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About this poet

Born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1969 Carl Adamshick grew up primarily in Harvard, Illinois.

Adamshick’s debut collection, Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press, 2011), was selected by Marvin Bell for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award. In 2012, the collection won the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry from Literary Arts. His second book, Saint Friend, was published in the McSweeney’s Poetry Series in 2014, and his third book, Receipt, was published in 2017 by Lost Horse Press.

About his poetry, Bell writes: “Reading these poems is like breathing fresh air. Carl Adamshick’s voice is instantly engaging. A sophisticated ear. A continuous feeling for measure. A clarity of complex feelings. The tactile and the mysterious. Emotion embedded rather than proclaimed. A subtle artistry. It is refreshing to read a poet who feels and thinks from inside sound and sense.” The poet Dorianne Laux describes Adamshick as someone who “has not joined the ranks of the MFA/PhD’s and has never attended a writer’s conference or residency.”

Adamshick is also the recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship from Literary Arts and has been featured in Poetry in Motion. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including the American Poetry Review, the Harvard Review, and American Poet. He is the editor and publisher of Tavern Books and lives in Portland, Oregon.

 



Bibliography

Poetry

Receipt (Lost Horse Press, 2017)
Saint Friend (McSweeney's, 2014)
Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press, 2011)
 

 

Benevolence

We took your food and in a few days 
you'll see we took your excrement.

We've devised such intricate rules. 	

We've agreed, signed papers. We took the papers.

We took your pain, your dignity. 
We took your language and watched 
as religion fell from you.

We took your death,
strung it as a jewel on a silver chain
and showed it to you
as just another thing you don't have. 

First published in American Poet. Copyright © 2010 by Carl Adamshick. From Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press, 2011). Used by permission of the author.

First published in American Poet. Copyright © 2010 by Carl Adamshick. From Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press, 2011). Used by permission of the author.

Carl Adamshick

Carl Adamshick

Adamshick’s debut poetry collection, Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press, 2011), was selected by Marvin Bell for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award. 

by this poet

poem
A low, quiet music is playing—
distorted trumpet, torn bass line,
white windows. My palms
are two speakers the size
of pool-hall coasters.	
I lay them on the dark table
for you to repair.
poem
Last week the caption
on page twelve stated
the person photographed
was Jersy Lem when in fact
it was Adolf Hitler.
poem
I always thought death would be like traveling
in a car, moving through the desert,
the earth a little darker than sky at the horizon,
that your life would settle like the end of a day
and you would think of everyone you ever met,
that you would be the invisible passenger,
quiet in the car, moving through the