Possession Sound Poetry Series

The Possession Sound Poetry Series publishes two select books per year, chosen by the editors during an open reading period. It showcases books that align with our mission of supporting musical, language-driven work by established poets.

Our 2021 reading period is open from April 15, 2021, to 11:59 pm, May 31, 2021. Review guidelines and eligibility and submit your work via Submittable.


Volume 1

The Lachrymose Report
Sierra Nelson
November 2018
106 pp.

Sierra Nelson’s poems are hypotheses of the evanescent world – its evaporations and evasions, its silences and speeches. “All ears, all eyes, all senses at attention,” Nelson examines the tenuous tentacles that connect humans, plants, and animals, that tether us to the past – detailing the surreptitiousness of joy, the necessity of loss, how a body is changed by everything it encounters. Line by line The Lachrymose Report reveals how language, like feeling, originates deep in every cell, as the wonder of these poems unfolds on an evolutionary scale.

Sample poem: “The First Photograph”

Praise for The Lachrymose Report

Nelson’s poems are flowcharts of feeling, investigations into the ephemeral and the infinite. She documents the biology of being too alive.

—Rebecca Hoogs, author of Self-Storage

“We arranged the question marks / like a bouquet to catch the light.” The bright, bird-mind behind the poems of The Lachrymose Report sees the world and its questions in the best kind of strange light. It riffs on bits of sound, creating new song; it picks up moments of science, art, history, and daily life, weaving them into strange nests of words. “Looking at each other, / you and I hold fast / to our own dark matter – / like olives to their pits – / nursing our tenuous gravities.” Sierra Nelson makes a wondrous strange music of the sorrows of the world and plumbs vulnerable, treacherous depths in such a way that allows the reader to approach them safely and return enlivened. I’m grateful this collection is in the world.

—Elizabeth Bradfield, author of Approaching Ice and Once Removed


SierraSierra Nelson was awarded the Carolyn Kizer Prize from Poetry Northwest in 2014. Her previous books include the chapbook In Case of Loss (Toadlily Press), and lyrical choose-your-own-adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press). She teaches creative writing at the Richard Hugo House, Centrum, Seattle Children’s Hospital through Writers in the Schools (WITS), and the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories and Summer Writers in Rome programs. Nelson is also a founding member of the performance collaborations The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, and president of Seattle’s Cephalopod Appreciation Society.


Please join us for the official book launch for The Lachrymose Report

Friday, November 2, 7:30 pm
Nii Modo Art Gallery
4453 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103

Sponsored by OPEN BOOKS
More details here