Mid-American Review poetry staff selected “Wolf Tours: Special Full Moon Excursion” by Alyse Knorr for publication in Volume 42.1 

In MAR, we gravitate toward poems that create a peculiar and uncanny feeling in the readers. Knorr’s poem was selected for its overall strength, particularly the lyrical meter and cadence. The poem successfully takes on the mystical world of werewolves and holds so much weight in the world being created. According to Managing Editor Mary Simmons, “It’s a short poem, but it holds so much weight.” In poetry, editors look for poems that we cannot get out of our heads. Knorr evokes the unshakableness we aim to capture in MAR. Knorr’s poem elicits the feeling of reading a ghost story in late October under the covers with a flashlight. After reading “Wolf Tours: Special Full Moon Excursion,” readers are left to contemplate painful bones in a new place where the poet asks, “Will you choose to accept, or will you choose to allow? / The bones will hurt most, and they will not be speedy.” 

“I love that this is a werewolf poem that is so lyrical and subtle. I’m a huge fan of folklore and myth, and the way Knorr weaves that in with haunting imagery and beautiful cadence is particularly enchanting. My favorite thing about this poem is how easy it is to get lost in.” ––Mary Simmons, Managing Editor 2023-2024

“The moment I knew I would fight for this poem was the line ‘You’ve never had enough / legs or teeth.’ Along with the title, I love how Knorr works with the ideas of transitions, the feeling of never having enough (never being enough), journeys, and the inevitable. The line coming after, ‘The less you want to hurt someone, the more likely you will,’ feels like a connection of all those ideas: the wanting to change, the inevitability, the feeling of never being enough (or not quite right). I think this section is so well crafted and thought out. I also love the question of accepting versus allowing; the subtlety in those words, questioning whether actually have agency or just let things happen. The full moon, the wolves, the transitions, the wanting, the allowing. So good.” ––Michael Beard, Managing Editor 2022-2023 

––Elly Salah, Mid-American Review