Christina Lovin


“Torch Singer” was written as an assignment for a poetry workshop under the fabulous poet Bruce Smith. I conferred with a friend (a writer, but non-poet) about the assignment and, between the two of us, we came up with the idea of using the Statue of Liberty as the subject. We created a rather lengthy back story about the statue leaving her pedestal, donning leather, and becoming a dominatrix on the streets of NYC deep in the night. I also did some research on the creation of the statue and the subsequent poem written about her (“Give me your tired…”) and was reminded of her French background, which becomes the center of her own story: “Do not forget that I am French—”). The poem took on a [second] life of its own at that point. My advice to those writing persona poems is to learn more about your subject than you will ever need, just as a good fiction writer does when creating characters.




Torch Singer

Do not forget that I am French--
My bosom strains in moiré satin soutien-gorge
beneath this deshabille of weeping green
and when the harbor heat runs molten copper
through the silks, and gathers under catches
on my corset bands, I clench my thighs
just so, but you will never know, unless
I let you see the vacant pleasure
in my rolled back eyes, and feel the quiver
shudder down into my curling toes.


"Torch Singer" originally appeared in Off the Coast, a Maine Journal.


435569-1587951-thumbnail.jpgChristina Lovin is the author of the chapbooks, What We Burned for Warmth and Little Fires # 55 in the New Women’s Voice Poetry Series from Finishing Line Press. An award-winning poet (most recently, the AWP WC&C Scholarship), her work is widely published and anthologized. Recently named the Emerging Poet by the Southern Women Writers’ Conference, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from New England College. Lovin teaches college writing courses and presents writing workshops in and around Central Kentucky. She is the recipient of several artists’ grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.