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Nicole Rollender A lifelong New Jersey resident, NICOLE ROLLENDER is the author of the poetry collection Louder Than Everything You Love (Five Oaks Press, 2017), and the poetry chapbooks Arrangement of Desire, Absence of Stars, Ghost Tongue, and Bone of My Bone, a winning manuscript in Blood Pudding Press’s 2015 Chapbook Contest. Her work has appeared in many literary journals, including The Adroit Journal, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, Memorious, Radar Poetry, PANK, Salt Hill Journal, Word Riot and West Branch. She’s the recipient of a 2017 poetry fellowship from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and poetry prizes from CALYX Journal, Princemere Journal and Ruminate Magazine. She is associate editor of Thrush Poetry Journal. She earned her MFA in poetry at Penn State University. She’s the editor-in-chief of Wearables and executive director of branded content & professional development at the Advertising Specialty Institute. In 2016, she was named one of FOLIO’s Top Women in Media. Visit her online at www.nicolerollender.com.

Recent Work By Nicole Rollender

Nicole-Rollender-The-TNB-Self-Interview

Who are you? And also, why do you write? Actually, why don’t you just write me a poem right now?

Poetry is: an artifact of the shining me, the radiant, the torn: the execution of that self: the contending with who do I think I am to live so freely here: walking this riverbed: kneeling in dirt: putting my lips to cemetery stone: loving the glow of metacarpal bones under me, in my stumbling: decay: in my children: their spines: their flows: their jaws: my God, where are you blinking?: because I am among the abandoned: scattered: fragmented: a broken word: do you know what I mean by broken?: because even swallowing: even: broken: witness: heard: any song: any move into slow: the dead hold out their palms: I approach as lamb: for food: for daisies: for slaughter: for an end to thirst: for white blooms on my tongue: for being in a body: disembodied: embodied: an embodied spirit: the intersection: revenant against my teeth: a rosary for sorrow: a litany to see the dead in mirrors: joy in finger bones: if I lay me down: if I lay me down: because I have wished for death: but now I would go fighting: the poem is: my voice: my clawing for light: my internal song/scream/cry: it’s the part of me that will endure: here: can I believe that there is a skyward: that my bones float in it: unsheltered: here.

Why do I write poetry? It’s the part of me that will endure: here.