June 30, 2023

Barbara Maloutas (USA) 1945-2023

Barbara Maloutas (USA)

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 1945, Barbara Maloutas, the eldest daughter of a line of eldest daughters, was born of Quaker stock on her mother’s side and into the Catholic tradition of her father’s Irish family. Her father was a security director in Europe for ITT Industries, a global engineering and manufacturing company, so many of her younger years were spent abroad.
     From 1963 to 1969, Maloutas was a member of a religious community that ran hospitals and medical training centers around the world. Working in the art department of the order, she also studied at the Philadelphia College of Art, majoring in graphic design and photography. From 1970 to 1975 she worked on her Masters Degree at the Algemeine Gerwerbeshcule in Basel with Armin Hoffman and the influential typographer, Wolfgang Weingart.
     In 1972 she met the Greek businessman, Paul Maloutas in Brussels, and they were married in Switzerland, spending time over the next several years in both Switzerland and Greece. Upon returning to the United States, she helped her husband run a wholesale travel company, the main destination of which was Greece; so the couple continued with close relationship with that country. They retain an apartment in Athens and property in Ermioni on the Peloponessos.
     In 1988, Maloutas began teaching design and typography at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, and in 1996 became Assistant Chair in the Communication Arts Department. She started writing during the years she was studying design in Basel, Switzerland, and in 1994, while working at Otis and attending classes there, she had begun writing poetry and composing artist books. Her work has been published in several journals, including American Tanka, Aufgabe, Free Verse, Segue and Tarpelin Sky. Her first book of poetry, In a Combination of Practices was published by New Issues Press, and a chapbook, Practices, was published by The New Michigan Press.


Practices (Grand Rapids, Michigan: 2003); In a Combination of Practices (Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2004); Coffee Hazilly (Beard of Bees, 2007); The Whole Marie (Ashanta Press, 2008); Of Which Anything Consists  (Tuscon, Arizona: New Michigan Press, 2011)



way before breakfast

way before I usually     leave for work

I call Norma         she is east

this is business

I know her voice     hear

its voice-mail version     in

Saline     Michigan      over again     (must be lake-coastal—

the reference to salt)

it’s an either/or     take or leave and don’t ask        


what is time

what time is

who’s serving it     not why but what

for further details use the full-on

navigation system

a drag of knots        counting beats


press one

if you want to avoid

the long explanation

it may not apply


she is busy         stringing another line

or just not there or if still (still there)

around somewhere     used to almost

expecting a page  

            a full moon tangle


accidentally drawn tight

some quarter lapse of time

and we tie nerves     so bundled under star blood sails

my own voice crackles


(from The Whole Marie)

June 26, 2023

Campbell McGrath (USA) 1962

Campbell McGrath (USA)

Campbell McGrath was born in Chicago in 1962, grew up in Washington, D.C., and has lived mostly in Chicago, Manhattan, and Miami, where he cur-rently resides with his wife and two sons. He was educated at the University of Chicago and Columbia University, from which he received his M.F.A. in 1988. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and, since 1993, in the M.F.A program at Florida International University, where he is the Philip and Patricia Frost Professor of Creative Writing.
     His first book, Capitalism, was a Wesleyan New Poets selection in 1990, and his subsequent books have been published by The Ecco Press. Following the publication of his third book, Spring Comes to Chicago, in 1996, McGrath received a number of honors, including the Kingsley Tufts Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. Three more Ecco Press books have followed, as well as Heart of Anthracite: Collected Prose Poems, from Stride books in England.
     His writing often focuses on American history, culture, and landscape because it’s what he knows and cares about most deeply, and because the explanations America owes the world might best be delivered by its poets. He often casts his poems in prose, and does not believe the perceived distinction between “prose” and “verse” is particularly meaningful or consequential. He admires the flexibility of omnivorousness of poetry as a medium for exploring and documenting the world. His heroes include Woody Guthrie, Vincent Van Gogh, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and his future projects include a three-volume poetic investigation of Elvis Presley’s afterlife in purgatory.


Capitalism (Hanover, New Hampshire: Wesleyan University Press, 1990); American Noise (Hopewell, New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1993); Spring Comes to Chicago (Hopewell, New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1996); Road Atlas (Hopewell, New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1999); Florida Poems (New York: Ecco Press/HarperCollins, 2002); Pax Atomica (New York: Ecco Press / HarperCollins, 2004);  Heart of Anthracite: Prose Poems, 1980-2005 (Exeter, England: Stride Press, 2005); Seven Notebooks (New York: Ecco Press, 2008); Shannon: A Poem of  Other Poems (Floating Wolf Quarterly, 2011);  In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys (New York: Ecco Press, 2012); Nouns & Verbs: New and Selected Poems (New York: Ecco Press, 2019)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English

The Glann Road

Artichoke and thistle: two purples.
Artichoke, thistle, salsify, clover, lavender, loosestrife.
Blue is another country, another realm or province,

blue is a fiefdom unknown to the bees who gang the beds of heather, heads bowed and beaded in [fealty to the Land of Nod.

