The Space Poet
by Samantha Edmonds
publication date: March 15, 2020
Winner of the 2018 Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest, selected by Tatiana Ryckman
In this hybrid work of prose and poetry, Samantha Edmonds tells the story of an artist—the first in space—sent by NASA to the International Space Station on a mission to make the stars accessible to those left on the ground. Nimbly pairing themes of queerness, religious guilt, and an uneasy search for belonging with scientific theories about multiverses, universal consciousness, and habitability on other planets, The Space Poet stands at the edges of human reach, out in the black where nothing can live, and dares to imagine a home.
Praise for The Space Poet:
"What if NASA hadn’t canceled their plans to send a series of civilians—a teacher, a journalist, a poet—to space? What if the space poet were a reluctant traveler with imposter syndrome, a recent breakup, and an unerring eye for the details that make life in space uncomfortable, strange, and beautiful?"
—Margaret Lazarus Dean, author of Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Space Flight
"It’s understandable that the narrator of Samantha Edmonds’ The Space Poet wants to get away from earth—the politics, the dying planet, the Pentecostal family who would reject her for the woman she loves. This lyric meditation of space, longing, and the queer female experience explores the endless distances we must cross for what and whom we love."
—Erin Elizabeth Smith, author of The Naming of Strays
Samantha Edmonds is the author of the chapbooks Pretty to Think So (Selcouth Station Press, 2019) and The Space Poet (Split/Lip Press, 2020). Her fiction has appeared in such journals as Mississippi Review, Black Warrior Review, Pleiades, The Pinch, Indiana Review, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency, among others. Her nonfiction has been published in The Rumpus, Literary Hub, Ploughshares, VICE, Bustle, and more. She holds an MA in creative writing from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA from the University of Tennessee. Originally from Ohio, she now lives in Columbia, MO, where she's a PhD candidate in fiction at the University of Missouri. Visit her online at www.samanthaedmonds.com