Contributor Spotlight: Philip Arnold

“I, Vulture,” “The Natural History of a Blade,” and “Old Machine” by Philip Arnold appeared in Issue 18 and can be read here.

We’d love to hear a little more about this set of poetry.

These poems, and the manuscript to which they belong, articulate my experiences living in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. New growth and old, the forms of nature and the tools by which we mark the natural world around us–are the poems’ chief interests.

What was the most difficult part of these pieces?

As with all my writing, just finding the words that best capture the experience(s) that a poem addresses. For I, Vulture–I did have to work a bit at the tone of the poem, and ruminate (and speculate) on a vulture’s perspective on facilitating death’s business.    

Recommend a book for us which was published within the last decade.

Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane. I’m such a big fan, I would add a few more he has written: The Old Ways, Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places.

If you could have a drink with any living author, who would it be? Why?

Given how influential Robert Macfarlane’s writing has been to my views on the role language plays in mediating our relationship with the natural world, it would have to be a couple pints with him in a British pub.  

What are you working on now? What’s next?

I’m working on a few poems about my experiences in the Faroe Islands, whose surreal seascape I visited this past summer.

Our thanks to Philip for taking the time to answer a few questions and share his work. Read Philip’s poems “I, Vulture,” “The Natural History of a Blade,” and “Old Machine” here:


Philip Arnold’s poetry has appeared in The Iowa Review, Rattle, Midwest Quarterly, Sou’wester, Southern Poetry Reviewand abroad in The Galway Review, The New Shetlander, Northwords and Corbel Stone Press. Lone Willow Press published his chapbook, The Border Life. He is the recipient of a 2016 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council.