Clouds are another story altogether,
clouds in their pilgrimage across that starry
demesne, another lifetime, future and past
erased like the rib-blue slate that
floors the lake in sheets as terse as syllables.

Gaillimh: curragh, longboat, hooker. A white horse in the meadow.

Hydrangea the color of melon rind; of indigo, oyster shell, guelder rose.
Hydrangea in the meadow the color of mist, of the piebald mule seeking shelter

beneath the giant oak
islanded in an ocean of black wasps drunk on clover flower.
Joy of the nectar-sated, the smoke-holy,
Kevin in the sanctity of his cold-water tribulation
long before whomever it was
left these ruins of monastic simplicity
marooned amid the heath and ancient yews,
nave, bier, cist,
oracle or temple, scatter of fieldstone, crusheen like a transmitter
pulsing devotion, whatever energy that is, radiant as faith,
quasar or saturnic ring, the stolid earth, its moon,
rocks in a high and lonely place,
six round cobbles from the waters of Lough Corrib,
stones in their orphanhood, their antigravitational hegira,
their lithic ascension
toward fields of hagiographic light.

To locate the self without compass on a lake of many islands,
teal against alum, topaz on shale.
To defend the ancient tower from the piracy of the other, floribunda the color of sea-salt, fist of [the artichoke cloaked in thistle.
To relent. To surrender to the hydrangea. To give oneself over to the blossoming
tendrils of the sweat pea vine,
their vellum prolixity
trellised against a hayrick of rain and a rainbow gone
underground. And the green snake,

vivid as myth, dreaming the spiral of a pre-Celtic divinity,

wild swans in a cove of reeds, a prayer to Saint Francis
Xavier, cerulean offerings to Elatha or Cernunnos,
yesterday's cuttings to propitiate a blue goddess:

zinnia, witches' thimble, chicory, forget-me-not.

Reprinted from Electronic Poetry Review, no. 7 (June 2005). Copyright 2005 by Campbell McGrath.

June 24, 2023

David Barnett (England / lived Wales) 1929-2022

David Barnett (England / lived Wales)

Born in England in 1929, David Barnett was educated at a boys’ grammar school and, after National Service in Germany, at Oxford University, where he read Modern History. He took a variety of odd jobs before sailing to Malaysia and Thailand, where he spent six months with mostly remote tribal people.
     After a spell in advertising, he traveled around the world for several years, with long stays in India, Australia, Tahiti and Mexico. He later taught in the inner London schools of ten years before moving to Wales.

     Barnett described himself as a vegan who ate mostly raw food; he became the owner of Aardvark Wholefoods in Wales. He ran marathons and walked prodigiously through the beautiful Welsh countryside, dancing frequently, and celebrating with his friends. He lived in a remote farmhouse on a moor.
     Barnett began writing poems when he was young and later published several books, including Bent in Water and All the Year Round
     His poems, he observed, “are about many things—the natural world, dance, tribal people, the land of Wales and its amazing past, other creatures, the Holocaust, love and death. The genesis of each poem comes from elsewhere. Important to me are the sound of words and the rhythm of a poem which should approach to the condition of music. I’m taken, too, with symbols. A true poem suggests as well as says. Its inner truth must be teased out."


Bent in Water (Spectrum, 1985); Fretwork (Passenger Pigeon Press, 1990); All the Year Round (Envoi Publications, 1993)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English

from Dance your Dance


On this isle, yam-friendly,
dancing—palm with palm—
leavens. Hips hula, drum-
cued. Soles tamp
the land that slews,

spreads its jasmine breath to ruck
the bark-cloth of those
who, paddle-stopped, pirogued here
to squat a tropic. Week
a braid a hut,

months for the dance, pliant
as the dove’s, tide-
floss across a lagoon-cleft,
a kelp-tassels, sucklings’
gums. Parties

are bound to dance in the whorl
of their fortune, lavish
like click-beetles, folklore,
fish-spring, dusk’s
colours. Further

birth for the ageless hours
when a fit galliard
makes love, crams gatherings
with the conch-songs
in the glaze

on a reef’s scales. Blest
settlers, hoped, matched
with their porpoise swell. Till frigates—
Their freight death.

Reprinted from Poetry Wales, XVI, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by David Barnett.

