Turtle Island Responds

Welcome to Turtle Island Responds, an online library of lived experience, offered in verse.

This news related online poetry series was inspired by Rattle Magazine’s Poets Respond and the many conversations I have had with others who have found themselves on the fringes. So much of the news is offered through the lens of the those in positions of power, but we rarely hear from the communities directly affected. This is an opportunity to voice your responses to current events through the medium of poetry.

As the curator, I will use the following criteria when selecting a poem for publication:

  • The strength of the submission – both the poem and the author statement. What is most important to me is that both the author statement and the poem are compelling. We are looking for work from both emerging and established poets. There may be some collaborative editing via Skype or phone, but overall, this is your piece and your response.
  • The urgency – this is going to be challenging as there are so many pressing issues and news cycles are so very short these days. Since this is a news-related series, more recent news items may be given priority over older ones.
  • Sharing the page – when making selections I will be asking this question: Which community have we not heard from yet? This collection is working towards uplifting and prioritizing voices that might be considered marginalized or underrepresented in our media, so priority may be given to a voice that has yet to be shared on the page and on the screen.
  • No-stories-about-us-without-us – the poet must be from the community they are writing about. Since transparency is important, this information must be included in the poet’s bio and/or author statement.
  • Turtle Island - The poet must have a relationship to Turtle Island, having lived there at some point in their life.

It is my hope to build a library of work, poems and the author statements that will live on as online teachings. This will be a collection of lived experience offered in verse, with supporting author statements and bios that reflect the poet’s connection to the news and their particular community. News includes local, global or things being discussed on social media. It can be good news—a community garden that is changing the lives of lower-income seniors. It can be the news that stings, that makes us want to write a response. It is my hope, that as this collection grows, it will be reflective of the rich diversity that exists on Turtle Island.

—All my Relations ~ Jónína Kirton

Submit to Turtle Island Responds


F.I. Goldhaber

Still Fighting
by F.I. Goldhaber


Mary Barnes

I Mind the Time
by Mary Barnes


Charlene Langfur

Truth Follows Character
by Charlene Langfur


Rachel Batya

by Rachel Batya


Jane Shi

they did
by Jane Shi


Nisa Malli

A Gunman Who Expressed Hatred of Jews Exploited Doors That Were Unlocked for Worship - Associated Press, Oct 27th 2018
by Nisa Malli


Tiffany Morris

My Great-Great Grandmother Was a Dystopian Halloween Costume
by Tiffany Morris


Barâa Arar

My mother asks why I cry
by Barâa Arar


Isabella Wang

by Isabella Wang


Gwen Benaway

letters to the editor
by Gwen Benaway


Christine Taylor

Caped Men
by Christine Taylor


Jude Hayes

my blanket
by Jude Hayes


Charlotte Henay

for my sister
by Charlotte Henay


Zofia Rose MusiejHome Is.
by Zofia Rose Musiej


To All the White People Who Voted for Change but Not to Hurt Me
by Fatima Amarshi

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