[Dis]Connected is a surprisingly pleasant project of poetry and short fiction. Halket takes a dozen young poets and assigns them a task. First, they each contribute three poems. Second, they will be put into a random order and asked to choose one poem from the poet that they are paired with and write a short fiction influenced by that poem. The short fiction should contain a line or two from the poem but also be creative and not just a prose retelling of the poem.
Yena Sharma Purmasir writes the poem “Things That Aren’t True” and tells of her life in things that are not true about it. Ian S. Thomas takes the poem and weaves an eerie story about hitchhiking and paying what is owed. The poets do a wonderful job in their own poetry and an amazing job in the short fiction. The stories all have fine threads that tie it back to the poem. This becomes an amazing treat for the reader. Not only is the reader contemplating a poem but also discovering its relationship to a short story. At times it seems like solving a mystery when the reader’s mind clicks and sees a connection.
Halket presents an excellent selection of poets and offers much more diversity than usually seen in anthologies. Although she does praise social media for helping poetry, most lovers of poetry will be happy to know that there are no “Instagram sensations” and writers of platitudes in this selection. Here are real poets who also do a fantastic job at writing prose. [Dis]Connected is probably the most ambitious and impressive project I have read this year.