Special Feature: Arianne True

April 14, 2022 | Uncategorized


Persephone in the rust belt


Arianne True (Choctaw, Chickasaw) is a queer poet and folk artist from Seattle. She teaches and mentors youth poets around Puget Sound and moonlights as a copyeditor. Arianne has received fellowships from Jack Straw and the Hugo House and is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is currently the Seattle Repertory Theater’s first Native Artist-in-Residence. You can find more of her work online at


From Special Features Guest Editor Geffrey Davis:

These features came together during a fracturing of attention that seems at once unprecedented and (now) everyday. As such, I found myself feeling deeply grateful for the sense of greater direction and connection provided by this editorial celebration of emerging writers, not to mention the fact that I discovered two new lights on the literary horizon. Arianne True weaves language and imagery into almost palimpsest-like poems that mirror the numinous flexing of lived (which is to say layered) identity. I admire how suggestively she wields formal order and disorder on the page. True’s work does so much to confirm poetry’s ability to fit both the desire and the danger of belonging into a shared breathing. Troy Osaki crafts kinetic portraitures that weigh and worry what abides. His poems also showcase a skill for shaping syntax and space into statement. Osaki excels at balancing a dearness for figures and landscapes with an awareness of the risks and uncertainties that they face. Because the wealth of those announcing the readiness of their voices is vast and inspiring, while wandering for these writers I leaned heavily on our poetry collectives, which do tremendous work to gather folks against marginalization, isolation, and underrepresentation: among them, CantoMundo, Cave Canem, Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI). In addition to sharpening my memory of the transformations that I experienced myself as a fellow searching for poetic footing, visiting these creative homes built around literary belonging deepened a general faith in our ability to dream new gatherings into being. We have a bright future of poetic witnessing ahead, and I am so honored to cast some specific literary light onto these talented writers.