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Arisa White

Website
Years: 2003, 2005, 2008

Biography

An MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess and Post Pardon. Member of the PlayGround writers’ pool, her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. Recipient of the inaugural Rose O’Neill Literary House summer residency at Washington College in Maryland, Arisa has also received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2005, her poetry has been widely published and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. A blog editor for HER KIND, and the editorial assistant at Dance Studio Life magazine, Arisa's debut collection, Hurrah's Nest, was published by virtual artists collective in February 2012.

Poem

WIDOWS

She was telling me I would be alone.We shared the same “V” above our foreheads.Granny put her bangs down,left me at the vanity with my forthcoming mourning.

One first grade afternoon, I took the scissors,black handles faded like her nail polishwhen two weeks passed between manicures.The widow’s peak fell on her eaux de toilette.

It was remedy against a husband,their complications with diabetes,adulterous tongues, and crap-shoot wrists.

I was her little girlfriend, she confessedto her Korean employers at the dry cleaners.I sat on a box, charmed from the hootsand husky shush of machines,granny putting starched creases in trousers.

She slept on one side, on one pillow. The habit helda partition in place, she let me temporarily break.I spooned her body while the 11 o’clock news aired.Asleep before the weather report, she carried meto my own bed. Every night she wanted me to learn this.