Flicker Noise, by Henrietta Goodman and Ryan Scariano-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

Flicker Noise, by Henrietta Goodman and Ryan Scariano

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Henrietta Goodman and Ryan Scariano
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Poetry, chapbook, 40 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

Flicker Noise is a collaboration between poets Henrietta Goodman and Ryan Scariano, consisting of dual-alphabets of acrostic poems that explore intersections of the human and non-human animal worlds. Poems from this project have appeared in Clade Song, DASH Literary Journal, The Fourth River, Fugue, Terrain.org, Western Humanities Review, and other places.

These poems feature an assortment of animals, from banana slug to blue jay, earwig to emperor penguin, llama to lobster, unicorn to urchin. Some, like chickens and frogs, will be familiar; others, like the quagga and the zorilla, may introduce readers to animals which are much more unusual. This project, featuring two animal-poems for each letter of the alphabet (one by Ryan and one by Henrietta), will inspire readers to explore and appreciate their own connections to the animals (and human animals) in their lives.

"I first read Pablo Neruda’s Stones of the Sky in grad school and was struck by the poet’s sparkly geode of a poem and his ability to speak to and about minerals in a way that transcends personification. This was when I began to believe that while I can never escape my subjective reality, I might, with a mind toward quiet awareness, use thoughtful personification to hear and translate something of what a bird or a rock or a fence has to say. I hoped the simple acrostic form, specifically an alphabet of animal acrostic poems, would lend itself to a manuscript that would let me tune my own awareness as well as make some children’s poems for adults. And rather than attempt objectivity, I embraced personal interference—I listened to the animal of myself."

—Ryan Scariano

"When Ryan asked me to collaborate on this project, I was excited to explore the potential of one of poetry’s oldest and most flexible forms—the acrostic has been used for thousands of years. From the beginning, my acrostics were as much an exploration of the human condition as they were studies of unique animalness. At first, I worried that this might result in failure to see the animals except through an anthropomorphic lens. As I was considering this, Ryan wrote a poem that surprised and moved me: a HUMAN acrostic addressing the idea humans forget, often willfully, our own animal-selves. After that, I embraced the search for connection between human and non-human nature, desiring not to see other animals as human, but to see humans as the animals we are."

—Henrietta Goodman

Ryan Scariano is the author of two poetry collections: Not Your Happy Dance (Finishing Line Press) and Smithereens (Imperfect Press). Some of his recent poetry has appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, basalt, Rock & Sling, Phantom Drift, The Oklahoma Review, SOFTBLOW, and Cirque. He serves as an assistant poetry editor for Narrative Magazine and lives in La Grande, OR, where he directs academic support services and teaches FYE, humanities, and writing courses at Eastern Oregon University. www.ryanscariano.com

Henrietta Goodman is the author of four books of poetry: Antillia (University of Nebraska Press), All That Held Us (BkMk Press), Hungry Moon (Colorado State University), and Take What You Want (Alice James Books). Her poems and essays have been published in The New England Review, New Ohio Review, Terrain, Bennington Review, River Teeth and more. She has received fellowships from the Montana Arts Council, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, and other organizations. She teaches at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT and lives in Billings and Missoula.