From Poetry Magazine

A Playlist for the July/August 2018 Issue

Image of the poet Lynn Melnick.

For our July/August 2018 playlist, we asked contributor Lynn Melnick 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.

At first I thought I’d pick one song per poem, but I quickly gave that up when I imagined how it might feel to have someone else pick a song to match with one of my own poems, and I worried it would be like when someone says, Oh you must see this movie, it’s so you! and then I see it and I’m like, What the hell are you trying to say about me?

So I decided to try to mirror the mood of the issue and each of its poems with music. There is so much in this issue of Poetry that speaks to place and displacement, to belonging, how we connect and how we don’t, to the problems of patriarchy and white supremacy and ableism, to the beauty and destruction of our planet, and to dreams—those we have for ourselves and those we have for others. Initially, I arranged this playlist by how it flowed with the progression of poems in the issue. And then, how reordering a book reminds you that a collection of poems might elicit a different meaning from one specific poem than if that same poem was presented in isolation, I took the playlist on its own terms, reordering the songs so that they flow better as a playlist. The songs may not match the flow of the issue poem-for-poem exactly, but the spirit is all there, I hope.

Important: I wanted this playlist to be beautiful and I wanted it, despite everything, to possess some joy—because it’s summer and we deserve joy!

Originally Published: July 6th, 2018
Quick Tags

Lynn Melnick is the author of Landscape with Sex and Violence (YesYes Books, 2017) and If I Should Say I Have Hope (YesYes Books, 2012). She serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. She grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in Brooklyn.