National Poetry Month Day 24: Bianca Lynne Spriggs


Affrilachian Poet and Cave Canem Fellow Bianca Lynne Spriggs is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Lexington, Kentucky. Currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky, she holds degrees from Transylvania University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Named as one of the Top 30 Performance Poets in the country by The Root, Bianca is the recipient of the 2016 Sallie Bingham Award, a 2013 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry, Artist Enrichment and Arts Meets Activism grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Bianca is the author of Kaffir Lily (Wind Publications, 2010), How Swallowtails Become Dragons (Accents Publishing, 2011), Call Her by Her Name (Northwestern University Press, 2016), and The Galaxy Is a Dance Floor (Argos Books, 2016), as well as the co-editor for Circe’s Lament: An Anthology of Wild Women (Accents Publishing, 2016) and the forthcoming Undead: Ghouls, Ghosts, and More (Apex Publications, 2017).

Bianca is the Literary Arts Liaison for the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, creator and program director for The SwallowTale Project: Creative Writing for Incarcerated Women, as well as the Managing Editor for pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Art & Culture.


Nocturne for Edisto Island

The sound of one’s own breath.

Then cacophony—bullfrogs—
their organ-low chords bellow
to one another across the pond
until dawn.

Dusk brims with cricket hymns,
makes a choir hall of trees.

Underscore—the slow timpani roll
of truck wheels—interlopers—
down Manse Road.

Silver moonlight cascades
into shards between the high pines,
splintered by moss left adrift
like holiday tinsel along the limbs
of centuries-old oaks
(by day, this is so much green
the eyes cannot swallow it).

Bare feet lead the way over stone,
over pine needles, over fallen leaves
side-step a swift brown lizard,
a green-gray frog no larger than a penny,
tremulous webs arching overhead.

Scent of salt.
Scent of marsh.
Citronella incense thick, fog-low.

Then the waxing gibbous moon,
that incandescent satellite—
oh, the luster of moonlight basking
among the roots of trees again.

Small bodies rifle through
the underbrush and the night—
they pay you no mind, assume
since you’ve been sitting so still for so long,
you are just as wild and irreverent as they.

And at this moment,
so very far away
from where you are from,
aren’t you?

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →