The Hopper Issue III – ECESIS

Cover of The Hopper

This is a season of homecoming for me. I’ve moved back to the region where I grew up in Minnesota after almost ten years away. Summer humidity stokes the air with the smell of new cottonwood leaves along mucky lakes, tugging me back into memories. Each day brings a reunion of past selves and ages. Old layers rise and teem like each evening’s insects.

Fittingly, The Hopper‘s third print issue arrived in my mailbox this week. We asked writers and artists for work related to the term “ecesis,” which formally means the making of new habitat and home. In ecology, “ecesis” refers to species pioneering or invading (which verb?) new places — sometimes places altered by wildfire or storm. As climate change, resource wars, and inequality worsen, the numbers of people and living things seeking homes where they can thrive or even survive will increase. Our intentions to tend one’s place and widen community become more crucial.

The artists and writers who answered our call for submissions are visionaries. I’m honored to have worked with the poems and poets in these pages. I hope that as you dwell in this smart, thriving, diverse collection, the world you inhabit grows. Order and read more here.

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I made a film!

Susan J. Erickson has red cowboy boots and impeccable diction. She’s a poet hero of mine who I met back in the land of Douglas fir, though we’re both ladies of the 10,000 lakes.

Sue won the Brick Road Poetry Press prize last year, and her book, Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine, is out now. Her collection of lady persona poems is tonally diverse, smart, and powerful.

Sue asked me to make a book trailer for her. We chose to work with her poem “Rapunzel Brings Her Women’s Studies Class to the Tower” partially because I now live near a giant bell tower and tracts of forest, but mostly because this poem is a linchpin poem. Rapunzel is trying to “relinquish the rib of victimhood.” She pushes back against the story we tell about her. She tells her class “your voices are searchlights that can sweep the horizon to reveal fault lines and illuminate passage.” What a good lesson.