Join us on Wednesday, April 2 at 5PM for Rapid Fire: City Wide Fellows Reading at the Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center, CUNY. Recipients of emerging writers fellowships (from Cave Canem, the Poetry Project, and Poets House) will share recent work in this hour-long introduction to these rising stars.

Rickey Laurentiis is a recipient of the 2013 fellowship from Cave Canem. Read his poem, Southern Gothic, below.

Southern Gothic

About the dead having available to them

all breeds of knowledge,

some pure, others wicked, especially what is

future, and the history that remains

once the waters recede, revealing the land

that couldn’t reject or contain it, and the land

that is not new, is indigo, is ancient, lived

as all the trees that fit and clothe it are lived,

simple pine, oak, grand magnolia, he said

they frighten him, that what they hold in their silences

silences: sometimes a boy will slip

from his climbing, drown but the myth knows why,

sometimes a boy will swing with the leaves.

(Originally published in Poetry.)

Rickey Laurentiis is the recipient of a 2012 Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and a 2013 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy. The author of the chapbook, Whipped (Floating Wolf Quarterly), his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, jubilat, The Kenyon Review, The New York Times, Oxford American and Poetry. A forthcoming chapbook will appear this summer from Sibling Rivalry Press. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, he currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.