For another poem by Barnett, go here: http://barnettpoems.wordpress.com/

June 19, 2023

Pasquale Verdicchio (b. Italy / Canada / USA) 1954

Pasquale Verdicchio (b. Italy / USA)

Born in Naples, Italy in 1954, Pasquale Verdicchio was raised in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. He began publishing in his early 30s with Moving Landscape in 1985, published by the Canadian press, Guernica. Guernica also published his second major collection, Nomadic Trajectory in 1990 and Approaches to Absence four years later. His most recent collection, The House Is Past, was published by the same press in 2000.
     In 1986 Verdicchio became a professor of literature and writing at the University of California, San Diego. He has published several translations of Italian poets, including Antonio Porta, Giorgio Caproni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Alda Merini, and edited a small publishing series, Parentheses Writing Series. More recently, he has headed a program in Italy for the university.
      Verdicchio has also written numerous books of non-fiction, including Devils in Paradise: Writings on Post-emigrant Cultures (1997); Bound by Distance: Rethinking Nationalism Through the Italian Diaspora (1997); Looters, Photographers, and Thieves: Aspects of Italian Photographic Culture in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (2011); and Encounters with the Real in Contemporary Italian Literature and Cinema (2017). 


Moving Landscape (Toronto: Guernica, 1985); Ipsissima verba (San Diego: Parentheses Writing Series, 1986); A Critical Geography (San Diego: Parentheses Writing Series, 1990); Nomadic Trajectory (Toronto: Guernica, 1990); Isthmus (Los Angeles: Littoral Books, 1991); The Posthumous Poet: A Suite for Pier Paolo Pasolini (Los Angeles: Jahbone Press, 1993); Approaches to Absence (Toronto: Guernica, 1994); The House Is Past: Poems 1978-1999 (Toronto: Guernica, 2000); La nave del mondo (Bologna: Porto dei Santi, 2000); Nothing's Place (Montreal: Guernica, 2008); Only You (Victoria: Ekstasis, 2021).

The Cutting Edge

The landscape is moving.

Cut from the landscape
we move toward it
to suture the wound
--hills not remembered
are fluid fragments: water

My eye the cutting edge
upon which the landscape flows;
excised fragment in hand
everything else fallen
until the landscape turns
upon itself, upon me (the space
I once occupied)

then it moves across the desert, fast,
rolling over, smooth across,
just above the surface
of spiny desert plants
digs deep to find the fissure
has always been present—space
into which seeds were not sown

ancient wound of light in crude mirrors
quiet in the abyssal depth

no voices and a house
not on any street, and secluded
by trees and shrubs; this is the house,
engulfed by the smell of ink,
pen in hand,
I rest in the dark.

Had I known light
reflection might have been easier;
had light known me
refraction might have freed the dialogue

--naked in mirrors, empty mouthed,
everything carefully measured,
hours become more and more difficult.

The landscape
is the cutting edge
upon which everything falls.

(from Ipsissima Verba, 1986)

from “Feuilletons”

A photograph and your smile.
Mistakes could be redeemed
clutching flowers and maps a sense brought on
by sunlight it just occurred to me
stumbling falling for some sign your thighs in Athens
your breasts in Mediterranean water.
Telling it so far apart
a bland taste of distance habitation or absence
a representative authority in geography

[the upper edge of a space that will never be closed
the indication belongs]


A bird calling to itself
calling itself by your name

angelo misterioso

tired of screening out
there is no romanticism
in what can no longer be touched

Skin and more skin
clothes extentions become skin

le lettere il ritorno e la congiunzione

finding it hard to keep up; ankles have lost their feathers;
no longer the keeper of languages; impossible now to keep
faith in charts the sky no longer visible

[a cane brake occasional expectations lost
what becomes accepted ground anticipated by its own
passing the place again]


The locality of
ignored towns every now and then
as when blinded by whitewashed homes

there are no more stories to tell
the heat that emanates is transformed
negation interruption the meter
is disrupted tension dissipates.

Speaking calm kept for cover
the signs that go forward and recoil,
line in equilibrium, profiles of animals.

From time to time
and the process of deciphering the angles;
wake up later than ever
to have a look at what calls itself
back; further on the idea of thunder
breaks through, given up by boiling waters
one prelude of investigation toward


An illusion of absence provides a key
for the collection of space.
What the landscape incites us to
- the drift defines itself as singular:
never a body doubtless a disguise.

Ignoring the centrism a declaration
and deficiencies; an assumption
of power investment of body and force
informing itself and what must be reclaimed

the desert in bloom overnight to have a look

(from Isthmus, 1991)

Incomplete Sealines

Often a division of guests results
in diverse approaches. You attend lectures,
enter rooms at set times
with your partner or guest of choice

and immediately follow numbers.
Certain confusion pulls events over your eyes.
Do you want to talk.
Do you want to talk.

The field narrows as the evening progresses.
Daughters maybe sons are waiting.
Basic science tells them to set aside
the handled crosses and weary saints,

come toward a more palpable prayer.
There are moments to be cradled like children,
all different one from the other,
which halt the grip of occasion.

