Poetry Month Spotlight

Angela Trudell Vasquez

Artist Statement

My work is infused with nature. I am a poet of place as much as anything. I observe the world around me, suss it out, and sculpt it on the page. I love theory and spend large amounts of time exploring the stanzas in my brain, reading, being immersed in art and in the wild. I harvest my free writes for poems quite often. Sometimes lines come to me in dreams. I write to discover what it is I am thinking. This is my way of approaching the page.


Space Time



We are magic dying.

Pink peonies gasp tight ants assist open petals

no peony exists without ministrations of light

brick wall frames space between drive

a garden of red clay pots brightens balcony

all balconies lit with green light caress eyes

eyes mystery, upset images transform in skull

how we got here is fought over in courtrooms

people pretend to be god brandish fire sticks

hands tools, nails weapons

a newborn is a garden of purple heirloom potatoes

an angel reads minds from her high chair, babbles

mother feeds child smashed orange skin sweet potatoes with tiny spoon.

We are most vulnerable when we sit at the table with fork and knife.






Early rose light calls from window

jack rabbits bound

flight occurs on ground.

Where are my crow friends?

Hawk brown circles school bathed in blue light

students descend stairs fade into brilliance

talks done talk begins

black pen scratches white paper

mind waxes                 sheds peacock feathers.

How do you begin to think mired in thought and self-doubt?

Walk clears canvas, blank sheets beg

pull feet to mountain ascend.




The dew spools in the far corner of the pasture,
a black and white Holstein dairy cow
licks her newborn calf clean.
Her pink tongue unfolding.
Emerald field grass stripes blink.
The calf looks over the hill
past barb wire fences, inter-
state traffic, rolling green
hills and faded white farmhouses,
across the north plains
towards the coral orb,
the heat of the rising sun
for the first time…

Sobs wrench my body cavity
for all in captivity. Tears
flood my shirt.
I pull over.

Let me sit in sadness for a spell.

I need to write this out.

……….Died in her sleep.

……….Her sister threw herself in front of a truck.

……….Leaves behind three daughters.
……….Her father called her, Negrita.
……….The other two sisters were fair.

The mother
bathes her calf
mist rising
love, a pink tongue
in the morning
licks its forehead
dew blinks grass
fog lingers around their ankles
a vision
culled from the herd that crowds the hill.


“Space Time” was published first by Yellow Medicine Review and appears in the collection In Light, Always Light published by Finishing Line Press in 2019.

“Because” is from the collection In Light, Always Light published by Finishing Line Press in 2019.

About Angela Trudell Vasquez

Angela (Angie) Trudell Vasquez is a second- and third-generation Mexican-American writer, editor, small publisher, and the current poet laureate of Madison, Wisconsin (2020-2024). She holds an MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Finishing Line Press published her collections, In Light, Always Light, in May 2019, and My People Redux, in January 2022. In 2021, she attended the Macondo Writers Workshop started by Sandra Cisneros, and became a fellow, also known as a Macondista. She is the current chair of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. Her work has appeared most recently in Yellow Medicine Review, Sheltering with Poems, In Other Words, Hope is the Thing, Poem-A-Day, and can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website.

Find out more at www.angietrudellvasquez.com, www.artnightbooks.com, on Facebook and on Instagram.

Check out her new project, Poet in Residence with Madison Public Library, March to May 2022.

National Poetry Month

Photo by Nicole Taylor

National Poetry Month

BMP Celebrates National Poetry Month

As the pandemic has continued into its second year, we at Brain Mill are thinking about spaces & places: how we exist in space, the importance of access, and the particulars of navigating places. We have gathered together in ways that may have been new to us over the last few years, greeting each other in small squares of connectivity, developing relationship and care with virtual check-ins, follows, and voices translated via technology. In our best moments we have learned to listen; in our worst, we have been caught up by all the ways we need to do better and think more deeply about community systems and for whom entry is barred.