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"The Long Death" from Circles on the Water
Reprinted in Nuclear Guardianship Forum #3.
Fooling with Words with Bill Moyers: Marge Piercy
Bio, photos, audio, video, and the poem "For strong women."
Marge Piercy's homepage
Feature include a newsletter, essays, bibliography, and reference material.
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Marge Piercy
Photo: Ira Wood

Marge Piercy

Poet, novelist, and essayist Marge Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1936. She won a scholarship to the University of Michigan and was the first member of her family to attend college. She subsequently earned a master's degree from Northwestern University.

She has published fifteen books of poetry, including Colors Passing Through Us (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003), The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme (1999), Early Grrrl: The Early Poems of Marge Piercy (1999), What Are Big Girls Made Of? (1997), Mars and Her Children (1992), Available Light (1988), Circles on the Water: Selected Poems of Marge Piercy (1982), and The Moon Is Always Female (1980).

She is also the author of a collection of essays on poetry, Parti-Colored Blocks for a Quilt (1982). The most recent of Piercy's fifteen novels are Three Women (1999), Storm Tide (with Ira Wood, 1998), City of Darkness, City of Light (1996), The Longings of Women (1994), and He, She and It (1991; published in England as Body of Glass, 1992).

Piercy is dedicated to exploring the interstices of ideology and aesthetics by way of Marxist, feminist, and environmentalist strains of thought. "To name," she writes, "is not to possess what cannot / be owned or even known in the small words / and endless excuses of human speech."

She edited the poetry anthology Early Ripening: American Women Poets Now (1988), and is currently the poetry editor of Tikkun. In 1990 she collaborated with Nell Blaine, a painter, on a book entitled The Earth Shines Secretly: A Book Of Days, which featured Piercy's poetry and Blaine's artwork. Piercy lives with her husband, writer Ira Wood, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

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