Deborah Bogen

Poet and Novelist

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Chosen by Helene Cordona for the 2017 Jacar Press Poetry Book Award, "Free Fall" contains a suite of poems chosen by Jericho Brown for the 2016 New Letters Poetry Prize.
"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 "In Bogen, suffering cannot be transcended, and yet, while tribulation is fiercely present, it brings to the world an ironic and stubborn luster, a glint, a scintilla of light. "Let Me Open You a Swan" is a vibrant and wholly original work." Lynn Emanuel
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.'"


From "Free Fall"

The News from Japan is Light and Multisyllabic

After a death we need a to-do list. The man from the cemetery wants a deposit. Thereíre things to pick up from the dry cleaners. Even tying your shoes stops you thinking match flame, moth wing.

And because death is the stone we take into the body, we find ourselves resurrecting girlish love songs. We get up in the middle of the night to make butter and sugar sandwiches and listen to radio stations from far away.

And we are not to be admonished. And we are not to be blamed. We have seen the welded crosses, twisted and tossed out behind the caretakerís shed.

The Fourth Bowl of Godís Wrath

For a time it was only windy, as if a storm approached. Then, dervishes in trees. Gusts that cut skin, that spit untethered earth till rocks were arrows. Sparrows, and even the chickens left us. And water? It was moody. Unlikely. Then not-at-all.

Thus we came to understand the Fourth Bowl of Wrath, Godís blistering breath on the land. Heaven was a bug-thickened bruised catastrophe under which cows sickened. Kids sickened. Diggers begged pardon as grit hit coffins. To save the horses we harnessed our women. And every day, the sun rose like a guillotine.