Friday Poem – ‘[ correspondence : another year ]’ by Sammy Weaver

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘[ correspondence : another year ]’ by Sammy Weaver from her pamphlet Angola, America which won the Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet Competition.

This cover shows a geometric image of think white lines against black stripes. A gaping white hole is cut from the middle. The text reads: Angola, America. Sammy Weaver.

Angola, America, winner of the Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2021, takes its name from a prison in Louisiana in the southern United Sates. In these strikingly original, thoroughly contemporary, and deeply moving poems, we are immersed in the world the inmates must endure. From the first poem, when we witness a home-made tattoo and understand that this scarring and incision is a “map in the connective tissue of pain and loss”, we are drawn into this world in a way that is carefully observed and beautifully empathetic.

[ correspondence : another year ]
the grey static of the dashboard ignites into a ringtone
ignites into a w
oman’s voice pale-polite
as a white picket fence in the still of morning:
hello, this is a free call from ______
an incarcerated individual at louisiana state penitentiary,
this call is not pr
ivate & may be monitored,
you may start the conversation now
& the line ignites into song as you sing to me
happy birthday & because birth is death in reverse
i imag
ine blowing a candle out backwards, sucking
the orange talons into the prison of my lungs,
the w
ax congealing up the wick, the match lying
down in its box, the rush of our bodies diminishing
inside the bodies of our mothers

Angola, America is available on the Seren website: £6.00

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy direct from us.

Join us online from 7:30pm on Thursday 2nd February to hear Sammy Weaver reading from Angola, America alongside Kathryn Bevis at Seren Virtual First Thursday. Tickets are £2 (plus Eventbrite admin fee).

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