April 22 – Kari Gunter-Seymour

Lorenzo Judges

Welcome to National Poetry Month and Gyroscope Review’s month-long celebration of poets – and their diverse Writing Assistants. Enjoy the audio/video works by previous Gyroscope Review poets and be sure to check out the Author and fun Writing Assistant Bio at the end of each NPM poet post. Don’t forget to tag the poet on Social Media and let them know you enjoyed their work!

Rorschach Test

Rorschach Test

Consider daffodil blades 
in the crackling cold of February, 
those green thumbs up
breaking through earth’s rind,
obliterating doubt—what’s left 
of winter suddenly endurable.

What tethers us to the tentative,
to contingencies, to the life force  
we are designed to abandon from birth? 

I am reluctant to call it destiny, knowing 
too well which neuroses rush forth 
from that word, sifted through lobes 
and sockets to lubricate our worry. 

Listen—there are things to love 
about failure too. Sometimes 
we make mistakes, call them coincidence, 
trapped like thirsty sponges
between memory and the moment, 
our imagined selves the deal we make.

Aren’t most of us in fact still children 
mishandling oversized bodies,
echoing songs seeded in our mind’s eye?  		

We pump our legs on a playground swing, 
avoid the dare to jump, the grass 
beneath our feet heeled to death, 
the slaughtered ground a pit of sharps 
and flats, scars the shape of shattered        
hearts stamped into our elbows and knees.

First print: Writing in a Women’s Voice


Gunter-Seymour’s writing helper is served in a tall, insulated plastic tumbler, with a screw-on lid that occasionally and without notice, decides to flip its seal and spill the hot hazelnut-flavored elixir contained within, causing all matter of calamity. In its defense, it is at least ten years old and has traveled the country with the poet many times over. But it’s the elixir, made golden with oatmilk, sucked through a bright red straw that is magic. Lord knows she can’t get through a day without it. Believe me, she has tried!

Writing Assistant cup


Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour focuses on lifting up underrepresented voices including incarcerated adults and women in recovery. Her collection Alone in the House of My Heart received the 2023 ABF Best Book Award. She is an artist in residence for the Writing the Land project, a Pillars of Prosperity Fellow for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, the founder/executive director of the Women of Appalachia Project, and editor of its anthology series Women Speak. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily, Poem of the Week, World Literature Today, The New York Times, and Poem-a-Day.


Dirt Songs
Order here: https://eastoverpress.com/books/poetry/dirt-songs-by-kari-gunter-seymour/

Alone In the House of My Heart
Order here: https://www.ohioswallow.com/9780804012430/alone-in-the-house-of-my-heart/

A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen

Order here: https://sheilanagigblog.com/sheila-na-gig-editions-quick-shopping/kari-gunter-seymour/

Don’t forget to read the Spring 2024 Issue of Gyroscope Review.

NPM 2024 Poets

April 1 – Cal Freeman

April 2 – Susanna Lang

April 3 – Marion Brown

April 4 – Melissa Huff

April 5 – Elaine Sorrentino

April 6 – Alison Stone

April 7 – Alexandra Fössinger

April 8 – Laurie Kuntz

April 9 – Dick Westheimer

April 10 – Wendy McVicker

April 11 – J.I. Kleinberg

April 12 – Ellen Austin-Li

April 13 – D. Dina Friedman

April 14 – Connie Post

April 15 – Georgina Key

April 16 – Judith McKenzie

April 17 – Jacqueline Jules

April 18 – Amanda Hayden

April 19 – Lisa Zimmerman

April 20 – Richard Jordan

April 21 – Beth Kanell

April 22 – Kari Gunter-Seymour