In the old recording of the birthday party,
the voices of the living and the dead
instruct twelve absent friends
on the reliable luxury of gratitude.
The celebrated one hands out presents.
The dead dog barks once. We
take one another’s hands and follow their lead,
past the garden
Saskia Hamilton was born in Washington, D.C., in 1967, and earned a BA from Kenyon College and an MA from New York University.
She is the author of Corridor (Graywolf Press, 2014), Divide These (Graywolf Press, 2005), and As for Dream (2001). She is also the editor of The Letters of Robert Lowell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005) and the co-editor of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (2008).
In a review of Divide These, Raymond McDaniel wrote in The Boston Review: "Hamilton’s writing has been called spare and delicate, but neither of these quite gets at the effect of her poems, which are delicate only in the way a suspension bridge is: neither is marked by unnecessary ornament or fragility, and it would be a mistake to regard either as anything other than rigorously tough."
Hamilton is the recipient of fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has worked for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. and the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe. She currently teaches at Barnard College in New York.