J. C. Todd


J. C. Todd’s most recent books are Beyond Repair, runner-up in the Able Muse Press contest, forthcoming in 2021 and The Damages of Morning (Moonstone Press), a 2019 Eric Hoffer Award finalist. Winner of the Rita Dove Prize in Poetry and twice a finalist for Poetry Society of America awards, she has fellowships from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Bemis Center, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Paris Review, The Night Heron Barks, and elsewhere. Retired from the faculty of the Creative Writing Program at Bryn Mawr College, she teaches occasionally in the Rosemont MFA Program. https://moonstone-arts-center.square.site/product/j-c-todd-damages-of-morning/53?cs=true

Photo credit: Mark Hillringhouse



no lark here, but another morning rising over the scree garden private is different than secret whose words go under swallowed moon sets in their chill too heavy for sky come, let’s break our fast or starve together slide out from under lives too clotted for breath why choose silence when speech is the only moisture in this drought

I am feeling the future disintegrate, brought about by global warming that threatens the systems that have created it. We have built these systems to advance human life and we continue to depend on them despite their dysfunction. Much like a love gone dry, clinging to old ways. How to disrupt the cycle of harm, how to rebalance? ‘Orison’ is a dawn song for a drying-out land to welcome a new day of change not yet imagined.