Podcast Episode 8: water-logged roots

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Hi everyone, my name is Catherine Rockwood and today on the Reckoning Magazine Podcast, I’ll be reading “water-logged roots” by Cislyn Smith, which is a poem that’s featured in Reckoning 6.

We want to start a practice on the podcast of talking a little bit about what we loved about the pieces that are in the magazine. And so I’m just going to say a little bit about what particularly draws me to “water-logged roots” as a poem and how I see it applying to climate justice, which is our theme as a publication. When I first read “water-logged roots” when it came through in the submissions, one of the first things I was struck by is how skillfully it uses visual images of a world turned upside-down and then sort of enchants the images so they become part of a knowledge-gathering dialogue. And this is a dialogue with the dryad in the poem, which is just, like, it’s so wonderful! But this dialogue really moves the narrator from the place where she first stands, outside her family home in the aftermath of a hurricane, to a place where she can imagine taking a next step that doesn’t leave her as stuck in where she is and what she’s doing. And it’s not a decision without cost, but it’s an extremely pivotal moment and an adaptive moment. So again, personally speaking I loved the way Cislyn’s poem took an image of climate destruction and began to think about it in very compelling adaptive ways, tying all this to extremely striking imagery.

So here we go. We’ll start with Cislyn’s biography.

(Bio below.)

“water-logged roots” by Cislyn Smith


Author: Cislyn Smith

Cislyn Smith (she/her) likes playing pretend, playing games, and playing with words. She grew up in Florida but calls Madison, Wisconsin her home now. She has been known to crochet tentacles, write stories at odd hours, and study stone dead languages. She is occasionally dismayed by the lack of secret passages in her house. Cislyn’s poems and stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Diabolical Plots, and Daily Science Fiction, among other places. She is a first reader for Uncanny Magazine and Giganotosaurus, a graduate of the Viable Paradise Workshop, and one of the founding members of the Dream Foundry.

Author: Catherine Rockwood

Catherine Rockwood lives in MA. Poems in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Liminality, Psaltery & Lyre, and elsewhere. She reviews books for Strange Horizons, spends a lot of time chasing after three stubborn children and trying to get them to read fantasy literature, and depends heavily on coffee, gardening, and her poetry-writing group.

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