Momma explained how in other lives there are other kinds of nuisances, which is the difference between my mother and me: She did not want to be a bird of prey. She has made the best of it, learned to boil the blood down to a kind of sugar.
Etymologies, Ancarrow's first collection of poetry, is a sort of reference work. It reminds me of David Bowie's comment: "Don't you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything." Etymologies is not long, but it might be about everything; in particular, it might, in looking at the origins of the words we use to describe ourselves, be about our own origins—or our inability to know them.
I remember, je me rappelle, how the maintenance man crouched and dealt with my clogged apartment arteries, pulling out strands of my hair like artifacts. Girls and their figments, imprints, always leaving something behind to memorialize themselves, the violence.
When Courtney Faye Taylor begins her stunning debut collection, Concentrate—sat between her aunties thighs, getting her hair pressed—I am immediately transported back to my own childhood. Adolescence is a time of innocence and curiosity, as well as a lesson in contrasts: the sting of beauty upkeep and the confidence of a fresh hair-do, the validation of attention and the safety of invisibility. From the book’s opening section, Taylor makes it clear that Concentrate will stretch the expanse of what a poetry collection is allowed to do.
Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City, Jane Wong’s tender and fierce debut memoir, uses poetic lyricism and humor to create a living archive of her family history and a love letter to the mother who raised her and the communities that sustain her.
Dear Apogee readers… Welcome to Issue 18. In these words and works, we invite you to bear witness to a myriad of existences. We dream of a lingua franca rising up, an undying link between our respective dystopias. Draw strength from us, from our mission, from our writers and their work, and explore our latest issue today.
Iya Chinyere was having a bad year. Her business was not doing well, her daughter’s school fees were past due, and her husband had finally left her for a mama-put owner on the next street. It had been bad enough when he had simply been sleeping with one of the maids of the rich family next door; she had resented that woman’s superior tone when she told Nneoma that she needed to “control her husband,” as if she handpicked his affairs.
I met Jade Song in 2020 through a writing group, not long after they’d started writing their debut novel, Chlorine. In alternating accounts between Ren, a competitive high school swimmer, and Cathy, her best friend, the novel puts the dark horrors of adolescence into sharp focus – with freedom only made possible through a life in the water. Imaginative, bold, and defiant, Chlorine is as mythical as it is unapologetically honest.