An Introduction to Zoe Contros Kearl by Tiffany Troy

The folio of poems by Zoe Contros Kearl featured in this issue of Tupelo Quarterly examines the canonized and normalized cruelty against female bodies and bodies that evoke “dysmorphia and dysphoria/ in the sporting goods store.” It does so by having the reader listen to the sound of the “rush/ of a nearby river known for its trout / which is cold sparkling clear, / which I know I cannot actually hear” and receive the grace of allowing “you to think you see me before I see you.” The music of our “real, waking lives” which necessarily touch upon the “unseen world” rings true like the “afternoon light golding / a lush world.” The lushness of nature in these poems mirrors the “mouth of a neurotic girl” whose past wants and charms through Sappho’s yes many & beautiful things.

Zoe Contros Kearl is a queer writer and editor raised in Texas and now based in Vermont. Writing appears in Action Books Blog, Be About It, Entropy Magazine, HAD, Kenyon Review, Maudlin House, Neutral Spaces, The Quarterless Review, Rejection Letters, and elsewhere. ZCK currently serves as nonfiction editor for American Chordata Magazine and holds an MFA from Columbia University.