-skinned ghosts that cry when we undress,

the damp makes us cold, miserable creatures

we hate crying when we undress

we have stomachs of pumpkins hollowed,

all the orange pulp strewn about like

silly string, and it’s silly when we get

all tangled up in it

we spend our days making mud pies

and carving love letters into molded

potatoes, playing cat’s cradle with

our pulped guts

it’d be nice to leave the cellar,

but our meekness reeks of old cabbage and tubers,

of something better thrown out

OLWEN DAISY is a poet from the Midwestern United States. She finds most of her inspiration in nature and myths. Using whimsical imagery and unique formatting, she strives to create poetry that reads like a dream remembered.

Poem in Which I am Shot

JAKE WEAVER is a language student and queer writer from the Midlands, UK, who has been writing and performing poetry since 2017. He has represented the University of Nottingham in the national competition, Unislam, and his poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype #7 and shortlisted for the Show Me Yours Prize.

A Mother’s Silence

What mother does not say
she folds over and over
to hand to a little girl
who keeps them.
In a drawer, clothes
carefully pressed. Letters
from grandmother. Rose
petals inside a prayer
book never opened.

What mother refuses
to say. Careful when folding
a little girl’s clothes. Keep them
in the drawer. Let no one
touch them. Letters still there
except grandmother. With a prayer,
mother remembers the book
where petals rest.

What a little girl never says
rests somewhere in her chest
heaving behind clothes which were
once folded. In the drawer,
grandmother’s letters
keep prayers no one touches
except mother folding
a little girl’s hand into a rose.

JULIENNE MAUI CASTELO MANGAWANG is taking up her MA in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines – Diliman. She has poems published in 聲韻詩刊 Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine (Hong Kong), ALPAS Online Journal (PH), and is forthcoming in The Rumpus. At the moment, she has interests in exploring Filipino households and how it affects or develops the individual.

A Pollen Revival

The pup pulled—

if he could breast-stroke the sidewalk,

that is how he gulped the street, island-

hopping an olfactory stream, rifling

a line-up of sticks. A plaster Madonna

widow-walked a neighbor’s sill, blue-veiled

and gator-eyed. Back when we still took

the subway, there was a morning when

a little girl hollered knock-knock jokes,

and the whole train car joined in, yelling

who’s there, and she would shout the punchline,

all her tails wagging. If you want to reap

a harvest, till the soil, plant the seeds;

but that day the sweet fruit was already

stuck to us. The pup pulled me home,

where the Super was outside, and we

gee-whizzed together about the times.

The pup’s nails needed trimming—

we walk, I said, but the claws grow faster

than the grind. Overnight, the magnolias

popped their mouse-eared pods, stalks of

show-off forsythia were busting bachatas

above our heads. I always hope, the Super

said, when you can’t see the shoots, the

bulbs grow.  When we get to discard these

husks and throw them skyward, we are primed

for a call and response, a pollen revival, a

chance to yell who’s there and hear.

JESSIE RATCLIFFE is a writer and poet, who holds a degree in creative writing. She is analytical by day, but her mind roams at night. 

Language as the Virtue of the Self

SAM WILCOX is a multi-media poet from Virginia. They are a recent graduate of Columbia University where they studied English and anthropology, and served as a member of The Columbia Review. Sam is also a former DJ and spends their free time podcasting, discussing planetary motion, and designing shadow-box dioramas.