Introduction to Juliana Gray’s poems by CM Burroughs

Gray’s poems address how one reads—attempts to read—still life and still living. Each of these poems operates by the speaker’s want (as desire) and want to know (as illumination.) Studied, though somewhat innocently; objective and observational, the poems put at stake the speaker and reader. With Gray’s verse, we wonder at violence, and the provocation to want, to know, draws us forth—which is what I want for Tupelo Quarterly.

What must we make of our response to [Gray’s metal and flesh] verse that has the ability to disturb? In my own making and reading of poetry, I want to be dangerous/endangered/engaged. As Cixous says, “You must write the unspeakable.”

-CM Burroughs


“My Father’s Gun” by Juliana Gray

Balthus, The Victim, 1946 by Juliana Gray

“Honey Don’t” by Juliana Gray