A finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, The Renunciations by Donika Kelly is published by Graywolf Press. The editor is Jeff Schotts. The winner will be announced on May 11. Here is a poem from this collection:

The moon rose over the bay. I had a lot of feelings.

The home I’ve been making inside myself started
with a razing, a brush clearing, the thorn and nettle,
the blackberry bush falling under the bush hog.

Then I rested, a cycle fallow. Said winter. Said the ground
is too cold to break, pony. Said I almost set fire
to it all, lit a match, watched it ghost in the wind.

Came the thaw, came the melting snowpack, the flooded river,
new ground water, the well risen. I stood in the mud field
and called it a pasture. Stood with a needle in my mouth

and called it a song. Everything rushed past my small ears:
whir in the leaves, whir in the wing and the wood. About time
to get a hammer, I thought. About time to get a nail and saw.

“The moon rose over the bay. I had a lot of feelings.” from The Renunciations, © 2021 by Donika Kelly. Reprinted with permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.