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Cynthia Lowen

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Cynthia Lowen grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, and received her BA from Colorado College and her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

She is the author of The Cloud That Contained the Lightning (University of Georgia Press, 2013), winner of the 2012 National Poetry Series. Nikky Finney, who served as the judge, writes, “In The Cloud That Contained the Lightning the unstable walls of the human heart meet the intimate walls of atomic energy. There is decay. There is bloom. Cynthia Lowen skillfully and fiercely tunnels into the world and mind of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, observes, magically imagines, and then maps forward a critical American life.”

Lowen is the recipient of the Campbell Corner Poetry Prize and the “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Contest. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

by this poet


The god I’d left behind sent one last email 
before returning to his people.

That summer was sixty-five degrees and fluorescent. 
I was working at a law firm.

The logical mind thinks,
You’ll be paid for your suffering.

Paradise is of this earth 
and it