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About this poet

Killarney Clary was born in 1954 in Los Angeles, California, and was raised in Pasadena. She received a BFA in studio art and an MFA in poetry from the University of California–Irvine.

She is the author of Shadow of a Cloud but No Cloud (University of Chicago Press, 2014), Potential Stranger (University of Chicago Press, 2003), By Common Salt (Oberlin College Press, 1996), and Who Whispered Near Me (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Clary is known for her powerful, often enigmatic prose poems. Stephen Burt writes, “Clary works in the tradition of modern novelists (Virginia Woolf, for example), who asks us to trust their characters’ streams of consciousness, but also in a tradition of prose poetry stretching back to Baudelaire.”

In 1992, Clary received the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry. She has taught at the University of California at Irvine and at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in California.


Bibliography

Shadow of a Cloud but No Cloud (University of Chicago Press, 2014)
Potential Stranger (University of Chicago Press, 2003)
By Common Salt (Oberlin College Press, 1996)
Who Whispered Near Me (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989)

Untitled [Into the land of youth]

Into the land of youth, westward, to the place of starting again, cities of gold, on the coast of promise--mysterious cure--a mirror's thrown down, and so without luck, without reflection we stop.

We have come to the beginning, the finish of the country, itinerary worn out, facing the surf--what sailors smell as land. We ask detailed questions. None of us can tell, so we tug on each other, "Come. Look."

In this lull, one at the tide line stoops to pick at foam and weeds; another builds a fire. The intended didn't arrive and there is no new plan. As the sun lowers, we face the mountains, consider what we have passed, and fall to dreaming, to scrounging.

From Potential Stranger by Killarney Clary. Copyright © 2003 by Killarney Clary. Reprinted by the University of Chicago Press. All rights reserved.

From Potential Stranger by Killarney Clary. Copyright © 2003 by Killarney Clary. Reprinted by the University of Chicago Press. All rights reserved.

Killarney Clary

Killarney Clary is the author of Shadow of a Cloud but No Cloud (University of Chicago Press, 2014) and Who Whispered Near Me (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.