(from Approaches to Absence, 1994)


There are ears in the fields.
An easel placed in one corner speaks volumes.
Portable representation a warning.

What was shredded and occupied
by no means sacred to all.
Easy to recognize even through voices.
Use an already existing quote.

Only hours away in retreat.
Talk of the town circles back.
Someone is taking things into their own hands.
A practical consideration: the answer is no.

(from Approaches to Absence, 1994)

Impossible Saints

A brief arrangement of miracles,
regulations and decrees outline the sequence of severity,
and trial of testimony, eyewitness
in absence of divine approval;
usually flight or levity is a rule
not of the comic sort.
And best of all offerings predominate,
body parts, eyes, breasts, and such other jealousies
in which we materialize bodies, distanced
from spirit they seem to take a life
of their own. Very little prodding needed,
in a trance the pain ceases.

Saint Agatha’s breasts.
Saint Lucy’s eyes.
Culture is a matter of subtraction and offering.
the river of blood
no longer runs through veins blessed,
halted by faith in halting
and never doubted the extension of
divine tourniquet to stem the flow:
touch razor sharp icons and sacrifice.
But it was somewhere else that I heard
flying above my head, truly believing,
the chance it might entail,
the opportunity missed,
if only for a brief instant of apparition,
were to actually appear, I would miss it
so as to concentrate on its silence,
on its bright absence above my head,
on the illusion of its invisible pressure.

Each day a name,
and name’s sake, and saint’s day
every and each name a day;
in calendars the stories tell
themselves by allusion for those who bear
the names handed down by fathers
and mothers; the continuance of small
the role of belonging.

Such reflections are in the end
possibilities of worship and the capacity
of things to darken,
fall as shadows over the sight of believers.
With the humility of an insect,
with the deception of one’s self;
a time of seeing beyond blessings and curses
that colour the permanence of childhood.

Racist, sexist, polluter, murderer, destroyer,
warmonger, politician, deceiver, liar,
the single spin in favour of some menacing evil
hard bigot senator shithead.
Self-sacrifice for the good of the people,
martyrdom at a high salary,
advisers and detractors
defenders and offenders;
it’s the process
it’s the procedure
it’s not the issue
it’s the delay
it’s the way
it’s their fault
it’s too late to talk.
The patron saint of politicians?

(from Approaches to Absence, 1994)

Glassed Over, from “Filmic”

A young couple meets. Obviously the man cannot be trusted. The building is very high and the fall proves acceleration. Varying angels are clever devices. It could be any city on the east coast. But the skyscrapers serve as a hint. The reflection of the sky and surrounding walls in her eyes as she falls.

There are no friends who could witness. There are no souvenirs to speak. Of letters it’s the same. A fast track affair. A question of errors along the way.

Sooner or later he will make a mistake. He will surely fall for himself. He will most likely do so on purpose. Set the trap and activate it. No one will believe it. He will tell everyone he set himself up to fall. Or maybe he should just go on as he is. Why should I make it easy, he thinks.

A clever fellow, he assumes another identity. The new self suits him better than the old. He has erased his family and himself. No one will miss him, he is certain. Time passes.

An effigy is something someone else constructs. It can be specific or general. He is not an effigy of himself. An effigy is headed toward destruction. He is headed in the opposite direction.

He wakes up at night in a cold sweat. There are whispers. The same whispers he hears every night. He walks to the mirror and stares back at himself. All right, he thinks, there is no kidding you. He wakes up in the morning not knowing how he got back to bed. Maybe the voices are only a dream. The last thing he remembers is refusing to answer.

He reminds himself
that the story could be written down and that way he would be more certain as to its meaning
that the story could be a dream in which case he has nothing to worry about except getting some sleep and he knows a rest will do him good
that he is afraid to call her just in case the story is not just a story but is a true and actual event.
He decides to explain it to himself later.

There is another lapse of memory. This time from a bridge. A Pythagorean displacement. A body in a body of water. One body replaces another in his actions. He does not know if these are his actions.

The story takes a turn. It is someone else he remembers. The turn is too sharp and the bakes fail. The new body is trapped in the flaming wreck. This body, and the bridge body, and the body of initial falling are related. His obsession is clear but without reason.

There are no examples that he can think of and none that he can use as a lie. He resigns himself to a bodily accumulation. An average person in an average situation.

(from Approaches to Absence, 1994)



“The Cutting Edge”
Reprinted from Ipsissima Verba (San Diego: Parentheses Writing Series, 1986). ©1986 by Pasquale Verdicchio. Reprinted by permission of the poet.

from “Feuilletons”
Reprinted from Isthmus (Los Angeles: Littoral Books, 1991). ©1991 by Pasquale Verdicchio. Reprinted by permission of the poet.

