Summer Reading: Poetry Editor Megan Peak

I spend most of my summers back home in Texas, where the heat makes you a little lethargic and more than thankful for air conditioning. This summer, when I wasn’t outside gardening or biking with my family, I was reading Lauren Berry’s The Lifting Dress, an amazing first collection that chronicles the emotions and internal anxieties of a girl after a traumatic event. Set in the south, full of wasps and red landscapes and budding teendom, this book creates worlds that are familiar and foreign, ruined and redemptive, tender and wise. I’m set to read Bianca Stone’s Someone Else’s Wedding Vows. I also try to read some prose during my time off since I don’t have much time during the year to read that. My favorite was Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt, which is going to be a movie with Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson (my idol!), and Adichie’s Americanah.

Summer is the time for binge-watching, and I did exactly that. From True Detective to the second season of Orange is the New Black, I found myself quite inspired and satisfied with the stories and plots on these shows. McConaughey and Harrelson were fabulous together in the grungy swamps of Louisiana. Poetic dialogue, eerie landscapes, despicable characters. Let’s just say I finished that series in about two days.

In terms of music, I found a great band via my father’s excellent taste. I’ve been listening to the indie-pop band PHOX, who are originally from Wisconsin. Monica Martin’s voice is killer and songs like “Slow Motion,” “In Due Time,” and “Evil” have been on repeat for the past month. Great summer songs—catchy, poetic lyrics with a good-looking six-piece band. Check ‘em out!


Megan Peak is a poetry editor for The Journal and a third-year student in The Ohio State University’s MFA program. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in A cappella Zoo, The Bakery, Banango Street, The Boiler Journal, DIAGRAM, Four Way Review, Muzzle, North American Review, PANK, The Pinch, Pleiades, Split Lip, Stone Highway Review, THRUSH Poetry Journal, and Tupelo Quarterly.