Category Archives: Meggie Royer

The Witchy Lit Goodie Bag: Literary Essentials for Every Witch

Contents:

2 Fantastic Witchy Quotes

3 Famous Witches

3 Interview Questions with Kate Garrett,
Witch Enthusiast & Managing Editor at Three Drops from a Cauldron

1 Witchy Slam Poem


2 Fantastic Witchy Quotes

i. “I do so love my witches and wicked queens. I find myself drawn to feminine archetypes that previous generations have found threatening or dangerous: crones, oracles, madwomen, Amazons, virgins who aren’t helpless, bad mothers. I love to give the vagina dentata voice. It so rarely gets to speak for itself.” – Catherynne M. Valente

ii. “Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman.” – Terry Pratchett


3 Famous Witches

1. Catherine Monvoison

Catherine Monvoison was an alleged French witch, the wife of a jeweler, who was known for her premonitions stemming from childhood. Starting off as a fortune teller, she eventually began selling her clients amulets, aphrodisiacs, and poisons, and reportedly held black masses and lavish parties. One of her many lovers was an executioner, and she ironically died at the hands one, consumed in fire, in public after her arrest for witchcraft.

2. Merga Bien

Merga Bien was a victim of the Fulda Witch Trials in 1603-1605. She had three husbands and was an heiress of the first two. After becoming pregnant, she was accused of having sex with the Devil and killing her former husbands and children, and was forced to confess that she had attended a black sabbath. Despite her third husband’s protests, Merga was burned at the stake in 1603.

3. Agnes Waterhouse (Mother Waterhouse)

Agnes Waterhouse, an English witch, was accused of killing livestock and bringing sickness to others in her town, including her own husband. Her daughter, Joan, was also accused of witchcraft but was not found guilty. Agnes eventually confessed to having a familiar disguised as a cat named Satan, who was later turned into a toad. She was ultimately hanged, becoming the first woman executed for witchcraft in England.


3 Interview Questions with Kate Garrett, Witch Enthusiast & Managing Editor at Three Drops from a Cauldron

1. Where does your enthusiasm about, and passion for, writing about witches come from?

Childhood – I’ve obsessed with fantasy, folklore and fairytales all my life. Also the fact that I took up paganism for myself around age 17 (some time ago now, I’m 36 this year), and some time before I’d found out my great-grandmother was an Appalachian granny woman (sometimes known as a ‘granny witch’). She was a Christian though, so I’m not sure how she’d have felt about the ‘witch’ part. Still, she always healed her 14 children with plant concoctions, had startling premonitions, and delivered babies for other women, among other things, so if the title fits…

2. Do you have any favorite witchy facts?

Loads! But it really interests me that amongst the many misogynist reasons that women could long ago be tried as witches, one was being involved in drunken arguments or pub fights. This was something I’ve come across in particular regarding the Scottish witch trials in the 1600s – a number of women were put to death just for having “fiery temperaments”. I know a lot of women who’d be seen as condemnable by those standards – thankfully things have (mostly) changed.

3. If you could create a spell that would do anything in the world you wanted it to do, what would that spell be?

It’s probably selfish on some level, but a spell to make sure my children are always protected, at least until they’re all adults and able to completely fend for themselves. World peace and all that would be lovely, but if I’m being honest, my first instinct is with my kiddos.


1 Witchy Slam Poem

Witch Hunt” by Arati Warrier

Arati explores the discrimination and prejudice faced by queer women of color in this powerful poem that uses sorcery and witchcraft-related language.



Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.


5 Controversial Poets

1.


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Aram Saroyan

Saroyan’s one line, seven letter poem “lighght,” consisting solely of that single word in the middle of a blank piece of paper, was published in numerous literary journals, including The Chicago Review and The American Literary Anthology. Despite being published in the mid-60’s, “lighght” is still considered one of the most controversial poems in history, with many readers debating whether it should even be called a poem. Even Reagan spoke about it several times.


2.


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Pablo Neruda

What many literary enthusiasts may not know about this famous Argentinian poet is that his controversial nature doesn’t arise solely from his political leanings or allegiance to Salvador Allende. In one of his own passages from Memoirs, Neruda graphically recounts how he raped a Tamil woman while he was a diplomat in Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka).


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Siegfried Sassoon

An English poet, writer, and soldier, Sassoon continually issued anti-war declarations throughout World War II, and barely avoided a military trial for his actions by being sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment. In 1918, he released a collection of anti-war poems called Counter-Attack to much controversy and acclaim.


4.


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Amiri Baraka

The New Jersey Poet Laureate in August 2002, Baraka penned and recited his poem “Somebody Blew Up America,” which alleged that the Israelis and President Bush foresaw 9/11 before it happened. Many legislators and government officials called for his resignation as New Jersey Poet Laureate, but Baraka refused.


