Writers Resist is delighted to welcome our new poetry editor, Ruth Nolan, MFA, University of California Riverside. Already a contributing writer, Ruth brings to the journal a deep understanding of the power of the written word.
Ruth said of poetry’s role in the resistance, “Poetry is at heart a political entity, one that is both personal and public. Poetry is the most specific and enduring heart-soul language. It crosses and connects cultures seamlessly, and compels us to not only look at—and oppose—what’s around us in difficult and oppressive times, but to act in the name of truth and justice to evoke living models for the continued sustainability of humanity.”
While we welcome Ruth, we’re sad to say farewell to Rae Rose, our founding poetry editor, but she is moving on to fabulous things. She’s now the editor of Kids! San Diego Poetry Annual, a new publication and poetry program from the San Diego Entertainment + Arts Guild. Rae is excited to pass the poetic torch to Ruth, whom she describes as “Amazing!” and for good reason.
Ruth is a professor of English and Creative Writing at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, and an author, lecturer and editor. She worked with the international, United Nations-sponsored literary program “Dialogue Through Poetry / Rattapallax Press,” from 2001 through 2004, and is now involved with many desert environment organizations as a writer and advocate for environmental justice. She’s the author of the poetry book Ruby Mountain (Finishing Line Press 2016). Her short story, “Palimpsest,” published in LA Fiction: Southland Writing by Southland Writers (Red Hen Press 2016), received an Honorable Mention in Sequestrum Magazine’s 2016 Editor’s Reprint contest and was also nominated for a 2016 PEN Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Ruth’s writing has also been published in James Franco Review; Angels Flight LA/Literary West; Rattling Wall; KCET/Artbound Los Angeles; Lumen; Desert Oracle; Women’s Studies Quarterly; News from Native California; Sierra Club Desert Report, Lumen; The Desert Sun/USA Today and Inlandia Literary Journeys. Connect with Ruth via Twitter @ruthnolan.
Best of all, Ruth comes bearing gifts—a poem for our readers. …
By Ruth Nolan
She rinses burnt skin away from green chilis,
her hands stinging from the burn of spicy seeds,
her hands singed from working in the desert sun
so close to where children cry for their parents.
She strips skin from hearts, muscle from stem,
and looks to the sky. Storm clouds, rising high
over Mexico. She slips families of chilis into
ziplock bags, packs them tight as contraband.
Tonight, mute dreams will ache skyward like
towering date palms, fruit sacs tightly bound.
Tonight, fat clouds the shape of sperm whales
will swim across the line with promises of rain.
Photo credit: “Strange Heat” by Georgie Dee via a Creative Commons license.