Just So You Know You’re There

In the middle of nowhere, a field described in fiction, without cattle
or farmhand or an abandoned car left underneath a scrub tree that
endures drought and flood and the intermittent buzz, stands fallow

with its impression of wild carrot and chicory waving in a way that
makes your heart ache for a moment to lie down on the soft swirl
of grass that could swallow you whole, and the sky’s blue lake

deepening, letting you wade in, without a second thought, up
to your parted lips—this moment that could be seven seconds in
heaven, or just more of what it is, with its share of sudden tears.

M. J. Iuppa is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program, Writer-in-Residence (1999-2015) and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College, and since 2000 to the present, a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with students K-12, in Rochester, NY, and the surrounding area. She has three full-length poetry collections, most recently Small Worlds Floating, as well as Within Reach (both from Cherry Grove Collections, 2010), Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003), and 5 chapbooks, most recent being Between Worlds (Foothills Publishing, 2013), which is a collection of lyric essays, flash fiction and prose poems. She received Writers & Books’ Big Pencil Award, honoring her lifelong contributions to Rochester’s literary community. At St. John Fisher College, she has received the Part-Time Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, May 2000, The Father Dorsey Award, 2000-2001 and 2002-2003, and a Certification of Recognition from the Monroe County Legislature, April 2003. She served as the poetry advisor for New York State Foundation for the Arts, 2007-2012. She and her husband Peter Tonery live on a small farm in Hamlin, NY, where they have been practicing organic food sustainability for the past 15 years.

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