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About this poet

Dan Beachy-Quick was born in Chicago in 1973 and raised in Colorado and upstate New York. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Denver in 1995 and then graduated from the University of Iowa’s Iowa Writer’s Workshop with his MFA in 2000.

Beachy-Quick is the author of several books of poetry, including gentlessness (Tupelo Press, 2015); Circle’s Apprentice (Tupelo Press, 2011), winner of the 2012 Colorado Book Award; and This Nest, Swift Passerine (Tupelo Press, 2009), as well as several chapbooks, collaborative books and prose hybrids like Of Silence and Song (Milkweed Editions, 2017); A Brighter Word Than Bright: Keats at Work (University of Iowa Press, 2013); Wonderful Investigations: Essays, Meditations, Tales (Milkweed Editions, 2012); and A Whaler’s Dictionary (Milkweed Editions, 2008), among others.

He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and Lannan Foundations. He teaches in the MFA program at Colorado State University and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry
gentlessness (Tupelo Press, 2015)
Circle’s Apprentice (Tupelo Press, 2011)
This Nest, Swift Passerine (Tupelo Press, 2009)
Mulberry (Tupelo Press, 2006)
Spell (Ahsahta Press, 2004)
North True South Bright (Alice James Books, 2003)

Prose
Of Silence and Song (Milkweed Editions, 2017)
A Brighter Word Than Bright: Keats at Work (University of Iowa Press, 2013)
Wonderful Investigations: Essays, Meditations, Tales (Milkweed Editions, 2012)
A Whaler’s Dictionary (Milkweed Editions, 2008)

Arcadian

I could not stop my hands clapping. I clapped
And clapped. I clapped as in the dirt the bird collapsed,
As worms grew wings, I clapped.

A man stood in a river balancing
A grape on his lips. His tears fell in the current
Swept them away. He kept performing

His trick: grape hovering over the hole
Of his open mouth and never dropping in. 
I clapped and I could not stop

My hands from wanting to cover my mouth
But they would not. They clapped
And I listened to them clap—a noise

That if there were woods would echo in
The woods. But there were no woods
I could see. Only a man. Twigs in his hair.

Bent over the water where the water stood
Most still. A tree fell in the woods
He kept speaking to his own face—

Is true if and only if a tree fell in the
Woods is true if and only if
He kept speaking to his face in the water

As I clapped, applauding the logic
That needed no belief. Like the shadows
Of bird’s wings, the shadows of my hands

On the ground. If there were birds
I could believe in
the birds so I let myself look up.

One bird kept exploding in the sky.
One flower kept dying. Isn’t it happy? a child asked,
Everything eating the sun? Isn’t it

Happy? Isn’t it—she asked, laying down
On her back in the grass—happy?
Everything eating the sun? Isn’t it—

Copyright © 2011 by Dan Beachy-Quick. “Arcadian” originally appeared in Circle’s Apprentice (Tupelo Press, 2011). Reprinted with permission from the author.

Copyright © 2011 by Dan Beachy-Quick. “Arcadian” originally appeared in Circle’s Apprentice (Tupelo Press, 2011). Reprinted with permission from the author.

Dan Beachy-Quick

Dan Beachy-Quick

Dan Beachy-Quick is the author of several books of poetry, including gentlessness (Tupelo Press, 2015).

by this poet

poem
You have to walk so close to the mirror
Before your breath clouds the image
You need to get a running start
You need to get a running start
To break through the refrain into repetition
As exile's continuous form forms the same
Words twice thrush thrush
Drab bird unseen in the dark dark's underbrush
Sung from the
poem


The wars are everywhere, o even within.

Drawn in poor bee by the dance loud hum

Of some

poem

                  —for R.C. Quick

I saw him in the summers when the leaves were green.
Down by the lake where ivy covered the ground. Where
The dogwood’s new pale moon flowers browned
At the edge by brittle June. I saw him then
Fishing for lake trout throwing the sunfish too bony
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