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Shel Silverstein

Silverstein’s books of children’s poetry A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends were banned from several elementary schools in several states on the basis of their “promotion” of “drug use, the occult, suicide, death, violence,” and even cannibalism. Despite these accusations, Silverstein’s works have sold millions of copies.


Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.


Spotlight on Hidden Tumblr Writers: 5 Questions with Elijah Noble El


Order Elijah’s book here: paperback | eBook


Meggie : Tell us a little bit about your first book and the process of self-publishing.

Elijah : The Age of Recovery is a collection of poetry and prose written from 2009-2015. It touches on love, bravery, loneliness, grief, abuse, and the dark and light sides of hope. It’s about the human condition in a way. It’s about not letting your pain define you and the long journey that takes. It shows how the people you come across in life shape you forever, in one way or another. It’s about purpose.

Self-publishing has been something that I feel has been looked down upon for a while. It’s got a lot of stigma attached to it, but lately there’s been a well-deserved spotlight on high-quality, emotionally charged pieces of pure art that have emerged from the scene. The decision to self-publish is a tough one, because you know what you’re giving up if you do as opposed to if you traditionally publish, but you have so much creative freedom in self-publishing. In the process of writing it, I was having difficulty picking a title that best suited the essence of the book. It was first called A History of Being Alone for a long time, and I think it was that when I was sending it to presses, and then it was called Kiss the Girl for a short while.

And about sending it out to presses, I sent it out to a few and in the process, I took the time to deconstruct the work and rebuild it over and over, and in doing so crafted something infinitely more intimate and personal than it ever was. It was a blessing in disguise going through all that work. Also in doing all the publishing myself, I was able to release it on my sweetheart’s birthday and dedicate it to her. She has the first, original copy. It’s a wonderful feeling.

Meggie : How has your use of tumblr as a creative platform affected your writing, for better or worse?

Elijah : The Tumblr writing community is thriving, and it’s doing so because it’s marinating in talent. It’s like I said previously with the self-publishing, there’s been a well-deserved spotlight on all this raw, passionate work. A lot of the more popular work coming out of there isn’t so much self-publishing anymore since a few different corners have started up small presses, but nonetheless most of the work is outstanding. There’s always some really amazing quote or piece that goes around, and you find who wrote it and you discover them from there. It’s like this giant well of inspiration for me because, like a bunch of other people I’m sure, I’ve discovered my favorite writers there, from professional, well-known writers like Richard Siken to writers more connected to this community like Azra Tabassum and Shinji Moon, all of which have inspired me and my writing. You read them and there’s no coming back from that. You’re bleeding and you don’t know from where.

It can get to be a problem though, as I remember a long time ago where someone brought up that everyone’s starting to sound the same, and then my attention was brought to it. Everyone was starting to sound the same. It became formulaic, and for poetry or any kind of writing that’s dangerous. Safe is dangerous when it comes to poetry. I’m not sure if that problem’s passed yet. Hopefully it has.

Meggie : Give me 5 of your favorite quotes by writers on tumblr.

Elijah :

“I feel like a part of my soul has loved you since the beginning of everything. Maybe we’re from the same star.” – Emery Allen

“I want to love, but my hair smells of war and running and running.” – Warsan Shire

“I sit in front of maps and measure with my fingertips the distance between us. In this space, I tell the ocean to make itself smaller, we argue. I tell it please, I am in love, and it allows me to palm it in my hand and hold it tightly there. I wish the roads away. I grab the forests by the handful and plant them elsewhere, plant them in our backyard ten years from now. Like this, I slowly make the spaces between us smaller until I can walk across them. I take the ground by its edges and pull it until it’s gathered like a rug beneath my feet. I bundle the sky under my arms and don’t mind that the clouds are raining on my feet. I can walk the inches to your door and knock the wood and see you standing there in all your shocked silence. The question of the sky and the ground and the oceans all piled up around me. I can say ‘hello, look, it’s me, I love you, I’ve brought the entire earth for you.” – Azra Tabassum

“I didn’t fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we’d choose anyway. And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.” – Kiersten White

“I pray that we are written for each other.” -bcxm

Meggie : What is your best tactic for picking yourself back up after your writing is rejected, or when you feel as if your work is not at its best?

Elijah : I tell myself that eventually it’s going to find its home somewhere. It’s important to remain humble, but it’s also important to recognize your talent and your worth. You can be discouraged, but you can’t base your worth as an artist on whether or not a publisher/press accepts it. You can fall, but you have to pick yourself back up and tell yourself that you can do it. Nothing happens if you don’t do anything. It’s as simple as that.

Meggie : Finally, can you tell us what projects you currently have in the works, either writing or acting-wise?

