poem index


Bruce Bennett

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Bruce Bennett was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1940. He received a BA, MA, and PhD from Harvard University.

Bennett is the author of several books of poetry, including Something Like Karma (Clandestine Press, 2009), Subway Figure (Orchises Press, 2009), and Navigating the Distances: Poems New and Selected (Orchises Press, 1999)

Of Bennett’s work, X. J. Kennedy writes, “You’ll find balladry, villanelles, sonnets, masterly free verse, brand new tales that might come from Grimm’s, and a good deal more.”

From 1967 to 1970, Bennett taught at Oberlin College, where he cofounded and edited Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics. He then went on to cofound and edit Ploughshares. In 1973, he began teaching at Wells College, where he cofounded Wells College Press and currently serves as director of the creative writing program. He lives in Aurora, New York.

Selected Bibliography

Something Like Karma (Clandestine Press, 2009)
Subway Figure (Orchises Press, 2009)
The Deserted Campus (Clandestine Press, 2003)
Navigating the Distances: Poems New and Selected (Orchises Press, 1999)
Taking Off: Poems, Parodies, Palimpsests (Orchises Press, 1992)
Straw Into Gold (Cleveland State University Press, 1984)

by this poet

I pat the horses’ heads as I walk by.
They’re gentle beasts, and friendly; they don’t mind.
The gesture heartens me. I don’t know why.

At first, they did not trust me; they were shy,
suspicious. Maybe I don’t seem the kind
to pat a horse’s head as I go by,

And maybe I am not. I can’t deny
that might not seem a