Sound Like Trapped Thunder

Jessica Lind Peterson’s debut essay collection, Sound Like Trapped Thunder, is the winner of the 2020 Deborah

Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize, selected by Jenny Boully. To be released on March 15, 2021. Preorder here.

Sound Like Trapped Thunder was originally slated for a fall 2020 publication, but we have pushed its release back to the spring due to the COVID pandemic. As with all winning titles of the Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book prize, it will be published in lieu of a fall issue of Seneca Review. Subscribers will receive a copy of the book.

In essays on subjects ranging from seahorse mating rituals to an urgent letter addressing a grizzly bear, from a wounded hummingbird to an old woman following the call of a lonely whale, Jessica Lind Peterson explores tensions between domesticity and wildness, often discovering latent elements of magic within the mundane. Full of lyrical sentences, stylized prose, and moments that are by turns funny and poignant, and often both at once, Sound Like Trapped Thunder troubles the distinction between the human and the animal, calling into question such tidy categories we rely upon to help make sense of ourselves and the world we live in.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Dear readers and friends,

After the recent horrific deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and others, so many going back to before this country was even a country, we’ve spent much of our recent time thinking about how to support Black Lives Matter and the protesters around the country, who are doing beautiful, heroic work to dismantle police forces and reconceive of how to keep everyone safe, everyone. That it took terrible facts and video recordings of terrible murders to catalyze these protests—and that protestors have had to risk their lives further both by interacting with police and by protesting in the midst of a pandemic that disproportionately affects communities of color—is shocking and terrible. But the protests themselves have been full of deep, moving bravery, of strength, of solidarity. Because of the work of these protestors, real, meaningful change feels actually possible, even imminent.

We’ve thought a lot in recent days about how to support such change with our publication. Even as we write this, any response feels inadequate. Our budget, which is not endowed, was recently quite slashed. The journal has no money to give. So our unpaid senior editors decided to donate our own money in the service of the cause. Most of this money went to bailout funds split across multiple organizations and cities early on in the protests, when that need was especially great, including Black Lives Matter, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Louisville Community Bail Fund, National Bailout, George Floyd Memorial Fund, Atlanta Solidarity Fund, as well as a donation that was, at the time of donation, split evenly across 38 different bailout funds across the country. This is a start, and a thing that felt more meaningful to us, more actually useful, than statements of solidarity. But we need also to state our solidarity.

We have in the past tried to do more than just dedicate subsections of our courses and our journal to Black writers. But we can definitely do better. Right now, we’re planning to reach out to more Black writers, solicit directly from more Black writers, and therefore print more Black writers, buy and read more books by Black writers, review more books by Black writers, teach more Black writers, teach our kids and the kids in our local community about more Black writers, post about more Black writers on social media, invite more Black writers out to read at our school when such things are possible again, etc. Because Black writers matter.

In the meantime, we want to thank everyone who has been positively involved in this process of uplift and structural reconfiguration. After so little hope for so long, it is astonishing to feel the edges of possibility expanding. We will work to be part of that expansion, to open up our own possibilities.


In solidarity,

Seneca Review



Seneca Review's general submission period runs from February 1st through March 15th and from September 1st through October 15th.

You may submit poems and essays electronically through Submittable.

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Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.