Three Poems

By Rachel Edelman
1. Dear Memphis,
Headshot of Rachel Edelman

As a Southern Jewish poet writing about lineages of privilege and power, Rachel Edelman has always known the feeling of being from, but not of, a place. She grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, a city built on enslavement, reshaped by the 1960s civil rights uprisings, and dead-set in Christian hegemony.  After she left, she came to understand how her tightly-knit Jewish community espoused a dedication to racial justice while failing to reckon with their loyalty to whiteness. From that paradoxical sense of displacement and belonging, her manuscript, Dear Memphis, negotiates the intersection of identity and society where she now stands. Rachel was a finalist for the 2020 National Poetry Series, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Threepenny Review, Wildness, Poetry Northwest, and many other journals. She holds an MFA from the University of Washington and a BA in English and geology from Amherst College. These days, she teaches high school English from her home in Seattle.

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