Rattle's winter issue features a special section of poetry entitled “Tribute to Mental Health Workers,” which includes poetry on a variety of issues in the field, from Alzheimer’s to therapists to hospital workers. While some poems delve into the grief and sadness of these illnesses, others approach them with hope. Gwenn A. Nusbaum’s poem “Hospital, Spring,” is one such poem, describing a man waiting during his wife’s surgery, while “babies are being born.” This section also includes an interesting article by Maryhelen Snyder, “The Art of Waiting: The Parallels of Poetry and Therapy.”
This issue also announces the Rattle Poetry Prize winner, Patricia Smith, for her poem “Tavern. Tavern. Church. Shuttered Tavern,” a fast-paced free verse poem detailing the store fronts and small buildings in a city. The poem, with its long lines and nonstop description, gives one the feeling of riding through a city in a bus, which is referred to in the last line “the only route out of the day we’re riding through.” The Rattle Poetry Prize honorable mentions include Michele Battiste, Heidi Garnett, Valentina Gnup, francine j. harris, Courtney Kampa, Devon Miller-Duggan, Andrew Nurkin, Laura Read, and Scott Withiam.
Artwork is by Mia Barkan Clarke, and the issue concludes with two interviews, one with Ted Kooser and the other with William O’Daly.