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About this poet

Tim Seibles was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1955. He received a BA from Southern Methodist University in 1977, after which he taught English at the high school level for ten years. He received an MFA from Vermont College in 1990.

Seibles is the author of several poetry collections, including Fast Animal (Etruscan Press, 2012), a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award; Buffalo Head Solos (Cleveland State University Press, 2004); and Body Moves (Corona Press, 1988).

In the citation for the 2012 National Book Awards, the National Book Foundation notes, “Tim Seibles’ work is proof: the new American poet can’t just speak one language. In his new book, he fuses our street corners’ quickest wit, our violent vernaculars, and our numerous tongues of longing and love.”

In 2016 Seibles was selected as the poet laureate of Virginia. He has also received the Open Voice Award, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Seibles has served as a professor at Old Dominion University for over twenty years. He lives in Norfolk, Virginia.


Selected Bibliography

One Turn Around the Sun (Etruscan Press, 2017)
Fast Animal (Etruscan Press, 2012)
Buffalo Head Solos (Cleveland State University Press, 2004)
Hammerlock (Cleveland State University Press, 1999)
Hurdy-Gurdy (Cleveland State University Press, 1992)
Body Moves (Corona Press, 1988)

Faith

Picture a city
and the survivors: from their
windows, some scream. Others
walk the aftermath: blood
and still more blood coming
from the mouth of a girl.

This is the same movie
playing all over
the world: starring everybody
who ends up where the action
is: lights, cameras, close-ups—that
used to be somebody's leg.

Let's stop talking
about God. Try to shut-up
about heaven: some of our friends
who should be alive       are no longer alive.
Moment by moment death moves
and memory doesn't remember,

not for long: even today—even
having said
this, even knowing that
someone is stealing
our lives—I still
had lunch.

Tell the truth. If you can.
Does it matter     who they were,
the bodies in the rubble: could it matter

that the girl was conceived by two people
buried in each other's arms, believing
completely in the world between them?

The commanders are ready. The gunners
go everywhere. Almost all of them
believe in God. But somebody should

hold a note     for the Earth,
a few words for whatever being

human     could mean
beneath the forgotten sky:

some day one night,
when the city lights go out for good,

you won't believe how many stars

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Seibles. From Fast Animal (Etruscan Press, 2011). Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Seibles. From Fast Animal (Etruscan Press, 2011). Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.

Tim Seibles

Tim Seibles is the author of Fast Animal (Estruscan Press, 2012), a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award.

by this poet

poem

There are days I believe there ain' nothing to fear
I perk up for green lights, my engine on call
But it could be the zombies are already near

That sleep that we feed every day of the year
What's up with your friends when they circle the mall?
There are nights when I think I have no one to

poem

My thoughts are murder to the State and involuntarily go plotting against her.
          —Henry David Thoreau

As if leaving
it behind would
have me lost
in this place, as if

keeping it
could somehow
save me from the
parade of knives

poem
Five-legged pocket spiders, knuckled
starfish, grabbers of forks, why
do I forget that you love me:
your willingness to button my shirts,
tie my shoes—even scratch my head!
which throbs like a traffic jam, each thought
leaning on its horn. I see you

waiting anyplace always 
at the ends of my arms—for the doctor