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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 Companion Grasses (Omnidawn, 2013); Sight Map (University of California Press, 2009); and Pleasure (Ahsahta Press, 2010); as well as the chapbooks Pilgrim and Transcendental Grammar Crown.

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."

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.

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

After teaching in the San Francisco area for a decade, Teare is now an assistant professor at Temple University. He lives in Philadelphia.

Perceiving is the same as receiving and it is the same as responding.

Brian Teare

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 silence falls to each side

of the knife's stroke, the colors rhyme

softly and I think, I'll miss this when I die.    This is how I enter appearances

Copyright © 2010 by Brian Teare. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2010 by Brian Teare. Used with permission of the author.

Brian Teare

Brian Teare

Born in Alabama in 1974, Brian Teare is the author of The Room Where I Was Born, which was awarded both the Brittingham Prize and the 2004 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry

by this poet


Now the rain

Now the seams       put in evening

Now the tree       seeming shakes out    
of felt      unfolds cleanly

If in falling       rain names what it touches

If beneath the tree      a dry radius describes
form      steps forward       wearing its suit        of summer’s


"As his unlikeness fitted mine"—

so his luciferous kiss, ecliptic : me pinned beneath lips bitten as under weight of prayer, Ave—but no common vocative, no paradise above, and we not beholden to a name, not to a local god banking fever blaze his seasonal malady of flowers—


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