From Poetry Magazine

A Playlist for Poetry’s September 2017 Issue

For our September 2017 playlist, we asked contributor Tyler Mills to curate a selection of music for us. You can read about her approach to creating the playlist below. Click here to open the playlist in your Spotify app.

As I think about this issue of Poetry, I think about loss, sorrow, love, and violence. These poems speak of an earth troubled with xenophobia, racism, war, and ecological crises. These poems sing with beauty through these troubles, calling forth what it means to be human. Thinking about a Spotify playlist for this issue was a tough order, as I am humbled by the task and in awe of the work presented in the issue.

When I was putting my playlist together, I thought about the mixed CDs my sister used to make for me (which is why a track from Feist’s latest album is on this list). I thought about Empress Of’s amazing performance that I saw at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. I thought about Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s fantastic song “Meticulous Bird,” which I watched Thao Nguyen perform in a dive in Albuquerque as a man catcalled her before he was thrown out. After, Thao dedicated the song to all the women who have had to face that kind of bullshit. I thought of Janelle Monáe’s “Dance Apocalyptic”—with lyrics I love and a beat that makes me want to dance. I thought about A Tribe Called Quest’s gorgeous song “Melatonin.” I recently discovered Noura Mint Seymali while I was thinking about this playlist, and I am obsessed with the song “Tzenni,” which refers to an ecstatic spinning dance. As I put this playlist together, I chose artists who I thought might connect with the gorgeous and powerful work in the September issue. I hope that wherever this playlist finds you, it gives you joy.

Originally Published: September 8th, 2017

Tyler Mills is the author of Tongue Lyre (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013). She is editor-in-chief of The Account, teaches at New Mexico Highlands University, and lives in Santa Fe.