“Incomplete Sealines,” “Errors,” “Impossible Saints,” and “Glassed Over” from Filmic
Reprinted from Approaches to Absence (Toronto: Guernica, 1994). ©Pasquale Verdicchio and Guernic Editions. Reprinted by permission of Guernica Editions.

June 16, 2023

Ian Seed (England) 1956

Ian Seed (England)

Born in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Ian Seed spent his childhood in Yorkshire, Wales and Leicestershire. He gained a B.A. Honours Degree in Philosophy from Nottingham University in 1979. For more than twenty years, he worked in Italy, France, and Poland as a teacher, translator, technical writer, and project manager. He returned to the United Kingdom to take an M.A. in Creative Writing at Lancaster University in 2003, and he now teaches poetry and creative writing.
     Seed began publishing poems in magazines in 1974 while still in high school. His first collection was Into Rolling Red, 1975. This was followed by Excerpt, 1979 and Flung into Dust, 1980. He began writing prose poems in 1981 and published A Man of Some Influence in 1987. There was a long gap until The Stranger appeared in 2000 and Rescue in 2002.

     The poet has does several works of translation, including the poets of Gëzim Hajdari, Bitter Grass (2020) and Pierre Reverdy's The Thief of Talant (2016).
     Ian Seed’s poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in dozens of magazines in the UK, US, and Italy, and his work has been translated into Dutch.
       Seed is the editor of Shadowtrain (www.shadowtrain.com), an on-line poetry magazine.
       He teaches at the University of Chester.


Into Rolling Red (Leicester, England: privately printed, 1975); Litter (privately printed, 1976); Excerpt (Cornwall, England: Kawabata Press, 1979); Flung into Dust (Cornwall, England: Kawabata Press, 1980); Fivepenny Poems (Aberdeen, Scotland: Granite Books, 1980); A Man of Some Influence (Derby, England: Moss & Flint, 1987); The Stranger (Derby, England: Moss & Flint, 2000); Rescue (Derby, England: Moss & Flint, 2002); Anonymous Intruder (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2009); Identity Papers (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2016); New York Hotel (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2018); Operations of Water (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2020); The Underground Cabaret (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2020); I Remember (Red Ceilings Press, 2022)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English


The hand moves away, contemplating the end of the tunnel, abandoning the page in a hotel room. No time but dust on water in a glass, the imperfection of paradise, to be cut where cut is possible. The difference resides in feasibility, rife with forgetfulness, swept away knowledge. The blue of the eyes sharpened by a thick dark beard are strangely familiar. It doesn't have to be like that. The insight disappears on waking. Persistent otherwise, the room is renumbered, a cave of hair around him. And that one there, when you were another, pale brown light, ash down to where you could be forgiven. Nothing to be renamed in spite of this, nothing outside the room.

Reprinted from Stride (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Ian Seed.

June 15, 2023

Alix Anne Shaw (USA) 1972

Alix Anne Shaw (USA)

Anne Shaw was born in Tecumeseh, Michigan, and grew up in Lenawee County, Michigan. As an under-graduate, she attended Yale University, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in English and psychology. She earned her M.F.A. at George Mason University, where she taught African-American and creative writing. Shaw currently lives as a social activist in Milwaukee. An Assistant Professor of English, she teaches creative writing and directs the Writing Center at Carthage College.
     Shaw’s work has appeared in numerous journals, including New American Writing, Phoebe, Haden’s Ferry Review, and 26. In 1998, her poem “Enumeration” received the Virginia Downs Poetry Award. In recent years, she has completed two as-yet unpublished manuscripts. The first is a novella-length collage poem, Monstrosities, which explores the social history of people with medical anomalies and their treatment at the hands of the medical establishment. The second is a book-length collection of poems, Transparence of the Seen.
     Dense and lyrical, Shaw’s poetry is profoundly engaged with the physical body and its location in time and space. Her work frequently examines the interconnections between gender, history, and the natural world. Man of her poems interrogate and fracture the language of expertise, seeking to expose its implicit assumptions and juxtapose them with alternate perceptual possibilities. “In my work,” she writes, “I do not necessarily accept the view that the beautiful in poetry is hegemonic, outdated, or useless. Instead, I attempt to carve out a territory in which radically fragmented and lyrically evocative language can coexist.”


Undertow (New York: Perseus Books, 2007); Dido in Winter (New York: Persea Books, 2014); Rough Ground (Etruscan Press, 2018)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English


A florida I enter in
the name sends out its spikes.
The name is a pod
for the child.
See how the self
rattles around inside?

And such similitude
of love. I am hove up.
A rope to apprehend.
Barnacled. As instinct.
A hand to shuttle forth.

As if our increment were whole:
The pouring-out of waters
over stone,
a shelf of grasses, pressed
beneath the wave.

