Soutine attempts to keep the color of his first carcasses fresh with buckets of blood. The neighbors hate the stench and the flies but he continues to pour blood over the bodies until he is ordered by the police to stop. Only then does he use formaldehyde. He isn’t preserving the flesh, just refreshing it,
Mary Hickman was born in Nampa, Idaho, in 1979, and grew up in China and Taiwan. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow.
Hickman is the author of Rayfish, forthcoming from Omnidawn in 2017 and winner of the 2016 James Laughlin Award, and This Is the Homeland (Ahsahta Press, 2015). About her winning book, Laughlin Award judge Carmen Giménez Smith writes: “Each poem in Mary Hickman's Rayfish is a scrupulous consideration of how art disturbs, distorts, informs, and shapes our history of engagement with the artificial world. Personal, ekphrastic, and essayistic, these poems are also an incisive contemplation on memory-making and that mechanism’s effect on aesthetics.”
A visiting professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Hickman also teaches in the University of Iowa International Writing Program’s Between the Lines exchange program. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Rayfish (Omnidawn, 2017)
This Is the Homeland (Ahsahta Press, 2015)