Michele Glazer


Michele Glazer’s books of poems are It Is Hard to Look at What We Came to Think We’d Come to See (Pittsburgh, 1998), which won the AWP Prize, Aggregate of Disturbances (Iowa, 2004), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize, and On Tact, & the Made Up World (Iowa, 2010), published in the Kuhl House Series. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Oregon Arts Commission, and Literary Arts. Glazer teaches in and currently directs the MFA Creative Writing program at Portland State University.

Metonymic Sonnet
To the chairman having his way in the chair with the minutes.
To the motion he makes to suspend them.
To a hole in the sky like the eye in a needle,
                       wide enough to thread,
wide enough to see through.
Let’s sew this up, says the chairman.
To the matter at hand
and the handle he has on it. To the hand he has in it.
And to the secretary, writing it down, taking the minutes.
The chair sits.
His face flushes like a sun gathering color
                       before the sky’s won over and
                                                                       the dark takes hold.
Then moistens. The chair loosens his tie.
To the consummate still life:
The conference table and the water glasses sweating
and the coat tossed over the back of the chair.


Read more poems by Michele Glazer at Boston Review


Praise for On Tact, & the Made Up World:
“Michele Glazer’s poems let themselves be stained by their encounters with the wild; they send out runners; are viviparous; they abound with what Thoreau calls ‘intelligence with the earth.’ Though they are just as likely to converse with daguerreotypes, blown-glass blossoms, graphite drawings, or any other devised means of representing nature as they are to proceed from the direct encounter with the robin at the birdbath, by some magical transubstantiation of word into flesh, these poems surely become the living things that inspire them. Glazer presents her artistry in prime flower: full, entrancing, and, most of all, vital.”
—D. A. Powell
“These poems seem balanced on the edge of an enormity, desperate to be changed or ‘stained’ by what’s unseen. Continually changing scale, stuttering and beginning again at the border where perspective suddenly turns ‘abstract,’ Michele Glazer’s poems remind me of Elizabeth Bishop’s in their dramatization of the human cost of our need to map and know and understand.”
—Thomas Gardner
“’I think you see me for nearly what I am,’ writes Michele Glazer, confronting the limits of language and observation with a rare stoicism and steady gaze reminiscent of Elizabeth Bishop. ‘The mind suffers / its margins of attention’ while offering us these consolations: exhilarating visions and re-visions, great beauty where we least expect it, and an encounter with the tensions and sensuality of sound, speech, and syntax. Glazer’s fiercely delicate sensibility renders the seen and unseen world startling and wondrous.”
—Dora Malech
“Michele Glazer’s amazing new book takes on the powers and anxieties of transformation, as its subjects emerge from cellular states into systems of complex, interdependent need; as healthy organisms blossom into decay and disintegration; as inarticulable depths of sorrow are syntactically forged into the most natural made thing, the most artificial living being, of all: the true poem. Glazer is cut from no one’s mold, as individual in her powers of attention and feeling as in her stark orneriness, proceeding with cautious immoderation ‘as if sideways was the straightest way.’ This is a work of gorgeous resilience. It reminds me why I need poetry in my life.”
—Mark Levine


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