Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June Feature Artist - Cassandra Verhaegen

We took a little break in May, but we're back with a new and exquisite feature artist...

Cassandra Ellyse Verhaegen, 18
University of Chicago, 2017, Comparative Human Development & Arabic minor
personal blog can be found at scribblingintobowls.tumblr.com

An original piece by Cassandra...


Instead of watching his angels drop, this year it's teeth, falling from heaven to land in fleshy dirt, pinning litter to soil or lightning to the ground that forces it to dissipate. God is not sure what's happened, only that Lucifer's open mouth looks like the sun. Lucifer's mouth looks like the sun while the white-robed bare strips of gum that haven't seen light since Mary fixed them their first meal.

Heaven has a surplus of toothpaste and the world has a surplus of stickers whose backs have run out of adhesive and in hell there are cracks of light where the teeth have grown roots and exposed the earth to the broken. God keeps his door locked because he does not own a dentist's chair.

On the eighth day he forgot about doctors and instead prescribed songs swindled out of alleyways and soft shoots just tipping their cheeks from the dirt.

A bit more about Cassandra...

Favorite word(s)-
bleak or inchoate

The bones that comprise the body of Cassandra’s beautiful work-
I write because I like it; because it is a way of emptying myself before I get too full without truly emptying--or erasing--myself. I write for organization, for posterity, for history, for exploring flaws and the world, for watching the dynamism of characters and humanity. When I write I don't slip on my words, rather they effortlessly create a backbone I strive to achieve through speech.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Feature Artist: Nicholas McGuire

Nicholas McGuire, 18
Kenyon College, 2017, English/Creative Writing
personal writing blog can be found at www.thewaythroughdoors.tumblr.com

Photo Credit: Katie Lovins

An original piece by Nicholas...

Above culminates hope, and gives
face to a faceless,   uniformed      being, pissing on
        an internal locus, which is not necessary

if you follow his right hand.

Below resides as Western culture, a pyramid
rising     eternally, collecting each birth      with a brush
of ash on forehead that can never be cleaned,
      not even with hope.

We announce our presence as the floor,
     brandy spilled,    pink skin devoured—I shall call us
miracles, if allowed—marks like phosphorescence that glow
        if lived in light long enough, and little deaths
slept off. Dreams flag up, halfway, hoping not to (survive, become necessary, promulgate).

But each man becomes     ceiling light bulbs,
 climbing     over shadowy dusks, raising up (rising up) faces,
and each asks      forgiveness to come    painfully;
we all deserve the pain—He makes no promises, as angels all wear shirts
that show necks.

A little more about Nicholas...

Favorite Word
I've always been a massive fan of strange words, so my answer to this question changes monthly. However, right now I am most intrigued by the word "naufragio" which literally means "shipwreck," but colloquially it means "a lousy party." Sadly, I've yet to use it in daily conversation.

Accomplishments, Literary Awards
Alumni of the Iowa Young Writers' Studio, Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop

The Bones that comprise the body of Nicholas’s beautiful work- 
I write because I discern my life through writing differently than how I perceive my life in any other medium, and I enjoy and find the most to marvel at in this perception. I enjoy writing about cancer, death, and love, though of course I write about a range of subjects. All of those specific concepts, however, tend to find a way into my poems no matter what I plan to write about.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March Feature Artist : Danielle Favorite

Danielle M.G. Favorite, 24

Lake Michigan College 2009 & Western Michigan University 2011, English with Creative Writing concentration

Current work: Editorial account associate at MLive Media Group/The Kalamazoo Gazette & Writer at Kzoo Music Scene

An original Piece by Danielle...

there is something delicate
about a moths' wing under
microscope light,

like flossing a heartbeat between
                              your teeth.

little moth, little moth,
           I weep for you

with tears untouched by sun or hand.

trade bodies with me:
        learn to speak with fingers

and I'll crawl, one-winged,
off the window sill.

A Little More About Danielle…

Favorite word- luminescent

Previous work can be found in Echolocation, Short and Twisted, The Laureate and Encore. Was featured in the poetry collection, Where but beneath the soil.
First book of poetry, Meraki, can be purchased through Amazon (click the link!)

