My hope for the Fragments of Persephone issue of Winter Tangerine is that this selection of poems will value multifaceted representations of femininity and the complexities of growing up as a girl in America—to see representations of femininity that address the intersectional, that seek to understand how each distinct identity informs the process of female growth. To collect poems that grapple with such a seemingly personal issue is to ask any reader of the issue to question where the line between personal and political can be drawn, if anywhere at all. I want poems that ask us how various parts of our identities as women function together—whether that be in harmony, in friction, or as magnetic opposites. I want poems where something has shifted, or is shifting—where something inexplicable has been altered in the speaker. I want collision and all the shards and debris that come with it: an attempt to reconcile the various incongruous elements that comprise what it means to be a woman.
Raena Shirali is from Charleston, SC, and currently lives in Columbus, OH, where she is earning her MFA in poetry at The Ohio State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Banango Street, Better: Culture & Lit, The Boiler, Boston Review, Fogged Clarity, Four Way Review, Gulf Coast, Muzzle Magazine, No More Potlucks, Ostrich Review, Phantom Limb, Pleiades, Quarterly West, and The Nervous Breakdown. She recently won the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, as well as a 2013 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize. She was also recently a finalist for the 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. She currently serves as the Reviews Editor for The Journal. You explore her poetry and photography at www.raenashirali.com