Introducing July Westhale, Our 2018 Summer Resident

If you've been paying attention to our social media, you may have seen our announcement that July Westhale will be our summer resident for 2018. We're thrilled to welcome July, who was the winner of our annual Summer Residency Contest, judged this year by Ocean Vuong. In case you missed it, here's a little bit about July and a poem she was kind enough to share with us from their application:

July Westhale is the award-winning author of Trailer Trash (selected for the 2016 Kore Press Book Prize), The Cavalcade, and Occasionally Accurate Science. Her most recent poetry can be found in The National Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, CALYX, Rappahannock Review, Tupelo Quarterly, RHINO, Lunch Ticket, and Quarterly West. Her essays have been nominated for Best American Essays and have appeared in McSweeney’s, Autostraddle, and The Huffington Post. She is the 2018 University of Arizona Poetry Center Fellow.





He hits and hits. It’s hitting season,

and we’ve all come to watch. It’s high-risk.

He could get caught trying to steal.

He could be off-base, shooting

for another man’s place like that.

He looks discouraged. We sing

take me out. Everyone is singing.

Everyone is eating fistfuls

of peanuts and crackerjacks. He hits.

He gets a fly, by luck. We call this ‘out’.

He signals to a second man—they will cheat

a third. He hits and hits. He hits a man,

and the man must walk. He strikes,

but does not, himself, get to walk.

He fouls. He fouls over and over. We feel

bad about his fouling. We sing

root root root for the home. Home has plates

for everyone, and one diamond.

Home has many men. Home is divided.

Getting there is dirty, and requires hitting

but not striking. It requires switching sides,

and throwing curves. It requires cheating.

The point is: a man gets to go home.

This is called winning.