poem index

poet

Mark Irwin

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Mark Irwin
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Mark Irwin was born in Faribault, Minnesota. He received a BA from Case Western Reserve University in 1974, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1980, and a PhD from Case Western Reserve University in 1982.

He is the author of nine poetry collections, including A Passion According to Green (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2017), American Urn: New & Selected Poems (1987–2013) (Ashland Poetry Press, 2015), and The Halo of Desire (Galileo Press, 1987). He is also the author of the essay collection Monster: Distortion, Abstraction, and Originality in Contemporary American Poetry (Peter Lang, 2017). 

Of his work, W. S. Merwin writes, “Subtlety of ear, of phrasing, of language altogether, and a light-play of feeling, disguise the urgency and evocative range of Mark Irwin’s grave sensibility.”

Irwin lives in Colorado and Los Angeles, where he teaches in the creative writing and literature program at the University of Southern California.


Bibliography

Poetry
A Passion According to Green (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2017)
American Urn: New & Selected Poems (1987­–2013) (Ashland Poetry Press, 2015)
Large White House Speaking (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2013)
Tall If (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008)
Bright Hunger (BOA Editions, 2004)
White City (BOA Editions, 2000)
Quick, Now, Always (BOA Editions, 1996)
Against the Meanwhile: 3 Elegies (Wesleyan University Press, 1988)
The Halo of Desire (Galileo Press, 1987)

Prose
Monster: Distortion, Abstraction, and Originality in Contemporary American Poetry (Peter Lang, 2017)

by this poet

poem
When within ourselves in autumn we feel the autumn
I become very still, a kind of singing, and try to move
like all things green, in one direction, when within ourselves
the autumn moves, thickening like honey, that light we smear
on faces and hands, then touch the far
2
poem

Now light turns the room a deep orange at dusk and you

think you are floating, but in truth you are falling, and the fall

is so slow, yet precise, like climbing a ladder of straw. Now

leaning forward, you open your hands that keep opening. Is

this what Yes feels like? Making a shore where no

poem

A shark swims into the bay, swirls, and then rises with the ugly grin of millennia.

A match flame to a cigar, years later a campfire, and long after a house on fire.

Love—to forget language and act on instinct, its indestructible form.

—Something written on a piece of paper after an