Prose poetry, chapbook, 36 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
“Yes, a fragment is a good thing to be.” Dear Abbey is an open letter to a failed Tinder relationship in which the author struggles, perhaps without resolution, to hold themselves accountable. The book posits a narrative contract through lyric, something of mind and body that challenges the author’s sense of an individualized self.
Exploring how this contract gives meaning to existence through discussion of poetry, film, and music, Dear Abbey attempts to connect the author to their lost loves through the beatitude of queer community. Fragmented, inconclusive, and at times, outright contradictory, Dear Abbey is, at its core, an experiment in vulnerability, not so much resisting genre categorization but dismissing it in favor of other modes of belonging.
Rachel Stempel is a queer Ukrainian-Jewish poet and PhD student in English literature at SUNY-Binghamton. They are the author of the chapbooks, BEFORE THE DESIRE TO EAT (Finishing Line Press, 2022) and Interiors (Foundlings Press, forthcoming 2022), and their work has recently appeared in Penn Review, Gulf Stream Magazine, and Jet Fuel Review. They live in New York with their rabbit, Diego.