poem index

poet

Robin Becker

, United States
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Robin Becker

Robin Becker was born in 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned a BA and MA from Boston University and taught for seventeen years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She is the author of The Black Bear Inside Me (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018); Tiger Heron (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014); Domain of Perfect Affection (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006); The Horse Fair (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000); All-American Girl (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996), which won the 1996 Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry; Giacometti’s Dog (1990); Backtalk (Alice James Books, 1982); and Personal Effects (Alice James Books, 1977).

About her work, Stephen Dunn has said: “Robin Becker achieves what may be one of the early twenty first century’s most difficult accomplishments—to write a credible poetry of affirmation. In the doing, she doesn’t pretty up the world. Rather, she finds language that embraces our dualities, our many-selved presences, regularly demonstrating her kind of perfect affection.”

Her poems and book reviews have appeared in publications such as American Poetry Review, the Boston Globe, Gettysburg Review, and Ploughshares. Her honors include the 1997 Virginia Faulkner Prize for Excellence in Writing from Prairie Schooner magazine and fellowships from the Mary Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In addition to serving as poetry editor for The Women’s Review of Books, Becker writes a column for the WRB on poetry and the poetry scene called “Field Notes.” She is a professor of English and women’s studies at Pennsylvania State University.


Select Bibliography

The Black Bear Inside Me (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018)
Tiger Heron (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014)
Domain of Perfect Affection (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006)
The Horse Fair (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000)
All-American Girl (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996)
Giacometti’s Dog (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990)
Backtalk (Alice James Books, 1982)
Personal Effects (Alice James Books, 1977)

 

by this poet

poem

I love the whir of the creature come
to visit the pink
flowers in the hanging basket as she does

most August mornings, hours away
from starvation to store
enough energy to survive overnight.

The Aztecs saw the refraction
of incident light on wings
as resurrection

2
poem
Shot with arrows and left for dead,
against the angel's leg, Sebastian sinks.
In time, he'll become the patron

saint of athletes and bookbinders.
But for now, who wouldn't want to be
delivered into the sculpted arms

of this seraph, his heavenly
shoulders and biceps?
The artist understood the swoon

of doctrine
poem

Give me, again, the fairy tale grotto
with the portico-vaulting overhead.
Let me walk beneath the canted columns
of Gaudí’s rookery, spiral
along his crenelated Jerusalem
of broken tiles, crazy shields.
Yes, it’s hot as hell and full
of tourists at the double helix,
but the