“New Year on Pleasure Island” By Brian Sneeden (2017)

Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize, Second Place (2017)

What I did not know to make made itself
in vestigial hours between two o’clock

and dawn, when the shapes of birds
stitch together in my mind, and a single

cicada peels the air. Each letter I write
returns to water. I start one now and already

the flashy ceiling of a sentence
begins to fade, and I am left with nothing

but the island and its circuitous thought
like the bulb shards of sunsets in the reeds.

Without going to the place I had to go.
Without any of the particular things

I was told that I needed to make my life,
I walk again down this desolate bank, sitting

with the occasionally given happiness
of a cup with the last opaque drops

fingered, as the wet sand is fingered
by a blue roving thumb. There is no set time

for the clouds to lose their inherited gold,
no moment when the wind will stop

and the stenciled islands far out
melt into an even line. The last of

the season inserts its sun-wide button
into the waiting hole. The year is closed.

This poem first appeared in the 2017 edition of LRR.

“La Fusión” By Gabriela García Sánchez (2017)

It was reverence I felt then, and I did not
cower as it vibrated through me.
El ritmo bonded us by our pies, our caderas,
ventilating the air with scales speeding by.
The beats amplified between our pechos,
whistling for our cuerpos to collide. So I
took a breath that singed like
frankincense and myrrh spoiling my lungs.
I slipped into his steps, and I saw
why gods chose to keep us apart.

He cradled my hands like stolen pearls,
kneading them hasta que se sauvizaron como arena.
Swirling around in his palms. They blush
Como las Salinas de Cabo Rojo,
slick with sea foam. He slid his body
around me, mounting me into his arms.
We rippled as the beats liquefy our pace.
Step Step Step. He tapped, I kicked, We rasped
our caderas, gliding in, our piernas fused.
And we floated over the cobblestones, finessing
El tiempo to swirl around us like an eddy

Sending us through spaces in the heavens.
La musica’s grip tightened- tethering
Us en un nube de sus rayo . La luz bended
and slipped through our espacios.
We rolled and twisted it out, only letting it in
to glimpse at how our movimientos brillarion.
Straddling in, jolting out, side to side. Suspended
Here, we froze. Locked into a molten figure
Sizzling under dew.

This poem first appeared in the 2017 edition of LRR.

It’s Here: the 20th Anniversary Issue of LRR!

It’s finally here, and it’s fluorescent. Our 20th Anniversary Issue is now available at the UConn Bookstore. We are so proud of this issue. Keep an eye out for the bright orange cover, and pick up your copy today.

Thank you so much to our contributors that made this year’s issue possible.