Revealing GLJ’s 2023 ROAR Showcase Winner: Kim Whysall-Hammond

Green Lion Journal is proud to announce our 2023 ROAR Showcase: Kim Whysall-Hammond. Over the next week GLJ will post Kim’s poems and her Q&A. Her work will continue to be featured on GLJ in the ROAR showcase until December 1st, 2024.

Experiences are life. Fantasy and intellectualization, though integral to the human condition, serve to aid and guide us through this turbulent thing called living – the procession aggregate. Whether to enlightenment or self-destruction (or neither/both), we will not only dream and think, but experience through it all, again and again, time’s arrow unrelenting in its verse of “You are alive.”

The internet has created a time of unprecedented sharing. Never before have we been so exposed to the inner and outer narratives of so many people. In this jungle of human diversity, the question of the interconnected human remains thus: Will we find, or lose ourselves? While reading Kim Whysall-Hammond’s work and words, I felt the skeptic inside me recede, to lean toward the former.

Reading poetry has always felt like reading secrets to me, a shapely Roman à clef, a skeleton key of words. Kim’s use of poetry as a kind of autofiction (popular in the current time) speaks to many, and her rejection of what is sometimes referred to as “the poet’s logic” – that aesthetically versed words imply validity – is refreshing. The growing modern consensus of poetry seems to be that poetry is a way to tell the truth – in full frontal freedom. To employ the senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch – to invite others into our experiences and to, inversely, be invited into them. “Good poetry talks to you.” writes Kim, and so her poems speak to us, with clearly stated themes and intents. Her poetic devices such as anaphora and allusion are serviced not to mystified, but to define.

So Kim’s work is richly defined, through experience. Through her feeling, witnessing, being alive. I can think of no better way of signing off than with more words from Kim, “The internet abounds with poems of all sorts, and long may it do so.”

Long may we do so, these poems of life.

-RB

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