Member of Sigma Tau Delta (international honors English society) and was featured on a poetry panelist during a Sigma Tau Delta English Studies Conference.
The bones that comprise the body of Danielle’s beautiful words-
I write to not only be my own moonlit voice, but the voice of others, for someone to read one of my poems and think, “yes!, This is me! This is how it feels!”
I love breaking the fourth wall in a poem—gently, or sometimes more aggressively, grabbing the reader’s hand and directly connecting with them. 
My writing is greatly influenced by Sylvia Plath; I relate to her very well.  Moon imagery is prominent as well as a strong female voice.  I often write from one of the three feminine auras I feel: One is the strong mermaid, the other a fragile girl who represents who I was, and the other is more of a mystery.  I write about my struggles with depression, my yearning for something more, my sense of personal empowerment and emotive experiences with love.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

February Feature Artist: Meggie Royer

Meggie Royer, 19
Macalester College, 2017, Psychology

Personal writing blog can be found at www.writingsforwinter.tumblr.com

More of Meggie's wonderful work will appear in the upcoming issue of Rib Cage!

An Original Piece by Meggie...
The Hanging Tree

I once saw an empty noose swinging from the gnarled limbs

of a pecan tree, and it reminded me of the shifting tectonic plates

my grandmother swore she saw beneath my grandfather’s skin

the first time she placed her palms over his chest.

Sometimes, everything means knowing that nothing can hold us.

There are mine fields inside my stomach I have never seen,

either because I’m waiting for someone to detonate them

or because I’m too afraid to find out that maybe, just maybe,

the explosion already happened long ago

and what’s left of my heart is just a splattered mess full of shrapnel.

I want these ribs to christen themselves into wings

so the story my grandmother told me about equating breathing with flight

can come true after all. For these freckles on my wrists

to be more than freckles, to be Orion’s Belt instead, to be stars

that will guide my way home without a compass.

For this language I speak to be fewer words and more poetry.

I want to go back in time and turn that pecan tree noose

into a jump rope for a smiling child instead;

I want to watch my grandmother sink her hands slowly

into the epicenter of my grandfather’s sternum,

sink them so deep his ribs melt away into the ocean of his blood.

I want to go back in time and pinpoint the exact moment

she made his heart stop beating.

A Little More About Meggie...
Favorite word- Ethereal

My first poetry book, Survival Songs, can be purchased through Barnes & Noble, through Fameless Publishing, through Amazon as a paperback copy, through Amazon as a Kindle copy, through iBooks, through Chapters, through Square Market, or through the Book Depository. My second poetry book, Healing Old Wounds With New Stitches, can be purchased through etsy.

Poems previously published in Words Dance Magazine, Winter Tangerine Review, Fameless Magazine, The Best Teen Writing of 2013, Lost Freedom Magazine, and The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2013 National Catalog

Accomplishments & Literary Awards-
National Silver Medal for Writing Portfolio and National Gold Medal for Poetry in 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Survival Songs nominated for Best Poetry category in the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards, came in 9th place out of 20 in the third and final round

Writing selections from my 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Writing Portfolio and Poetry Collection on display in Washington, DC for the Art.Write.Now.DC 2013/2014 Opening Reception in partnership with the US Department of Education and The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

The bones that comprise the body of Meggie’s beautiful words-

I write because my voice speaks louder on paper than it does in air, and I want my words to scream. I write because there are untold stories inside of me, and by sharing these stories with my readers, we can all find some form of empathy for one another. Writing is ultimately about survival and healing, and I love that. I want my readers to feel it too. I like to write about my grandparents because the lessons that are passed down through generations are so important to me. Another favorite subject of mine is love, shockingly, I know, but there is just so much you can do with it, as well as with the topics of recovery and loss.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rib Cage is now accepting poetry and prose submissions for our first issue!

Our reading period is from January 5th-March 31st. All of the details are listed under the "Submit" tab above. 

The snow and bitter cold has quarantined us editors to our toasty bedroom but we look forward to sitting down with some coffee and starting in on your beautiful words!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Rib Cage has joined Facebook!

Like our page at http://www.facebook.com/ribcagechicago

We look forward to beginning our submission period in January; we'll keep you posted on the details. For now, keep those pens scribbling against the paper, writers!