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About this poet

Born in 1974, Brian Teare was raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He received a BA in English and creative writing from the University of Alabama and an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University in 2000.

His first collection of poetry, The Room Where I Was Born (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), was awarded the Brittingham Prize and the 2004 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry.

Since then, he has published The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven (Ahsahta Press, 2015), Companion Grasses (Omnidawn, 2013); Sight Map (University of California Press, 2009); and Pleasure (Ahsahta Press, 2010). His work has also appeared in Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2006); and At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

About Teare, the poet Rachel Zucker has written, "Brian Teare is master poet. He can 'write rain into the picture' and make the written word seem real. . . . He resists the way the lyric attempts to lull us or protect us from pain. In [his] poems language fails. The form, the poem, paper, the lyric—even pain fails. And in this failure I am moved beyond words, through words, and brought back to pleasure, to freedom, to the perfect weather of true grief, to the spectacular disaster that is life."

In 2008, Teare founded Albion Books, a one-man micropress specializing in limited edition poetry chapbooks, broadsides and print ephemera.

He is the recipient of a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, and the American Antiquarian Society. After teaching in the San Francisco area for a decade, Teare currently serves as an assistant professor at Temple University. He lives in Philadelphia.


Selected Bibliography

The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven (Ahsahta Press, 2015)
Companion Grasses (Omnidawn, 2013)
Sight Map (University of California Press, 2009)
Pleasure (Ahsahta Press, 2010)
The Room Where I Was Born (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003)


Long after Hopkins

Nothing at dusk, lord, but dust 

                              and road to keep it. The field kneels 

under white pines, umbra the edge 

                              to whom this is addressed : 

a mind part fern, part birch : 

                              two turkeys slowly S-ing their necks 

through inflorescence, arrangement 

                              more precise than what light leaves 

fields : painterly flowers more color 

                              than picture, more words for color 

than tint : alizarin or violet, you could 

                              write goldenrod, write cornflower, 

but Queen Anne's lace still hems 

                              the low horizon. Faith, what is it 

abides, what's left of pastoral 

                              but unreality. Ask artifice. Ask ornament. 

Go ahead and ask : what principle 

                              animates the natural : owl pink Lady's Slipper 

orchid white-tailed deer woodchuck : 

                              is it only what's visible that's knowable. 

Twenty dandelions gone to seed; 

                              tent worms slung in the articulated 

tree; what's tiresome : mind 

                              unanswered, writing to supply 

scaffolds to hold up scenery, nothing 

                              but queries and plywood, string 

strung to a high struck bell auguring : 

                              it's too late to see a third turkey 

left headless, wreck of feathers 

                              the owl scared, scattered in grass—

From Sight Map by Brian Teare. Copyright © 2009 by Brian Teare. Used by permission of University of California Press. All rights reserved.

From Sight Map by Brian Teare. Copyright © 2009 by Brian Teare. Used by permission of University of California Press. All rights reserved.

Brian Teare

Brian Teare

Born in Alabama in 1974, Brian Teare is the author of several poetry collections, including The Room Where I Was Born (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), which was awarded both the Brittingham Prize and the 2004 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry.

by this poet

poem

thought begins as small floral bowls  :  they hold greens—broccoli stalks,


                                                       chopped kale—against Chinese blue


                                                       very dark, with a greenish tint :




the way a

poem

wretched thou art
wherever thou art


          I sit and work on a line and lean into the pain my mind
              continues
          trying to think and all I come up with is a texture without
              ideas


and to whatever
thou turnest —

2
poem

I gather the rain


in both noun
& verb. The way


the river banks
its flood, floods
its banks, quiver’s


grammar I carry


noiseless, easy
over my shoulder.


To aim is—I think
of his mouth.
Wet ripe apple

2