Feb 9

My favorite fragments & pieces - part four


Edited: Feb 9

  • Julian Riccobon, I can only commend you for using your voice to speak the dirty little secret that actually simply is the truth; a whole nation's one, a minority's everyday truth. Your technique and the union of your ideas and talent are impressive.

  • Clio Hamilton, thank you for After Eden, it is a phenomenal and rare piece, complex, bitter, sweet, chilling. Congradulations on your win, you certainly deserve it.

  • Victoria Carl, the last two verses of The Definition of Insanity sum up a very essential and urgent issue. I applaud your clever and raw piece.

  • Dana Dykiel, your poem is one of my most-liked ones. For once, it was refreshing to be gifted love and romance not as absolute and perfect, but as actually attainable, constructable, breakable.

"A subway map,

Looks like a disembodied heart, with colored lines

Spilling blood from broken vessels"

  • Lauren James, how does one come up with such an elegant, archaic, frank, paradoxical piece? Talent.

  • Haemaru Chung, your pieces may be succint but remain powerful through their imagery.

"Red coral bleaches pink,

then white, then ash"



Thank you so much for the shout-out to my piece. It means a lot to me, hearing that you connected with the themes and the message of my story.

I’ve also read some of your work. In fact, I was the Second Reader on your submission “Conversation Among Wolves.” It came to me in a flood of submissions during crunch time, but it really stood out to me because I loved the distinct voice of the piece. There’s something soothing in the voice (like a mentor, trying to reassure the “little wolf”), but there’s also something urgent that captures the speaker’s struggles and fears. I love how you balanced these two tones throughout the poem, using them to reflect on the idea of survival.

I particularly loved the line “Are you aware of your beating heart?” because it draws the reader’s attention to something that they probably take for granted. It is easy to forget about the sound of your beating heart, to overlook it when you are overwhelmed by all of the sounds outside of you, but when you slow down and listen to the beat, you realize that it means a lot. It means that you’re still alive, and that “you are no little being.”

The language of your poem really left me thinking, and I love when a poem does that!

Feb 10

Oh wow, what a flattering praise. Thank you, Julian. It is far from being the poem I prefer, but I am delighted to hear that it served a purpose.

I would most definitely enjoy reading more of your work, has it been published elsewhere?

Thank you again, your comment made my week (:

xxx, Mai


I’m glad to hear that, Mai. :)


I didn’t get a chance to write any official commentary on your piece, since it came to me during crunch time, so I was eager to share my thoughts on it.


And my work has been published a few times in print before, though only on a local level. Until I started submitting to Polyphony Lit, most of my work was published through a program in Pittsburgh called the Ralph Munn Creative Writing Contest. If you’re interested in reading some of my pieces (the ones that I wrote a year ago *cringe*), then you might be able to find them in PDF form if you google “Ralph Munn Creative Writing Anthology 2018.”


But what about you? Has any of your work been published elsewhere, and do you plan to submit elsewhere in the future?

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