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by Shelly Bryant


the whole earth wandered
in search of her lost love
only to find him in Byblos
at rest beneath palm fronds
not a single feast missing
in the halls of its king

* * *

Shelly Bryant splits her time between Singapore and Shanghai, sometimes teaching English literature, and sometimes studying Chinese language. Her first poetry collection, Cyborg Chimera, was released in 2009, and her second is due out later this year. Besides working with speculative poetry, she does some nonfiction writing. Her loves for travel and writing intermingle in the Pocket Guide to Suzhou, which was published in May 2010 in Shanghai, China.

What do you think is the attraction of the fantasy genre?

I think the attraction to the fantasy genre lies in the way it triggers the reader's imagination, even as it hints at (never exhausts) the ranges of writer's imagination. It gives us a safe place to explore issues in the "real" world — those hard realities that are better examined when removed from the here and now, if we hope to gain the sort of distance that gives us a suitable perspective for proper contemplation.