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Lyn Lifshin poetry appears in almost every literary and poetry magazine in America, from American Scholar, The Ohio Review, South Carolina Review, American Poetry Review, Christian Science Monitor and Yankee to Ms., Rolling Stone and Ploughshares. Lifshin has published more than 100 books of poetry. She has edited four anthologies of women's writing including Tangled Vines (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) now in its second enlarged edition and chosen by Ms. magazine as one of the 60 best books of the year. Other anthologies she edited include Ariadneís Thread and Lips Unsealed. "Writing Mint Leaves at Yaddo," a prose piece, was selected as one of the best pieces of writing about writing by Writer's Digest and Story Magazine. Before Itís Light, (Black Sparrow Press 1999) won a Paterson Poetry Prize. Lyn Lifshin is a winner of many awards including a Bread Loaf Fellowship, The Jack Kerouac Award and New York State Caps Grant, Hart Crane Award, Poetry Prize at Boulders Writers Conference, the Harcourt Brace Scholarship, five Yaddo Fellowships, a Macdowell Fellowship, Madeline Jadin Award, Esttersceffer Award and Writers Digest Award. She was the subject of an award winning documentary, "Not Made of Glass." She has been nominated at least 300 times for the Pushcart and has been crowned the "Queen of the Small Presses." Another Woman Who Looks Like Me was published by Godine/Black Sparrow Press in 2006. Other new books include The Licorice Daughter, My Year with Ruffian (Texas Review Press), In Mirrors, An Unfinished Story, The Daughter I Don't Have and She Was Found Treading Water. Lifshin is currently working on a book about the amazing, beloved Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro. Go to www.lynlifshin.com for announcements of Lifshin's upcoming publications.

EARLY, LAST DAY OF JUNE

Leaf musk, cardinal.
Jade presses screens.
Night moths pleat
into themselves
like skirts from
the fifties.
Sun tea on slate.
Blue sandals left
near my motherís
bed. Spackle of
branchesí shadow
on redwood. Rose
wind. The young
girl across the
street parading
her body like
a ruby.

 

IN THE RIPPLED EBONY COVE 

Temperatures falling.
Moon slivers on the
rolling skin of water.
Geese in half light,
armada of feathers.
Wind blows them closer.
One silver band glows.
Their onyx, black flame
in a night fire.

from Before Itís Light (Black Sparrow Press)
© 1999


OTHER SEPTEMBERS

wrapping the green tomatoes
on the first night the cold
was tangible
as a cloth, it

took all the cats
tangled in tomato vines
before we could go
up stairs, put

wood on the stove
Skin smelled of that
green, grasshoppers in
the moon like small

black lights. It
would take weeks of
snow with green
tomatoes frying in

side and the windows
foggy to know there
was nothing of
summer left

living. Nights were
frozen reeds.
You and I were 
like a river running

toward what we
didnít know.


THAW

Ice comes undone
skin shining and
hair full of
March

women spill out of
offices their
bones whispering

Glazed orchards
and vines coming back
Green is under the
snow the womenís

arms seem to open
as if to lift them past
fluorescent air
toward whatever

mysteries
are hidden from them
Later nearly
blinded by water and

light theyíll move
a 1 oíclock wave
their hair folding
back into

rooms of
machines and paper. But 
no desks can
hold such

dreaming blood,
drunk on the poems
sun makes
in their bodies

from Cold Comfort (Black Sparrow Press)
© 1997

 


online at www.lynlifshin.com


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