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poet

Meghan O'Rourke

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Meghan O'Rourke
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Born in New York, New York in 1976, Meghan O'Rourke received a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. She began her literary career as an editorial assistant at The New Yorker, where she also worked as a fiction/nonfiction editor from 2000-2002.

O'Rourke is the author of three collections of poetry: Sun in Days (W. W. Norton, 2017), Once (W. W. Norton, 2011), and Halflife (W.W. Norton, 2007), which was a finalist for Britain's Forward First Book Prize. She is also the author of the memoir The Long Goodbye (Riverhead Books, 2011).

Of her work, poet and New York Times reviewer Joel Brouwer writes, "O'Rourke makes room for many fields of memory in these poems, but locks many others away, often by employing a bemused, detached tone reminiscent of the famously reticent Elizabeth Bishop."

Formerly the poetry editor of the Paris Review and the literary editor of Slate Magazine, she is also a widely published critic and has contributed to The New York Times Book Review and the New Yorker. She received the 2005 Union League and Civic Arts Foundation Award from the Poetry Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, the May Sarton Poetry Prize from the Academy of Arts and Science, and is the recipient of a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Marfa, Texas.


Bibliography

Poetry
Sun in Days (W. W. Norton, 2017)
Once (W. W. Norton, 2011)
Halflife (W.W. Norton, 2007)

Prose
The Long Goodbye (Riverhead Books, 2011)

by this poet

poem

You can only miss someone when they are present to you.

The Isle of the Dead is both dark and light.

Henry Miller told Anaïs Nin that the only real death is being dead while alive.

The absent will only be absent when they are forgotten.

Until then, absence is a lie, an

poem
We had a drink and got in bed.
That’s when the boat in my mouth set sail,
my fingers drifting in the shallows of your buzz cut.
And in the sound of your eye 
a skiff coasted—boarding it
I found all the bric-a-brac of your attic gloom,
the knives from that other island trip, 
the poison suckleroot lifted from God
poem

What you did wasn’t so bad.
You stood in a small room, waiting for the sun.
At least you told yourself that.
I know it was small,
but there was something, a kind of pulped lemon,
at the low edge of the sky.

No, you’re right, it was terrible.
Terrible to live without love
in