Elijah : Writing-wise, you and I actually have something in the works! Acting-wise, we’re close to wrapping up a show called Stage Door, playing at Michigan State University. It’s a comedy-drama chronicling the lives of aspiring actresses living together in a boarding house, The Footlights Club, in 1930’s New York. Almost 1,000 people have seen the show so far and from what I can tell it’s been a success. It’s been a long process but it’s also been rewarding.


Connect with Elijah:
Tumblr | Book | Society6

Elijah Noble El is a 20 year old actor and writer from Livonia, Michigan. The author of The Age of Recovery, a debut full length poetry book, he is also a poetry reader for the lit magazine Persephone’s Daughters, a magazine aimed at empowering women. His short story, “Oblivion,” received the Award for Excellence in Literature from the Michigan PTSA Reflections contest. His poetry has been published in Straylight Magazine, Hooligan Magazine, Persephone’s Daughters, Exist Magazine, Soul Anatomy, Eastern Michigan University’s Inkstains Anthology, and in Stevenson High School’s Spectrum.


Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.


Sway This Way: We Were Young by Fortesa Latifi | Review


We Were Young by Fortesa Latifi | Where Are You Press, 2015
Review by Meggie Royer

Latifi has built a dreamscape of girls in bars, girls in skirts, girls falling asleep next to missing lovers, all among the everyday rubble of cereal for breakfast and pills, lipstick smears, shaking hands. Interspersed with tales of grandparents and sleepovers, Latifi draws the magic from lives full of ache and want, reminding us of those rare moments we felt beautiful, even for just a few seconds.

The most stunning thing about these works is how reckless they are. “We are young and we don’t know yet/how damage can last,” writes Latifi. These poems will last, too. We will always remember the boys smoking on balconies, the boy with the baguette, the grandmother crying at the kitchen table while slicing fruit. It’s what’s in the details that saves us.

Ripe, dizzying, and astoundingly insightful, We Were Young is a momentous collection that will bring the old back to the young and the young back to themselves. “Since your first taste, you never wanted to do without it,” says Latifi in “Albatross.” The same goes for this stunning collection.


Connect with Fortesa:
Tumblr | Instagram | Twitter

Fortesa Latifi is a 22-year old poet/writer/bibliophile. She is trying her best. Her book This Is How We Find Each Other was published through Where Are You Press in December 2014. Her work has also been published in Persona and Words Dance. She couldn’t stop writing if she tried. For bookings/interview requests, you can contact her at fortesa.latifi@gmail.com.


Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.


5 Most Poetic Humans of New York Posts

1.


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“I legally changed my name to Space. It’s to remind me that the problems in your life are like stars. When you’re up close to them, they can burn you. But when you see them with space between them, they are phenomenal specks of light.”
“And I changed my name to Smiles!”



2.


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“I’m terrible at journaling. But I do it anyway, because I think that maybe one day I’ll write something that I didn’t know before, and suddenly it will all make sense.”


3.


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“She was 2 lbs 11 ounces when she was born. We named her after Amelia Earhart, in case she needed to fly away.”


4.


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“What was the saddest moment of your life?”
“When my grandmother died.”
“How were you most like her?”
“She had a love aura.”



5.


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“I had a shaved head for awhile, because I wanted to see what it would feel like to be a boy. Now I’m trying to be a girl.”


Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.


Memories from the Apocalypse by Meggie Royer | a Series



If you missed past installments of this series, dig them all here + check out Meggie’s Etsy Shop for more of her art!


Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.


Five Films That Are Basically Poems

1.      Her, 2013, dir. by Spike Jonze. A lonely, divorced man who writes personal letters for people who are unable or unwilling to write their own falls in love with an AI operating system named Samantha.

    “Sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I’m not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt.”

2.      Comet, 2014, dir. by Sam Esmail. The chronicling of the ups and downs of a six year relationship between a pessimistic young man and a pragmatic young woman after meeting by chance during a meteor shower. Set in a parallel universe.

    “I feel like I’m in the wrong world. Cause I don’t belong in a world where we don’t end up together. I don’t. There are parallel universes out there where this didn’t happen. Where I was with you, and you were with me. And whatever universe that is, that’s the one where my heart lives in.”

3.      Short Term 12, 2013, dir. by Destin Daniel Cretton. The young supervisor of a group home for troubled teens establishes a connection with a new resident whose struggles are astonishingly similar to her own while trying to open up emotionally to her long-term boyfriend.

    “Why are you so nice to me?” “It’s because you are the weirdest, most beautiful person that I’ve ever met in my whole entire life.”

4.      Phoebe in Wonderland, 2008, dir. by Daniel Barnz. A young, imaginative girl with Tourette’s Syndrome whose behavior hints at the future possibility of a serious mental illness clashes with the strict world around her while trying to pursue a role in her school’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

    “At a certain point in your life, probably when too much of it has gone by… you will open your eyes and see yourself for who you are… especially for everything that made you so different from all the awful normals. And you will say to yourself… But I am this person. And in that statement, that correction, there will be a kind of love.”

