poem index

About this poet

Lucie Brock-Broido was born on May 22, 1956, in Pittsburgh. She received her BA and her MA from Johns Hopkins University, as well as her MFA from Columbia University. Her books of poetry include Stay, Illusion (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), Trouble in Mind (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), The Master Letters (1995), and A Hunger (1988).

In a New York Times review of Trouble in Mind, Maureen N. McLane wrote: "Apprenticed to Wallace Stevens, from whose notebooks she takes the titles of several poems, she writes a sensual, sonically rich poetry, typified by the opening of 'Spain': 'The god-leash leaves / Its lashes on the broad bunched backs / Of sacrificial animals.' This acoustic gorgeousness, along with her highly figurative cast of mind, creates a striking tension: her new theme is austerity, yet her means remain profligate."

Her awards and honors include the Witter-Bynner prize from the Academy of American Arts and Letters, the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, the Harvard-Danforth Award for Distinction in Teaching, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from American Poetry Review, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a Guggenheim fellowship.

Brock-Broido has taught at Bennington College, Princeton University, and at Harvard University as the director of the creative writing program and as the Briggs-Copeland poet. She is now the director of poetry in the writing division of Columbia University's School of the Arts. She divides her time between New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A Selected Bibliography

Poetry

A Hunger (Alfred A. Knopf, 1988)
The Master Letters (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)
Trouble in Mind (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004)


Multimedia

From the Image Archive

 

Did Not Come Back

Lucie Brock-Broido, 1956

In the roan hour between then & then again, the now, in the Babel
Of a sorrel ship gone horizontal to a prow of night, the breach of owls

Abducted by broad light, but blind, in the crime, the titanesque of rare
Assault--we who have come back--petitioning, from the chair

Electric with bad news, from the stunning, from the narrows
Of an evening gall, from the mooring of an hour slanted on the follow

Bow, she rose from a bed of Ireland like a flyted trout, a shiny
Marvel on the sailor's deck, an apologia--divining--

As once, as at a salted empire port, he washed
Her fleeted body & they lied, the best of them, the cream & crush

Of this, the madrigal & sacrifice of that, the best of them,
The slowest velvet suffocation of their kind, did not come

Whittled back by autumn, at an hour between thorn & chaff,
Not come riddled with oblivion, the crossing & a shepherd's staff,

The moment between Have & Shall Not Want, we who have salt
Always know, that we who have--the best of us--did not come back.

From The Master Letters by Lucie Brock-Broido, published by Alfred A. Knopf. Copyright © 1997 by Lucie Brock-Broido. Reprinted by permission of the the publisher and author. All rights reserved.

Lucie Brock-Broido

Lucie Brock-Broido

Lucie Brock-Broido currently serves as the director of poetry in the writing division of Columbia University's School of the Arts.

by this poet

poem
What was it I was hungry about. Hunger, it is one 
Of the several contraptions I can turn on the off-button to at will.  

Yes, yes, of course it is an "Art." Of course I will not be here 
Long, not the way the percentages are going now.  

He might have been 
                                     Half-beautiful
poem

Don’t do that when you are dead like this, I said,
Arguably still squabbling about the word inarguably.
I haunt Versailles, poring through the markets of the medieval.
Mostly meat to be sold there; mutton hangs
Like laundry pinkened on its line.
            And gold!—a chalice with a cure

poem

Winter was the ravaging in the scarified
Ghost garden, a freak of letters crossing down a rare

Path bleak with poplars. Only the yew were a crewel
Of kith at the fieldstone wall, annulled

As a dulcimer cinched in a green velvet sack.
To be damaged is to endanger—taut as