poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

April 5, 2007Marymount College, New YorkFrom the Academy Audio Archive

About this poet

Born in 1943, Laure-Anne Bosselaar grew up in Belgium and moved to the United States in 1987. She is the author of A New Hunger (Ausable Press, 2007), Small Gods of Grief (2001), which won the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry, and The Hour Between Dog and Wolf (1997).

Her poems have also appeared in Ploughshares, The Washington Post, AGNI, and Harvard Review, as well as in numerous anthologies. As an anthologist, she edited Never Before: Poems about First Experiences (Four Way Books, 2004), Outsiders, Poems About Rebels, Exiles and Renegades (1999), and Urban Nature: Poems about Wildlife in the City (2000), and co-edited Night Out: Poems about Hotels, Motels, Restaurants and Bars (1997).

Fluent in four languages, she has published poems in French and Flemish and translates American poetry into French and Dutch poetry into English.

About her work, the poet Charles Simic has said, "Laure-Anne Bosselaar understands the complexities and the endless contradictions of our contemporary human predicament. Hers is an authentic poetic voice, one serious enough to be heard at the end of this long and brutal century. She writes wise poems about memory, poems whose art lies in their ability to make these memories ours too. What more could any one of us ask of poetry?"

She has been awarded a Fellowship at the Breadloaf Writers' Conference and was a Writer in Residence at Hamilton College and the Vermont Studio Center. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Southern Maine, as well as leading poetry workshops at writers' conferences across the country.

She currently lives in New York City with her husband, poet and editor Kurt Brown.

Stillbirth

Laure-Anne Bosselaar
On a platform, I heard someone call out your name:
No, Laetitia, no.
It wasn’t my train—the doors were closing,
but I rushed in, searching for your face.

But no Laetitia. No.
No one in that car could have been you,
but I rushed in, searching for your face:
no longer an infant. A woman now, blond, thirty-two.

No one in that car could have been you.
Laetitia-Marie was the name I had chosen.
No longer an infant. A woman now, blond, thirty-two:
I sometimes go months without remembering you.

Laetitia-Marie was the name I had chosen:
I was told not to look. Not to get attached—
I sometimes go months without remembering you.
Some griefs bless us that way, not asking much space.

I was told not to look. Not to get attached.
It wasn’t my train—the doors were closing.
Some griefs bless us that way, not asking much space.
On a platform, I heard someone calling your name.

From A New Hunger by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Copyright © 2007 by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Reprinted with permission of Ausable Press.

From A New Hunger by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Copyright © 2007 by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Reprinted with permission of Ausable Press.

Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Laure-Anne Bosselaar grew up in Belgium and moved to the United States

by this poet

poem

Dust covers the window, but light slips through—
it always does—through dust or cracks or under doors.

Every day at dusk, the sun, through branches,
hits a river's bend & sends silver slivers to the walls.

                        No one's there to see this. No one.
But it