5.      Synecdoche, New York, 2008, dir. by Charlie Kaufman. A theatre director starting a new play, whose wife and daughter have left him, struggles with a mystery affliction that gradually shuts down each of his autonomic functions. He gathers a cast in a NY warehouse to play out different roles in a mockup of the city outside, blurring the line between fantasy and reality as the actors hired to play him and his loved ones make it increasingly difficult for him to distinguish between the play and his own life.

    “And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but it doesn’t really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along. Something to make you feel connected, something to make you feel whole, something to make you feel loved.”

Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.


5 Literary Plagiarism Cases (Some Famous & Some Obscure)

1. James Frey

James Frey is best known for his memoir A Million Little Pieces, which chronicled his harrowing descent into alcohol and crack addiction at the age of twenty-three, and his subsequent recovery in a rehab clinic. However, many of the events in the memoir were later found to have been exaggerated or entirely made up after his appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, including his alleged experience with root canals and whether his girlfriend Lilly, who died by suicide in his memoir, even existed in the first place. A six week long investigation led Frey to finally admit that he had fabricated several portions of his memoir, and it is now being marketed as a semi-fictional novel. Frey was also eventually accused of plagiarism by essayist John Dolan, who apparently had discovered similarities between Frey’s book and Eddie Little’s Another Day in Paradise, which also told of a young protagonist addicted to drugs, but does not include anything about the protagonist’s recovery, and no one else seems to have accused Frey of plagiarizing Little’s book. Dolan may have been stretching, but only Frey knows for sure, as Little is deceased.

2. Helen Keller

At the age of 11, Helen Keller wrote a short story about Jack Frost called The Frost King after her teacher Anne Sullivan read her a short story called Frost Fairies by Margaret Canby. Keller and Sullivan sent The Frost King to the head of the Perkins School for the Blind, where it was published in their literary magazine and later picked up by another journal. A friend of one of the teachers at Perkins recognized The Frost King as being almost a direct imitation of Canby’s story and brought it to the head’s attention. Keller was interrogated for hours about whether she had deliberately lifted from passages of Canby’s story, suffered a nervous breakdown as a result, and never wrote short stories again. Sullivan always maintained her own innocence, while Mark Twain condemned the controversy due to Keller’s young age and immaturity at the time.

3. Dan Brown

Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, was sued by historians Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, who claimed Brown had plagiarized central themes from their book. However, their lawsuit was unsuccessful. Author Lewis Perdue also sued Brown for plagiarism of his books The Da Vinci Legacy and Daughter of God, but was unsuccessful as well. The Russian scientist and art historian Mikhail Anikin accused Brown of stealing one of his central ideas about Mona Lisa as a Christian allegory, but never ended up suing him.

4. Edgar Allan Poe vs. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Poe’s biographers referred to Poe’s plagiarism accusations against Longfellow as The Longfellow War, although Poe had originally written to Longfellow with high praise of his “genius” and how “fervently” he admired his work, even going so far as to call him “unquestionably the best poet in America.” Later, however, he accused Longfellow of imitating European writers and other famous poets such as Tennyson. Longfellow never responded to these accusations publicly. Poe was actually in fairly good company, as other writers such as Walt Whitman spoke openly of Longfellow’s lack of original ideas.

5. Kaavya Viswanathan

As a senior in high school, Kaavya Viswanathan was introduced to a literary agent by her parents and ended up with a book contract for her novel How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life, written while she was a freshman at Harvard. When she became a sophomore, Viswanathan landed another book contract, this time for two books and $500,000 along with a Dreamworks contract for a movie based on her book. However, soon after, The Harvard Crimson reported that many of the passages in Viswanathan’s book were very similar to passages from two young adult novels by Megan McCafferty. Although she initially chalked the allegations up to her supposedly photographic memory and her publisher stuck by her, it was soon discovered that she was also plagiarizing from other authors such as Salman Rushdie. Her contract was then cancelled, along with all copies of her book being recalled.



Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize..


Memories from the Apocalypse by Meggie Royer | a Series



If you missed the first installment in this series, check it out here!


Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize..


Literary Tattoo Roundup


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A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

“I’ll follow you and make a heaven out of hell, and I’ll die by your hand which I love so well.”



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Emily Dickinson, “A word is dead.”

“When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.”



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Tulips by Sylvia Plath

“I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free.”



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A Man Young and Old by W.B. Yeats

“A mermaid found a swimming lad,

Picked him for her own,

Pressed her body to his body,

Laughed; and plunging down

Forgot in cruel happiness

That even lovers drown.”



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Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath

“Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.”


Contributing Editor


Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.