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Tiana Clark
2016 Frost Place Chapbook Fellow

2016 Frost Place Chapbook Fellow Tiana Clark

Meet Tiana Clark

Tiana Clark is the winner of the 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize. She is an MFA candidate in poetry at Vanderbilt University where she serves as a Commons Writer-in-Residence and the Poetry Editor for Nashville Review. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from Rattle, Best New Poets 2015,Crab Orchard Review, Southern Indiana Review, The Adroit Journal, Muzzle Magazine, Thrush, The Offing, and elsewhere. Tiana graduated from Tennessee State University where she studied Africana and Women’s studies. She serves on the board for The Porch Writer’s Collective, a local non-profit literary center. Tiana received a scholarship to The New Harmony Writers Workshop, and has recently been awarded funding from the Metropolitan Arts Commission for her community project, which provides creative writing workshops for trans youth at the Oasis Center. Find her online at www.tianaclark.com.

READ MORE about Tiana in our interview “Talking to Tiana Clark, 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Fellow”

2016 Judge Afaa M. Weaver’s Praise for Equilibrium

“Equilibrium searches for that point where there is a balance, even as the poems display a consciousness and self awareness that belie that balance. The poems negotiate the colossal movement of hearts figuring and being figured by history. This is a voice that knows the intelligence of passion, that moves through and inside the questioning of who we are in the structures of things we give the power to name us until a song sends us out to question the territory. The poet moves with the exactness of math or physics, with the fearful knowledge of careful imbalances that would have us believe in equilibrium, and with the assuredness of art that knows all is change, that the semblance of order is creation, something we are given the gift of imitating in some small way. The poems in this collection summon the largeness, the volume of a voice that disembodies itself in order to search for the love that made it whole.”

–Afaa M. Weaver

LEARN MORE about Afaa M. Weaver

A Poem from Equilibrium

Particle Fever

(Mark Levinson, 2013)

They built a seventeen mile circle
to recreate the big bang,
how the laws of physics crash

like a drum beat of what makes us.
Your hand finding mine in the car ride home,
as white lines on the highway blur into memory.

I do not need to know every answer.
Give me a plane ride to question my ego.
When you are mad,

give me my first name in your mouth—
hard consonant of T,
said with the Tip of the Tongue.

What we speak into existence
like a drum beat of what makes us.
Give me a plane ride to question myself.

Aren’t we always flying,
into each other
into the mouth of the universe?

Could it be magic?
The white bunny we lift from the hat
like early fog on the road to work.

We discover foot by foot
how we grope for each other,
sway to music we don’t even hear.

There is always movement—
atoms bouncing around us
like a room full of endless balloons.

The seen and unseen world.
What wanted to be born out of nothing?
Mouth open—kiss ready:

lit with charge and wonder.

 

“Particle Fever” first appeared in Crab Orchard Review