While it may be true that art cannot redeem the flaws of our deleterious society, it can often reveal more anodyne alternatives nested neatly inside the familiar. Such is the vision of Ryan Clark’s Arizona SB 1070: An Act, a homophonic translation that writes against the hateful and xenophobic 2010 Arizona anti-immigration law that gives the book its title. His deft choices and rigorous techniques destabilize and transform the letters of the law itself, using linguistic processes and a keen poet’s ear to morph the bill’s divisive language into tender, vulnerable, and compassionate lyric poetry that seeks to untangle knots of unease and advocate for healing.
In poetry and prose, Daniel Biegelson meditates on the complexity of Jewish identity, the responsibility of parenthood, and the experience of community and isolation in a politically polarized environment. With George Oppen’s linguistic precision and Walt Whitman’s ecstatic revelry, of being neighbors dwells where the limits of language give way to possibility, allowing us to imagine the liberatory moment when “maybe, someday, past the evening eclipse / past forgiveness… We’ll see a beach cleared of connotations—bright and ready to be returned.”
Ryan Clark holds an MFA from Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, as well as a Ph.D. in English Studies from Illinois State University. A native Texan, Clark now lives in Forest City, Iowa, where he teaches and serves as director of creative writing at Waldorf University.
Daniel Biegelson serves as the Director of the Visiting Writers Series at Northwest Missouri State University, where he also works as an editor for The Laurel Review. He holds an MFA from the University of Montana and an MA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He hails from New Jersey and lives near Kansas City with his wife and two kids.