poem index


Brian Teare

Tuscaloosa , AL , United States
Printer-friendly version
Brian Teare

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.

by this poet


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


wretched thou art
wherever thou art

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

and to whatever
thou turnest —



Click the icon above to listen to this audio poem.