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Jacqueline Osherow

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Jacqueline Osherow was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received a BA from Harvard University in 1978 and a PhD in English from Princeton University in 1990.

She is the author of several books of poetry, including Ultimatum from Paradise (Louisiana State University Press, 2014), Whitethorn (Louisiana State University Press, 2011), and Looking for Angels in New York (University of Georgia Press, 1988). Her poems are known for their frequent exploration of Jewish tradition and their post-Holocaust consciousness.

About her work, Rosanna Warren writes, “Abundant in whimsy, philosophical speculation, and earthly affections, Jacqueline Osherow’s poems inhabit their forms with insouciance and wit.”

Osherow has received the Witter Bynner Prize and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She serves as a distinguished professor of English and creative writing at the University of Utah. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ultimatum from Paradise (Louisiana State University Press, 2014)
Whitethorn (Louisiana State University Press, 2011)
The Hoopoe’s Crown (BOA Editions, 2005)
Dead Men’s Praise (Grove Press, 1999)
With a Moon in Transit (Grove Press, 1996)
Conversations with Survivors (University of Georgia Press, 1994)
Looking for Angels in New York (University of Georgia Press, 1988)

by this poet


My sixteenth
egret from
the window
of this train,
white against
the marshes'
shocking green
Long Island
Sound from
Kingston down
to Mystic against
the shoreline's
erratic discipline:
the egret so
still, the colors


Maybe it was just for this that God pulled
water from dry land: to rescue hoodoo
after hoodoo. That’s what they’re called—

a bastardization of voodoo—
these unrepeatable needles of rock,
geology’s answer to flakes of snow .

A sound enough hypothesis: dark magic.
But I