Or gill note, opalescent
gill. A substance to refute.
Omit the sibling fist
of wind, the hook,
the redundant gale.

Now the tongue will sorrow forth Add Image
its crisp and bloody pod.
The seed is always mute. A cut
exposes the wifely pith.

Reprinted from New American Writing, no. 23 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Anne Shaw.

For another poem, go here: 

June 11, 2023

Elizabeth Cross (USA) 1966

Elizabeth Cross (USA)

Born on an American air base in Japan, Elizabeth Cross spent most of her childhood in Biloxi, Mississippi and in the former West Germany. She earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Hope College and a Ph.D. in Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She taught at the University of Denver and at the University of Michigan before arriving at the School at the Art Institute of Chicago where she currently teaches in the M.F.A. writing program.
      Awards include grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute. Her visual poetry has been exhibited in Denver at the Red Shift Art Gallery, the Jewish Community Center, and the Outdoor Museum of Art. In Fort Collins, Colorado, her work appeared at One West Gallery. Publications include American Letters & Commentary, Chain, Chicago Review, and Denver Quarterly.
     Cross’s work obsesses over definitions, accumulated research, multiple texts, and the formal devices she invents to explore them. Each poem is (in)formed differently in the process of this accumulation, and as a result, each often looks completely different from another. They do, however, tend toward a few basic questions such as what can language do? What is love? and What is it that generates meaning in our lives both emotionally and intellectually? Since these questions are infinitely unanswerable, the different constructions of the poems becomes a way to keep coming back to those questions, to try again and again to find new answers or possibilities.

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English

from Rifle

RIFLE 1. obs. A depredation, sacking, spoliation.
2. A thing acquired by rifling

Gone out the open window I am deceived by things I counted on
rifled by an evening of needles.
The vial emitting sparks now left behind, sucked dry.
Clean is a new hiding a partial erasing of your sound in the floor,
in the vent, on the brand new telephone line,
the message you leave in the garbage to threaten my life.

Around the furnace a ticking under the shouting
above the hidden gun speeding for gain
loss of my eyes on you through the window
faster depredation and pattern in the neighborhood.


Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XXXIX, no. 3 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Elizabeth Cross.

June 8, 2023

H. L. Hix (USA) 1960

H. L. Hix (USA)

H. L. Hix was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and grew up in small towns in the south. He earned his B.A. in English and philosophy from Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, whose campus—with its “sward” and “towers”—was once the home of the girls’ finishing school memorialized in John Crowe Ransom’s “Blue Girls.” He took his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin.
     Hix taught philosophy and literature for fifteen years at the Kansas City Art Institute, then held an administrative role at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and is now Professor of English and director of the creative writing M.F.A. at the University of Wyoming. Recognitions afforded his poetry include the Grolier Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and an NEA fellowship.
     Hix’s dozen books include works on contemporary continental philosophy (e.g. Spirits Hovering Over the Ashes: Legacies of Postmodern Theory), works of practical criticism (e.g. Understanding William H. Gass), and poetics (e.g. As Easy Lying: Essays on Poetry). His book about poetry, God Bless: A Political/Poetic Discourse, was published in 2007.
     He reports an inability to decide whether he is trying to write poetry that is sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic, his claims for poetry having included three of these.


Perfect Hell (Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 1996); Rational Numbers (Kirksville, Missouri: Truman State University Press, 2000); Surely As Birds Fly (Kirksville, Missouri: Truman State University Press, 2002); Shadows of Houses (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2005); Chromatic (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2006); Legible Heavens (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2008); First Fire, Then Birds: Obsessionals 1985-2010 (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2010); As Much As, If Not More (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2014)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English

from “The God of Window Screens and Honeysuckle”

Stubble rows, four matte, four shiny in morning sun,
show the combine’s direction. What can be preserved
must be preserved as some self other than its own.
Bent cattails mimic stubble in the frozen pond.
Suet nearly gone, chickadees cling upside down
to the feeder. Above it, a hedgeapple wedged
between branches since fall. Past that, changing direction
at once, fast as mackerel, a thousand blackbirds.
Skaters on a pond, we fall into what we know,
drown in disorienting light before we freeze.
In angled afternoon sun, the fence’s shadow
caresses the snow’s contours like tight-fitting clothes.
Even when grass greens to re-enact spring, the snow
will linger, longest in the shadows of houses.

Reprinted from Shadows of Houses (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2005). Copyright ©2005 by H. L. Hix.

