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About this poet

Bruce Weigl was born in Lorain, Ohio, in 1949. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at age eighteen and served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. After returning to the United States, he received a BA from Oberlin College, an MA from the University of New Hampshire, and a PhD from the University of Utah.

Weigl published his first book of poetry, A Romance (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1979), while teaching at Lorain County Community College in Ohio. He has gone on to publish over a dozen poetry collections, including The Abundance of Nothing (Triquarterly, 2012), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Archaeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems (Grove Press, 1999); Song of Napalm (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994); and Sweet Lorain (Triquarterly, 1996).

Much of Weigl’s work is inspired by his experiences of the Vietnam War. In an interview with Blast Furnace Press, he says, “I wouldn’t have been a writer without the War because it forced me to go inward. And for some reason when I did, I found these stories.”

Weigl is also the author of The Circle of Hanh: A Memoir (Grove Press, 2000). He has received two Pushcart Prizes, a Patterson Poetry Prize, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at the University of Arkansas, Old Dominion University, and Pennsylvania State University, and he currently teaches at Lorain County Community College. He lives in Lorain, Ohio.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry
The Abundance of Nothing (Triquarterly, 2012)
Declension in the Village of Chung Luong (Ausable Press, 2006)
The Unraveling Strangeness (Grove Press, 2002)
Archaeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems (Grove Press, 1999)
After the Others (Triquarterly, 1999)
Song of Napalm (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994)
What Saves Us (Triquarterly, 1992)
Sweet Lorain (Triquarterly, 1996)
The Monkey Wars (University of Georgia Press, 1985)
A Romance (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1979)

Prose
The Circle of Hanh: A Memoir (Grove Press, 2000)

Home

I didn't know I was grateful
            for such late-autumn
                        bent-up cornfields

yellow in the after-harvest
             sun before the
                        cold plow turns it all over

into never.
            I didn't know
                        I would enter this music

that translates the world
             back into dirt fields
                         that have always called to me

as if I were a thing
              come from the dirt,
                          like a tuber,

or like a needful boy. End
             Lonely days, I believe. End the exiled
                           and unraveling strangeness.

From The Unraveling Strangeness by Bruce Weigl, published by Grove/Atlantic. Copyright © 2003 by Bruce Weigl. Reprinted by permission of Grove/Atlantic. All rights reserved.

From The Unraveling Strangeness by Bruce Weigl, published by Grove/Atlantic. Copyright © 2003 by Bruce Weigl. Reprinted by permission of Grove/Atlantic. All rights reserved.

Bruce Weigl

Bruce Weigl is the author of The Abundance of Nothing (Triquarterly, 2012), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and several other poetry collections. Much of Weigl's work is inspired by his experiences in the Vietnam War.

by this poet

poem

i.
    Snow geese in the light of morning sky, 
exactly at the start of spring.  I was 
    looking through the cracks of the blinds at my future which seemed 
absent of parades, for which I was grateful, 
    and only yesterday

                
I watched what an April wind

poem

     Today some things worked as they were meant to.
A big spring wind came up and blew down
     from the verdant neighborhood trees,
millions of those little spinning things,
     with seeds inside, and my heart woke up alive again too,
as if the brain could be erased of its angry hurt;