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Mx. Emma Wynn Publishes First Book of Poetry

Mx. Emma Wynn Publishes First Book of Poetry

Mx. Emma Wynn Publishes First Book of Poetry


Mx. Wynn’s book features cover art by Zoe Wilson ’19.

Staff Writer

May 18, 2023

Bastien Sever '26

Mx. Emma Wynn, instructor in history, philosophy, and religion, published their first poetry collection, The World is Our Anchor, in February. 

Mx. Wynn’s poetry has appeared in multiple print and online journals. Their first chapbook, Help Me to Fall, won the 2019 Moonstone Arts Center chapbook contest. The World is Our Anchor is a collection of free-verse poems on a variety of themes, including human brutality, the natural world, and queer historical figures struggling in secret to escape “a buried kind of life.” 

As a teacher, Mx. Wynn’s writing works hand in hand with the subject matter of their LGBTQ+ U.S History course. Poems in the book’s central section came out of research they did while building the curriculum for that course. 

In the book’s only poem written in metered verse, “Comfort from Abroad,” Mx. Wynn explores Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with his friend, Joshua Speed. Lincoln and Speed were roommates and shared a bed for four years. When the two were forced to separate due to Speed’s marriage, Lincoln was heartbroken and became suicidal. 

Drawing on their inimate letters to one another, Mx. Wynn imagines Speed comforting Lincoln on his impending marriage, writing: “Love, very shortly you will again feel well / You and I were strangers once, so might her face grow sweet / Know the heart can fall again that fell.” Speaking about their inspiration, Mx. Wynn said, “When I was reading [Speed and Lincoln’s] letters, I had this feeling that they were holding something back. Their letters are very formal, but you could infer that behind them was all these things they could not say. ” 

Although some of their poems may speak especially to members of the LGBTQ+ community, Mx. Wynn said, “I don’t have a target audience; my work is for anyone who loves poetry and language.” From a young age, Mx. Wynn has had a passion for poetry. They wrote throughout elementary school, high school, and college, but didn’t have much time to write as a young teacher starting a career and family. They returned to writing four years ago while working on a project with Zoe Wilson ’19. Wilson’s artwork, “Suspension,” is on the cover of The World is Our Anchor. 

Mx. Wynn has given a number of public readings of their book, including at the Scoville Public Library in Salisbury and at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in New York City, where they were joined by fellow poet Ms. Janan Alexndra, instructor in English. 

The World is Our Anchor is available in the Edsel Ford Memorial Library.

Bastien Sever is a staff writer for The Record,

February 1st

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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