Melanie Sevcenko is a poet, radio producer, and recovering bohemian. She moved to Portland, Oregon by way of Berlin, Germany, where she lived for almost a decade and hustled as a film critic and reporter for various outlets. Her poems have appeared in Permafrost Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, Verse Daily, Black Heart Magazine, apt, The Fourth River, and more. She is quite proud of the title of her poetry chapbook, We Slept in Body Bags, Just in Case, which was published in 2013 by Finishing Line Press. She’s also an Irish and Canadian citizen and is probably a distant relative of Ukrainian writer Taras Shevchenko. These days, Melanie works in public radio and podcasting and contributes to NPR, The Guardian, and Marketplace, amongst others. In her off-time, she can be found cooking plant-based meals, lighting bonfires in backyards, or buried under her 16-pound orange tabby.
“I Still Go to Bed with Water” sets its readers loose and untended, like the wild critters from a menagerie of collected memories. One day cooped up, the next fending for themselves in oddness. But oddness and strange intimacy is the resting temperature of this collection. Each poem is a type of pit stop – from childhood solitude to foreign corners and over to heartbreak – where we glimpse from the road what once was and how it becomes something entirely different in the rearview. Embracing humor and gratitude – and even Burt Lancaster – the language here is at turns cryptic, precise, sometimes German, and other times nodding to the flowers of the Romantics. “I Still Go to Bed with Water” is an ode to the resounding perfection of imperfect memory.
Kayla Jeswald is a writer based in Youngstown, Ohio. She holds an master’s in Creative Writing from Youngstown State University, and currently teaches composition.
Stages of Blue is a nonfiction collection that deals with the harrowing effects of mental illness. Jeswald digs deep. Through poetry, short stories, and flash fiction, Jeswald opens a window so readers can witness the struggle of living with anxiety, bipolar disorder and severe depression. The collection is emotional and riveting.
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