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poet

David Rivard

1953- , Fall River , MA , United States
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David Rivard

Born in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1953, David Rivard is the author of Standoff (Graywolf Press, 2016), Sugartown (Graywolf Press, 2005); Bewitched Playground (2000); Wise Poison, which won the 1996 James Laughlin Award; and Torque (1987), which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and was published by the Pitt Poetry Series.

Rivard's honors include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and fellowships from the Massachusetts Arts Foundation and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He has also received the Celia B. Wagner Award from the Poetry Society of America and a Pushcart Prize.

Rivard teaches in the MFA program in writing at the University of New Hampshire. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

by this poet

poem
A curtain bellying like a pregnant cloud, warm white
light refracted through a tumbler of peat-smoked scotch—
a scorcher of a day at cooling end, with stupendous berries
to eat in lieu of supper, the scoffed pint box of blueberries
chased by a half of cantaloupe & Maytag blue cheese
spread across the remains
poem
There is the question
of bearing witness, of being yourself seen
by yourself, & seen clearly, cleanly,
without weapon or bible in hand;
as this was the wish,
the sturdy & not-so-secret wish
of those who named us—
 
our parents
2
poem

A bookkeeping man,
tho one sure to knock on wood,
and mostly light

at loose ends—my friend
who is superstitiously funny, & always
sarcastic—save once,

after I’d told him
about Simone’s first time
walking—a toddler,

almost alone, she’d
gripped her sweater,