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Carl Adamshick

1969- , Toledo , OH , United States
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Carl Adamshick
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Born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1969 Carl Adamshick grew up primarily in Harvard, Illinois. He is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Birches (Four Way Books, 2019). Adamshick’s debut collection, Curses and Wishes  (Louisiana State University Press, 2011), was selected by Marvin Bell for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award.

About his poetry, Bell writes: “Reading these poems is like breathing fresh air. Carl Adamshick’s voice is instantly engaging. A sophisticated ear. A continuous feeling for measure. A clarity of complex feelings. The tactile and the mysterious. Emotion embedded rather than proclaimed. A subtle artistry. It is refreshing to read a poet who feels and thinks from inside sound and sense.” 

Adamshick is the recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship from Literary Arts. He is the editor and publisher of Tavern Books and lives in Portland, Oregon.





Birches (Four Way Books, 2019)
Receipt (Lost Horse Press, 2017)
Saint Friend (McSweeney's, 2014)
Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press, 2011)


Carl Adamshick: Awards Ceremony Reading

Carl Adamshick: Awards Ceremony Reading

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by this poet



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I live between the bus stop
and something I can’t explain,
between the night sounding
with green leaves and a few
visible stars, between a horse
and philosophy wondering
if it is a great clenched fist
that keeps me from my life.
Now I live between my mother’s
death and


I came home
from my mother’s funeral

to a house of my own making

to dust I didn’t want
to lift from a shelf

I came home astonished
by life being the same

struck dumb
when the knife
sunk into the melon.