about blood orange

How do the oranges divide up
sunlight in the orange tree?
Did salt’s teeth come
from a bitter mouth?
– from The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda

blood orange is an experimental poetry tarot project edited by katie o’brien. Right now, the project lives online, publishing poems inspired by tarot cards until we reach a full deck — you can find out which cards have been published and which are still waiting for the right poem here. We want your ritual, your sentimentality, the pulp squeezing blood through your fingers. We do not shy away from the intersection of poetry and politic here. The dream is to one day publish this project as a physical tarot deck of poetry.

blood orange is committed to publishing radical and diverse works. We strongly encourage Indigenous folks, Black folks, racialized folks, transgender and nonbinary folks, Muslim and Jewish folks, disabled folks, poor folks, immigrants and refugees, queer folks, fat folks, and sex workers to submit here. We are unapologetically anti-cop, anti-military, and anti-capitalist. There will never be a cost to submitting work. For more information on how to submit, please check out our call for submissions.

blood orange uses gender-inclusive language, taking inspiration from Noel Heimpel’s Numinous Tarot. This doesn’t mean that poems in this deck will be devoid of gender — rather, explorations and critiques of gender are welcome here. The titles of the cards have simply been un-gendered to leave more space for expansion and creativity.

our funding

Right now, blood orange is mostly funded out of our editor’s pocket. In an effort to make this project more sustainable long-term, we have started a Patreon where community members can help financially support blood orange. We are so grateful to the following individuals for their support!

  • Vivienne Wilson
  • Alyssa Bluhm
  • Erin Emily Ann Vance

our editor

katie o’brien (they/them) is a queer, nonbinary, white settler originally from St. John’s, Ktaqamkuk (the Mi’kmaq name for the island colonially known as Newfoundland), on the unceded territory of the Beothuk. They currently live and work in Mohkínstsis (Calgary), in Treaty 7 territory. Treaty 7 is home to the Niitsitapi, comprising the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai First Nations; the Tsuut’ina First Nation; the Ĩyãħé Nakoda, comprising the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations; and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

katie’s poetry has been published in journals such as Riddle Fence, (parenthetical), and HYSTERIA. They were previously the Editor-in-Chief of NōD and are currently on the curatorial team of Woolf’s Voices. katie dislikes lying, sings a lot, and doesn’t kill bugs.

our visuals

The blood orange logo was designed by katie, using a photograph by Charles Deluvio. katie commissioned Philadelphia artist Hannah Reilly to create the collages for the virtual deck of blood orange.

Hannah Reilly (she/her) is a 23-year-old creative writer, designer, and digital collage artist. She is an obvious Pisces living, working, and mostly sleeping in the Greater Philadelphia area, on traditional, unceded Lenape lands. As an artist, Hannah is drawn to texture, jewel tones, and manifesto writing. As a human, she is drawn to love songs from the ’60s, crossword puzzles, and green nail polish.