Deborah Bogen

Evolution/ Poet to Novelist/ Contest Chick to Indie Author

Deborah Bogen

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Elixir Press 2009




Been Blogging - check out the new one - short and sweet.

"The Witch of Leper Cove" will now be available to check out on GOODKINDLES - find them by clicking the links ABOVE this text and tell your friends about this site.

At your left (on top) there's a link to the book trailer for The Witch of Leper Cove. Check it out - not sure what videos have to do with selling books but it is fun.

The series is listed as YA but so far it appeals to readers from 10 - 80. Maybe that's because the early middle ages are fascinating. A time and place so different but in some respects so familiar.

Thanks for stopping by. Send word of your life and your projects - cause we are all in this together, Deborah

Let Me Open You A Swan is available from and You'll find links on this site to help with the process. This book won the 2009 Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press and I am grateful to Dana Curtis, the world's peachiest editor, for the gorgeous presentation of these poems.

Right now you can find an interview about one of the poems, "The Rudest Gesture is the Phone that Rings in the Night" on Diane Lockward's fine Blog called "Blogalicious". A link to that is at the top of this column.

Scott Hightower has reviewed "Let Me Open You a Swan" in the online journal "Fogged Clarity." See the link for that above also.

Crazyhorse Magazine has just launched their online version and you can read "Asylum", the long poem that opens my new book, there.

I have been a fan of Lynn Emanuel's work for a long time and finally got the chance to write about it. There's all the glamour of the postmodern wizardry but there is an underlying interest in elegy that you can read by clicking the link at the top of this page. I hope you check it out.

There are also three new reviews of "Landscape with Silos" available online, one at Valparaiso Review by Jana Bouma and one on Rattle by Cati Porter, and a third by Scott Hightower at Coldfront. You can see these reviews by clicking on the "Works" tab above, and then the links on that page.

A little life info

Born in 1950 in Billings, Montana, Deborah Bogen also spent some childhood time in Garrison North Dakota, a very small town which seemed largely populated with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandmothers. The contrast between Billings, where most families were trying to leave farming life behind, and Garrison which was and still is agriculturally based, was striking. When she was 15 she moved with her mother and brother to Marin County, just north of San Francisco, CA. This geographic move seemed like time travel: Montana in 1965 was nothing like California where the Berkeley counterculture movement just taking off. She was introduced to poetry there. Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder were frequent readers in the Bay Area and most coffee houses and corners boasted several poets. In 1968 she went to Pitzer College to study philosophy, but anti-Vietnam War political events on campus were equally educational and after the Kent State shootings and the resulting March on Washington she dropped out of school, married a hippie and moved to Bolinas to have hippie babies. Motherhood made her more conservative so she moved to Santa Rosa, CA which seemed safe and simple. By the time the kids were 10 and 12 and the hippie marriage was over she had gone to work for lawyers as a paralegal to pay bills. When she least expected it she re-met her college philosophy teacher, Jim Bogen. They married, raised kids and made art, philosophy, science and music in Southern California till 2000, and continue to do so in Pittsburgh, their current home.

Bogenís real poetry writing adventure did not begin till she was 47 when she took a poetry workshop run by Doug Anderson. That was followed by summer seminars at The Catskill Poetry Workshop, The Frost Place, Ropewalk and Bread Loaf. Her poems and reviews appear widely in journals including Shenandoah, The Gettysburg Review,The Georgia Review, Margie, Poetry International, and Field. Her work has been featured twice on Poetry Daily and twice on Verse Daily. One of her poems has been chosen by Poetry Daily for inclusion in their new hardcopy anthology. Her chapbook, Living by the Childrenís Cemetery, was chosen by Edward Hirsch as the winner of the 2002 ByLine Press Competition and her full-length collection, Landscape with Silos, won the 2005 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize (judged by Betty Adcock). Landscape with Silos, was released by Texas Review Press in August 2006. She runs free writing workshops in her home.

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Selected Works

Young Adult Historical Fiction
Three teenage siblings survive the deaths of their parents only to find themselves up against the Holy Mother Church and the Inquisition.
Winner of the 2009 Antivenom from Elixir Press "What we have in Deborah Bogen's 'Let Me Open You a Swan' is sublime poetry, the rare gift of a terrifying look into the shaping of a warrior poet and her work. Michelle Mitchell-Foust.
Here are some poems that are not in either book.
Landscape With Silos was a National Poetry Series Finalist and Winner of the 2005 XJ Kennedy Poetry Prize

"Deb Bogen writes poetry that is naked and necessary, unadorned and political, intelligent and genereous. The book brims with intelligence." ---Carol Frost
Living by the Children's Cemetery was Winner of the 2002 ByLine Press Chapbook Competition

Judge Edward Hirsch commented that the book "provides a profound answer to the poet's own call for 'someting sinister, something/ fragile, something Bessie Smith/ could sing.'"