Trio House Press
publishing distinct voices in poetry
since 2012

My Afmerica by Artress Bethany White

Winner of the 2018 Trio Award, selected by Sun Yung Shin 신 선 영

Artress Bethany White is a poet, essayist, literary critic and the author of Fast Fat Girls In Pink Hot Pants (2012), a collection of poetry. More recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as the Harvard ReviewPoet LoreEcotoneThe AccountPleiades, and Solstice. White earned a master’s degree in creative writing from New York University and a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. She is a visiting assistant professor of American cultural studies at Albright College in Pennsylvania. She has received The Mona Van Duyn Scholarship in Poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Mary Hambidge Distinguished Fellowship from the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts for her nonfiction, and a writing residency at the Tupelo Press/MASS MoCA studios. New essays, “Sonny Boy” and “A Lynching in North Carolina,” appear in The Hopkins Review and Tupelo Quarterly. Her most recent literary/cultural criticism, “Appalachian Literature and Race Relations in the Newer South: Homogeneity anHistory in Ron Rash's Burning Bright and Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard,” appears in Seeking Home: Marginalization anRepresentation in Appalachian Literature and Song (University of Tennessee Press, 2017). Her chapter examines how contemporary writers are providing new ways to talk about the history of the Civil War in the wake of continued debates on the legacy of the Confederacy.
Going Home

The dream of leave-taking,
never as sweet as the actual leaving.
No more explaining how this Southern town
leaches like calcium sucked from bones,
the bending near to breaking.
Think desert. Think lonesome wolf howls.
Hollow goodbyes echo empty
even to my own ears. A nose
opens in anticipation of home,
the scent of years beckoning.
I airplane arms and run
up the interstate of my mind
like a toddler convinced
lanes can fit into an embrace.
I settle for hugging trees,
nuzzle leaves and recall
childhood in a pinetum of peace,
the spice notes of conifers
begging, begging
to be swallowed again.