Stealing the Children
This was the first collection of poems by Carolyne Wright. She is from Seattle, Washington, and received her MA in Creative Writing and her Doctor of Arts both from Syracuse University. She writes of the west and of relationships, both with an extraordinary sense of physical space. She writes of the dynamic between people, as they move together and come apart. There is the sense that much of this collection is autobiographical, yet she writes not of specifics, named and fenced off, but how these situations meld into what we all experience as people. Many of the poems express the space of the west—Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada—with a beauty and starkness that accurately captures the feel of the landscape.
This book is currently out of print. Copies may be purchased directly from the author at the regular price ($9.95). Contact her at carolyne.eulene [at] juno.com
The air always filled with the word
No. Weekends, he dozed before the T.V. set,
slouched downstairs to open drawers;
sent up, through the vents, the glass's clink
against the bottle. We were too small
to stand up to dictums issued
from the breakfast throne. Mother's shoulders
rounded under his glare—truncated in love
she was, like a cry cut off. She slipped us
dollar bills, wheedled riding lessons,
concert seats, treats that tried to fill
the holes. Falling asleep, our shoulders
twitched, rejecting everything he said:
whisperings at midnight, audible shrugs,
evasions stumbling down the steps
to face up to just one more round....
The red face fades.
The first decades recede like a hairline.
colleagues tell us we're successes,
come over the landscaped hills of circumstance
to freer pasture: concert grands, podiums
pounded so hard they stand up to poems,
real friends. Down the old street,
mother's still rounded shouldered, waits
for phone calls or our letters,
cakes she bakes for our arrivals
getting smaller every year.
Copyright © 1978 by Carolyne Wright
Carolyne Wright has published nine books of poetry, four volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali, and a collection of essays. These books include Mania Klepto: the Book of Eulene (Turning Point Books); A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press); and Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire (Carnegie Mellon UP/EWU Books), which won the Blue Lynx Prize and the American Book Award. A poem of hers appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009 and the Pushcart Prize XXXIV (2010). Wright is a Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes; and a Senior Editor for Lost Horse Press, for which she is co-editing an anthology of poems on women and work, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace. A Seattle native who studied with Elizabeth Bishop, William Stafford, and Richard Hugo, among others, Wright has been a visiting poet, scholar, and translator in Chile, India and Bangladesh; at Harvard, Emory, and the University of Miami, among others; as well as festivals and conferences around the country. In 2005 she returned to Seattle, where she is on the faculty of the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program.