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Announcements from the Planetarium

April 23, 2017

“Great wit, music, and pacing. Vivid passionate hungers, all stitched through the nubby fabric of aging with gorgeous shining threads. We can wrap ourselves right up in these poems for courage and verve.” —
Naomi Shihab Nye


Flowstone Press, an imprint of Left Fork Books, is pleased to announce our latest book: a collection from the irrepressible Judith Arcana. Announcements from the Planetarium examines aging and changing, wisdom and memory, and includes poems from Arcana’s Mixtape Series as well as her Speculative Music Theory quartet.


As Judith Vollmer notes, “Judith Arcana’s poems [are] both familiar and refreshingly strange …. jagged elegies on ‘time available’ and ‘the short version,’ dazzling crows, lonely streets, and mournful seers, with a hyper-realist eye on the past.”


You can purchase the book from our Bookshop.org store.


Below is ‘Dreaming the Indian Ocean,’ a selection from the book. You can also listen to Judith’s conversation with Ken Jones on the KBOO program Between the Covers.


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Judith Arcana

Judith Arcana is a Jane, a member of Chicago’s pre-Roe underground abortion service. She writes poems, stories, essays and books, including a much-loved biography of Grace Paley (Grace Paley’s Life Stories) and several poetry collections: What if your mother, 4th Period English, The Parachute Jump Effect, Announcements from the Planetarium, and Here From Somewhere Else, which received the Editor’s Choice Chapbook Award from Turtle Island Quarterly. Born and raised in the Great Lakes region, Judith has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1995. For more about, and examples of, her work, visit JudithArcana.com.


Dreaming the Indian Ocean

You old ones, my people, when you passed childhood
were you surprised to learn so many had the same dream?
Had you thought, like me, you were the only small one
who turned your bed to a boat in the clear deep water
a boat in deep blue sky, sailing and flying the world?
Did you get where you wanted to go? Where was that?

I wanted to fly in my bed all the way to the Indian Ocean
where the great whales of every sea would swim green
deep water each year, giving birth and nursing their young.
What made that my dream? What could I have known, then
of their lives? This is the mystery left from my youth, deep
in the time before knowledge. The rest, now, I understand.