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About this poet

Dara Wier was born in Louisiana on December 30, 1949. She received her M.F.A. in 1974 from Bowling Green State University.

Wier is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including You Good Thing (Wave Books, 2013); Selected Poems (2009); Remnants of Hannah (2006); Reverse Rapture (2005), which received the 2006 SFSU Poetry Center Book Award; Hat On a Pond (2002); Voyages in English (2001); Our Master Plan (1998), which received the Phi Beta Kappa Award; Blue for the Plough (1992); The Book of Knowledge (1988); All You Have in Common (1984); The 8-Step Grapevine (1980); and Blood, Hook & Eye (1977).

About her work, John Ashbery has said: "It may not be for the faint of heart—most intense experiences aren't—but those who stay with it will find themselves face to face with a world whose eerily sharp focus suggests recent satellite photographs of Mars. And they will never be the same again."

The Harvard Review has said "Recalling at moments the philosophical comedy of Wallace Stevens and Wislawa Szymborska, many of Wier's colloquial stanzas draw a reader away from a recognizable world into one in which women waltz with bears, houseflies chat with colonels, and the absence of sound makes a material presence."

Her work has been included in recent volumes of Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her poetry has been supported by fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the American Poetry Review. In 2005, she held the Rubin Distinguished Chair at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

She teaches workshops and form and theory seminars and directs the M.F.A. program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she lives with her husband, the poet James Tate.

Incident on the Road to the Capital

Dara Wier, 1949
A wolf had grown tired of his character and sought
to find a means to transform himself into something 
more vicious, more deadly. While his coat was slick,
thick and well-colored, for he was an excellent hunter,
he yearned for something to do that had nothing to do 
with survival or instinct. He no longer killed because
he needed to or could. All that was useless, too practical,
too obvious. He wanted to kill for some other purpose.
For all of his successfully completed kills, his perfect
record of stealth and elusion, he felt nothing. When he
ran into me the other day on his journey to consult the 
oracle of escalated suffering we shared a table in the
shade of a parasol tree in whose branches were preening
half a dozen or so birds with gaudy chromatic feathers.
A few of these fell onto the dome of his forehead but he
was too engrossed in his story to brush them away. He 
didn't look like a very serious wolf. I think he was
missing a real opportunity.

From Selected Poems by Dara Wier. Copyright © 2010 by Dara Wier. Used by permission of Wave Books.

From Selected Poems by Dara Wier. Copyright © 2010 by Dara Wier. Used by permission of Wave Books.

Dara Wier

Dara Wier

Born in 1949, poet Dara Weir is the author of numerous collections of poetry

by this poet

poem

So says my friend who doesn’t know it now
But he’s been conscripted to say what I shouldn’t

Want anyone to say too soon, too suddenly, too many times
More than must be said. It’s a tall order, or as another friend says

A tall drink of water, otherwise: it’s plain & simple:

poem
(it’s scaffolding) (it’s supposed to be temporary) 
(the domino effect) (had been forgotten about)
(it was in storage) (nobody knew where)
(that’s a logging road) (you can see its gutters)
(they leave handprints) (they shudder with dolor)
(nobody could settle on any particular color)
(they meant different things
poem

The pressure of the moment can cause someone to kill someone or something

The leniency of consideration might treat with more kindness

Which is to be desired. Or at least often to be desired.

But if my house is on fire and you notice, I wish you would kill

That fire. But if my hair is on