A Process Note

These crossword poems are from a hybrid manuscript-in-process, The Stork Rides Shotgun: statistically significant poems. I created the form of the crossword poem™ during a December 2018 residency at Caldera. My goals were three-fold: 1) to redesign lyric ways of knowing the world with the user’s [non-poet’s] experience in mind 2) to create a philosophic space where subjectivity and objectivity, the associative and the scientific, the heart of fact and the fact of heart drift in mutual redefinition of one another and 3) to craft a poetic form in which the reader actually, actively participates in the making of meaning, choosing her own reading experience.

Writers consulted while composing these crossword poems include Kate Bernheimer, Eula Biss, Chelsea Bondolillo, Grégoire Bouillier, Nils Bubandt, Timothy Clark, Lucy Corin, Kathryn Davis, Miles Davis, Emily Deprang, Claudia Dey, Joan Didion, Rikki Ducornet, Thalia Field, Sigmund Freud, Elaine Gan, Jorie Graham, Vicki Hearne, Daisy Hildyard, Leslie Jamison, Lynn Keller, Kelli Maria Korducki, Amy Leach, Clarise Lispector, Dana Teen Lomax, Corinne Low, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Lydia Millet, Claudia Roth Pierpont, Muriel Ruckeyser, Mary Ruefle, Leslie Ryan, Heather Swanson, Nicole Walker, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Joy Williams, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Pro tip for reading: Pull the answers up on your computer screen and print out the clues. Read as you would a crossword, skipping some clues, reading others, crossing off the one’s you’ve “gotten” and reading those as your own, private version of the poem, freeing your eye/I to explore with the page unbounded by English-language conventions of top-bottom, left-right. Dance, flit, skip, flirt! It’s fun to do this with a partner: one of you reading the clues, the other reading the answers.





from THE STORK RIDES SHOTGUN:  Statistically Significant Poems






Emily Carr writes murder mysteries that turn into love poems that are sometimes (by her McSweeney’s editors, for example) called divorce poems. After she got an MFA in poetry from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, she took a doctorate in ecopoetics at the University of Calgary. These days, she’s the program director of the MFA in Creative Writing at Oregon State University-Cascades. Her newest book, whosoever has let a minotaur enter them, or a sonnet—, is available from McSweeney’s. It inspired a beer of the same name, now available at the Ale Apothecary. Emily’s Tarot Romance, Name Your Bird Without A Gun, is forthcoming from Spork in 2019.