Alexa Dilworth is an editor and a writer, of poetry and prose, based in Durham, North Carolina. While at NES, she has continued work on a book-length poem, called for now A Natural History of the Spleen. “The catalyst for the poem was a reference to the ‘history of the location of the soul’ in an essay I was reading, which led me to a journal article about the ‘moral purpose of the human body.’ Aristotle, like the Egyptians, thought the soul was housed primarily in the heart, but when I pulled on this bit of thread and read more, I learned that the ancient Greek word ‘kardia’ meant heart, yes, but also mind, stomach, spleen, a hollow vessel, the inner part of something—the pith (of wood), the depth (of the sea). I wondered, if the soul lived in an organ like the spleen, what happened if the spleen was removed? What filled that space . . . was it still a space? Did the knowledge of what was missing create a unique kind of consciousness?” While at NES, Alexa has also found herself working on a series of poems about the environments she’s encountered in Iceland, whether natural (the landscape, the shore) or manmade (the library). You can find her on Instagram @acdilworth.