Our audio series "The Authors Read. We Listen." was hatched in a NYC club during BEA back in 2012. It's a fun little series, where authors record themselves reading an excerpt from their own novels, in their own voices, the way their stories were meant to be heard.
Today, Stevie Edwards helps us dust of this series as she reads a few poems from her latest collection Humanly. Stevie is a poet, editor, educator, and an advocate for mental health awareness. She is currently Editor-in-Chief at Muzzle Magazine, Acquisitions Editor at YesYes Books, and a Lecturer at Cornell University. Her first book, Good Grief (Write Bloody 2012), won an open manuscript contest and received two post-publication awards, the Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze in Poetry and the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. Her poems have appeared in Verse Daily, Rattle, Devil's Lake, Indiana Review, Salt Hill, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Cornell University and a BA in economics and English from Albion College.
Listen to Stevie read a few poems from her collection by clicking on the soundcloud link below:
The word on Humanly, (lifted with love from goodreads):
"Stevie Edwards’s Humanly bravely and vulnerably confronts the complexities of living with mental illness in a voice that is equally feral and crafted. Through a gorgeous and gorge-filled landscape, these poems struggle with dislocation, past sexual trauma, grief, the chronic looming of psychiatric wards, and a constant attempt to redirect patterns of suicidal ideation."
Advance Praise for Humanly:
“In Humanly, Stevie Edwards wakes us into our own bodies with her fierce honesty:The first time I tried to slip my outsides/I failed. This is a courageous book of startling images and original voice that surges beyond the difficult questions: If I string the night between two fence posts, /one side heaven and one side hell… Or: I was/watching myself in the hotel mirror to make sure/my body was still happening… Edwards blows the doors off the outer body, delivering us to the beating heart and the inner doors of human mercy. Humanly burns need and desire into the sound of survival: a prayer/in praise of the groaning in the backroom:/Let each body be loved until its end.”
"With an unpredictability that alternately jolts and mesmerizes, Stevie Edwards has crafted an intricate exploration of life as we'd rather not know it. There is much in these stanzas to jolt and unsettle--stark crafting and a relentless respect for the possibilities of word create a tension only felt in the presence of revelation."
"If I had never before heard anyone say 'Art Saves Lives,' I swear on the bullseye of my own wrist, I would have run through the streets screaming it the moment I finished this book. I want everyone who has never believed in the possibility of being given back Time, to read these poems. Not a moment of grief denied, and still, each turn of the page, a vaulted ceiling in my heavy heart. What a generous and intensely vulnerable offering to our survival this book is.