June 6, 2023

Federico García Lorca (Spain) 1898-1936

Federico García Lorca (Spain)

Raised in the Moorish city of Granada, Federico García Lorca grew up enchanted by puppets, toy theaters, and theater in general. He attended the University of Granada, where he earned a law degree in 1923. But it was an interruption to his university studies, when he traveled to Madrid where he haunted the Residencia de Estudiantes, that he discovered his true talents. There he met the poets Pedro Salina, Jorge Guillén, and Juan Ramón Jiménez and the painter Salvador Dalí, creating lasting friendships.
     It was also during this period that he published his first book of poetry, Libro de poemas (Book of Poems) in 1921. Canciones followed in 1927, much of it written during this same period. In 1929-1930, García Lorca left Spain to live in New York (on the campus of Columbia University), and it was there he wrote the important collection, Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York), published after his death. After a short visit to Cuba, he returned to Spain, becoming the head of the theatrical company, La Barraca, an experimental student group set up by the Unión Federal de Estudiantes Hispanos, with subvention by the Republican government.
     The company performed a classical repertoire, and further involved him in theater writing. In early 1920, his first play, El maleficio de la mariposa (The Butterfly's Evil Spell) was performed. Although that play was unsuccessful, he followed it with several others in the the late 1920s up until the time of his death. His most notable works include Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding), first performed in 1933; Yerma (performed in 1934); and La casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba), performed after his death.
     In February 1936, the new Spanish elections brought to power the Popular Front, an alliance of liberal and leftist parties. An increasing polarization between the right and left was the immediate result, and when a coup d'état failed, civil war began. García Lorca had already made his leftist political positions quite apparent the years just prior to this. In early July, he decided to leave Madrid for a visit to his family in Granada. He arrived in Granada on July 14th; the Spanish military uprising in Africa took place just three days later, and on the 20th the Granada garrison declared their support of Franco and together with the rebel generals took control of the city. A political purge followed, resulting in hundreds of "official" executions, which took place on the city cemetery. On August 16th, after taking up supposedly safe haven in the house of his poet-friend Luis Rosales, Lorca was arrested. As a leftist, a homosexual, and a man of the arts, there was little question in the minds of the Franco supporters that he was a threat. The date of his death by execution is uncertain. But on August 18th or 19th, at the age of 38, he was murdered.


Libro de poemas (Madrid: Maroto, 1921); Canciones (Málaga, Spain: Litoral/Imprenta Sur, 1927); Primer romancero gitano (Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1928); Poema del cante jondo (Madrid: Ulises/Iberoamericana, 1931); Oda a Walt Whitman (Mexico City: Alcancía, 1933); Llanto por Igacio Sánchez Mejías (Madrid: Cruz & Raya/Arbol, 1935); Seis poemas galegos (Santiago de Compostela, Spain: Nós, 1935); Primeras canciones (Madrid: Héroe, 1936); Obras completas, 8 volumes, edited by Guillermo de Torre (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1938-1946); Poeta en Nueva York (Mexico City: Séneca, 1940); Poemas póstumos (Mexico City: Mexicanas, 1945); Diván del Tamarit (Barcelona: A.D.L., 1948); Siete poemas y dos dibujos inéditos, edited by Luis Rosales (Madrid: Cultura Hispánica, 1949); Suites, edited by André Belamich (Barcelona: Ariel, 1983).


Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter (London: Heinemann, 1937; New York: Oxford University Press, 1937); Poems, trans. by Stephen Spender and J. L. Gili (London: Dolphin/New York: Oxford, 1939); The Poet in New York and Other Poems of Federico García Lorca, trans. by Rolfe Humphries (New York: Norton, 1940); Gypsy Ballads, translated by Langston Hughes (Beloit, Wisconsin: Beloit College, 1951); The Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca (New York: New Directions, 1955); Poem of the Gypsy Seguidilla (Providence, R.I.: Burning Deck, 1967); Diván and Other Writings, trans. by Edwin Honig (Providence, R.I.: Bonewhistle, 1974); Songs, edited by Daniel Eisenberg (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1976); Poem of the Deep Song (San Francisco: City Lights, 1988); Ode to Walt Whitman and Other Poems, trans. by Carlos Bauer (San Francisco: City Lights, 1988); Four Lorca Suites, trans. by Jerome Rothenberg (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1989); Sonnets of Love Forbidden, trans. by David K. Loughran (Missoula, Montana: Windsong, 1989); Federico García Lorca: Selected Verse, edited by Christopher Maurer (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994); Suites, trans. by Jerome Rothenberg (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2001)

Those Who Wait

My old body
& my old soul
are waiting for me.

(Where the rivers
open their hands.)

Without lanterns
& glowworms--
with shadows.

(Where an arm of
the river
opens its hand.)

My old body
flashing me signs
from in back of a spiderweb.

(Signs from ocean's

Landscape Seen with the Nose

A cold tremor
burnt out of flesh by
the roosters
drops a cloud on the prairie.
In the house
someone's burning
the chaff.
The plows will come
with the dawn.


It's the same if it's
river or geyser
because both go up
to the stars.

It's the same if it's
ridge or ravine
because both lie under
the shadow.


