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Listening: A Guest Post by Beth Gilstrap

Beth Gilstrap AWP 2013 writer tribe belonging inspiration longing music

Boston, AWP. The kind of cold I’ve never really experienced. Snow in my eyes. Mascara wetted, smeared like war paint over my right cheekbone. I learn in an instant I’m better off sliding my feet rather than putting air between them and the ground. Snow boots would help.  Whispers of AWP Miami move through my […]

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Depression, and Dancing-Induced Mania

There are some mornings you wake up and for whatever crazy reason, real or imagined, you just don’t like yourself very much. This is something I’ve struggled with since I was nine and our dad left. It wasn’t my fault, of course, but it created a phobia of abandonment and self-loathing that still manifests during […]

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“The Great Wait” and the music of Industry. Marla-size catfish and suicide jumpers.

This is my fourth day of sitting on the banks of the Ohio River. Today is my last opportunity, before we return for a weekend of celebrations with family, to see this bridge span lifted. Madison-Milton Bridge Project

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Junkyard for Poetry: The fair trade of a couple living in Madison, Indiana

When I tell people I’m living in Madison, Indiana while my husband is on assignment here for work, two things happen. Firstly, they only hear the “Madison” part and start asking me about Wisconsin cheese and Green Bay Packers. Secondly, when they figure out that my Madison is a historic little town on the Ohio […]

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Traveling with Mom and Dad in Viet Nam

Ashes of my late mother and father rest in a sealed locket around my neck. Each of their children and grandchildren has a locket. Some don’t wear it. Others, like me, wear it only when traveling to places my mom or dad never went. Mine is a butterfly, now a little worn and scuffed. It […]

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