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About this poet

Monica Hand is the author of The DiVida Poems (Alice James Books, 2018) and me and Nina (Alice James Books, 2012), winner of the 2010 Kinereth Gensler Award. After a thirty-two-year career with the U.S. Postal Service, she received an MA in poetry and translation from Drew University in 2011. In 2012 she moved to Columbia, Missouri, to pursue a PhD at the University of Missouri. Hand received a fellowship from Cave Canem and served as a founding member of the poetry collective Poets for Ayiti. She passed away on December 15, 2016, in Columbia, Missouri. 

The Spirituals speak

With their many tongues, we were the one language
       they could each speak
Even the masters understood underneath hump and hale,
       labor of the load
We healed the numbing made

Even when she abandoned us for the music of bars and sex,
       you could hear
Spirit in her sway, watch her feet remember stomping
Her body ring shouts

We made her we un-troubled the waters became her balm in Gilead
A deep down light in her darkest days we a band of angels
Come to take her home

Monica Hand, “The Spirituals speak” from me and Nine​. Copyright © 2012 by Monica Hand. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Alice James Books, www.alicejamesbooks.org.

Monica Hand, “The Spirituals speak” from me and Nine​. Copyright © 2012 by Monica Hand. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Alice James Books, www.alicejamesbooks.org.

Monica Hand

Monica Hand

Monica Hand is the author of The DiVida Poems (forthcoming in 2018 from Alice James Books) and me and Nina (Alice James Books, 2012).

by this poet

poem

The translator undresses. Tries on the shape of the work she translates. Stuffs her new belly with his engorged sex. Tries not to re-write his words tries to give her self over to his syntax. In the end, she wears her same nakedness.

volcano spews ash
thick clouds that touch the heavens
cover her

poem

Drunks
their breath their sweat
especially when they are lying on top of you
or when they have fallen off of you and you are listening to them snore and fart
when they are your father stumbling up the stairs or passed out on the sofa