The sun
when it's sundown
digs into your gut
like an x-ray.
Opens up the facades
& discolors
the glass at your heart
Be careful!

The air is invading your secret's
sinister rooms
& your words in bondage
loom up in your eyes.
And that's why the prudent
will lock up his hens
around twilight.




What's coming up?
What's not coming up?

Colorized parsley &
sleepy old oil llamps.

What's coming up?
What's not coming up?

Hermit gets sleepy
& princess
gets sleepy, even their story
gets sleepy!

What's coming up?
What's not coming up?


Federico García Lorca, Suites, translated from the Spanish by Jerome Rothenberg (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2001). Reprinted by permission of Green Integer.

June 4, 2023

David Levi Strauss (USA) 1953

David Levi Strauss (USA)

David Levi Strauss was born in Junction City, Kansas in 1953, and grew up just down the road in Chapman, where his grandfather was a blacksmith and his father a mechanic. His mother, Viola Lee, worked as a secretary for the local school district. After writing and distributing a political tract critical of the school’s administration, he was denied a high school diploma, but enrolled in Kansas State University anyway, where he spent two years studying political science and philosophy before being asked to leave after organizing a march on the ROTC building to protest the Cambodian bombings and a student strike to protest the firing of a radical history professor. At age 19, he traveled around the world on a floating university, collecting children’s art in Japan, China, Indonesia, India, and Africa, and studying the radical pedagogy of Paulo Freire. After returning to the US, he studied philosophy and photography at Goddard College in Vermont, and at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York.
     In 1978 he moved to San Francisco, where he studied in the Poetics Program at New College with Robert Duncan, Diane di Prima, Michael Palmer, David Meltzer, and Duncan McNaughton, and edited and published ACTS: A Journal of New Writing (1982-90). ACTS published books on Analytic Lyric (1987), Jack Spicer (1987), and Paul Celan (1988), all co-edited with Benjamin Hollander.
     In 1993 he left San Francisco for New York’s Hudson Valley, where he now lives with his wife, the artist Sterrett Smith. There daughter Maya is also a painter.
   He is the author of two books of essays, Between Dog & Wolf: Essays on Art and Politics (Autonomedia, 1999) and Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics (Aperture, 2003), and Broken Wings: The Legacy of Landmines (in Cambodia and Mozambique, with photographer Bobby Neel Adams). His essays have also been published in a number of recent books, including monographs on Carolee Schneemann (Cambridge & London: MIT, 2002), Leon Golub and Nancy Spero (NY: Roth Horowitz, 2000), sculptor Donald Lipski (Vienna; Bawag Foundation, 1999), photographer Francesca Woodman (Zürich: Scalo, 1999), Brazilian artist Miguel Rio Branco (NY: Aperture, 1998), Alfredo Jaar’s works on Rwanda (Barcelona: Actar, 1998), and the sculptor Martin Puryear (Milan: Electa, 1997). His writings on aesthetics and politics have been translated into thirteen languages. In 2003-04 he received a Guggenheim fellowship to work on his next book, Image & Belief. He currently teaches in the Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and in the new graduate program in Art Criticism and Writing begun by Tom McEvilley at the School of the Visual Arts in New York City.
     In his introduction to Between the Eyes, John Berger wrote, “Strauss, who is a poet and storyteller as well as being a renowned commentator on photography (I reject the designation critic) looks at images very hard . . . and comes face-to-face with the unexplained. Again and again. The unexplained that he encounters has only little to do with the mystery of art and everything to do with the mystery of countless lives being lived.” And Luc Sante wrote, “David Levi Strauss brings an eloquent and deep moral seriousness to his examination of photography. Again and again he makes the ringing point that trying to separate aesthetics and politics can only result in vacuity. He is photography’s troubled conscience.”
    Most recently Strauss has written collections of essays on photography and other concerns, including From Head to Hand: Art and the Manual (2010) and Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow: Essays on the Present and Future of Photography (2014).


Manoeuvres (San Francisco: Aleph Press/Eidolon Editions, 1980); poems in 49 + 1: Nouveaux Poétes Américains, edited by Emmanuel Hocquard and Claude Royet-Journoud (Paris: Un bureau sur l’Atlantique and Editions Royaumont, 1991)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English

Viola Lee

Du lebst zu naha ans Wasser
she said—“You live too close to the water,”
And she was right, again,
from the Smoky Hill to the Snake to the Hudson,
the water comes unbidden and fierce,
for common sadness, Twin Towers,
and the unforgiving.

In the last weeks, the skin
of her face stretched taut
against her skull, and
all superfluity was burned away.

It was her true face,
never before seen
in this world,

As radiant,
and singular,
as the Sun.

Reprinted from The New Review of Literature, II, no. 2 (April 2005). Copyright ©2005 by David Levi Strauss.