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Poems - Bio - Interview - Reading

Aaron Anstett

Atoms in Their Orbits

The particulars of remembering, spray
of water beyond the singularity of its gravity-
defying thrust, color of carpet hairs

under fingernails, or screech of laughter
one hotel hallway at an ice machine's
languid rumbling, or the house of my childhood

haunted by what menace, mysterious
injuries. Gingerly, the wind, with hints
of vanilla, tobacco, wet stone, continues

over whatever Texas road down which a thin
dog falters, brothel, your skin,
public wall on which hand-scrawled messages appear,

grass seldom slept on well or long, skeleton
in the mountains after the thaw, glass
shattered on asphalt, many glittering windows.


All at Once

In the beginning was the whir. The whir made flecks.
Impossible now a snow across the roads like smoke, animated lace, supple,
      hovering tracery. Impossible such tall flames.
Somewhere mutter every word we must not blurt in airports.
Somewhere hum to thrum of wind over bottle's lip.
Somewhere maneuver shopping cart, mouthing brand names.
Somewhere lurch and curse in barroom murk, clutching torn felt.
Somewhere say "Maple, loblolly," watching light dwindle through windows.
Somewhere tiptoe on stairs pressing bald spot to ceiling, making of it sombrero's
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
The world is all that just decays.


Care and Feeding

Some number what-10,000 scintilla?-swing
like saloon doors, invisibly hinged, upon

and in this heat-blurred landscape and who-poured ocean:
underwater flower corral, nosed about by monsters.

On land, many piñatas my brain-shaped
sway, one for each cell left.

As blindfolded batters gather, I forget
which firework my soul most longs for, hearing

disembodied conversation through wallboards,
but, good start, air condensed to water sweating down milk

as elsewhere cows' stomachs translate grasses,
and I greet the day as so often it is: as-is,

each wee hour dream my new career: obit punch-up,
collective noun creation: squalor of Anstetts,

bickering of in-laws, or assign myself such perilous missions
as searching glove boxes, trunks in impound lots for the

whereabouts and attendant engineering specs
to nth-level granularity and zoom-in view

and the vanishing point toward which, on what
so-and-so's say-so, the 10,000 things drift.

                            -from Insofar as Heretofore


Poems - Bio - Interview - Reading

Aaron Anstett's collection Sustenance was the finalist for the 1998 Colorado Book Award in Poetry. His second collection, No Accident, was selected by Philip Levine for the 2004 Backwaters Press Prize and won the 2006 Nebraska Book Award and the Balcones Poetry Prize. His newest collections are, Each Place the Body's (2007, Ghost Road Press), and Insofar as Heretofore (2014, The Backwaters Press). His poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Black Warrior Review, Indiana Review, The Ohio Review, Poetry Daily, River City, and Shenandoah among many other journals, and he has been featured on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac. Anstett has run an open-mike series for a number of years and often organizes readings. Recently he has taught Creative Writing at the University of Colorado-Pueblo. He lives in southern Colorado with his children.


Poems - Bio - Interview - Reading

Click here to read an interview with Aaron Anstett at Broadsided Press


 Poems - Bio - Interview - Reading

       Click here to view multiple readings by Aaron Anstett




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Aaron Anstett







Dan Albergotti 04-22-2015


Agha Shahid Ali 09-14-07


Alice Anderson 11-16-08


Renee Ashley 04-10-2010


Charlotte Austin 11-26-2013


Christianne Balk 07-27-07


Christianne Balk 05-12-2014


Brian Barker 01-22-2014


Brian Barker 07-07-07


Quan Barry 04-08-2013


Polina Barskova 09-13-2010


Bruce Beasley 11-22-08


Nicky Beer 09-06-2010


Nicky Beer 08-22-08


Nathaniel Bellows 04-27-09


Ciaran Berry 01-25-09


Lillian-Yvonne Bertram 09-17-2013


Linda Bierds 08-31-07


Kristin Bock 08-17-09


Bruce Bond 02-18-2012


John Bradley 03-12-2012


Mark J. Brewin Jr. 02-05-2014


Brian Brodeur 03-29-09


Brian Brodeur 08-21-2012


F. Douglas Brown 10-07-2015


Nickole Brown 04-29-2015


Michelle Boisseau 09-20-2010 


Sophie Cabot Black 03-26-2012


Kara Candito 09-16-2014


Anthony Carelli 09-02-2014


Anne Caston 09-24-09


Anne Caston 02-27-2011


Elizabeth Biller Chapman 01-25-08


Nicole Cooley 04-05-09


Eduardo C. Corral 05-27-2015


Stephen Cramer 02-14-2011


Nicole Cuddeback 03-07-08


David J. Daniels 10-22-2015


Steve Davenport 03-29-2010


Steve Davenport 05-07-2013


Cortney Davis 05-03-09


Geffrey Davis 09-09-2014


Todd Davis 03-10-2014


Todd Davis 11-01-2010


James Dickey 03-12-2012


Katy Didden 03-24-2014


Stephen Dobyns 02-26-2012


Elizabeth Dodd 09-05-08


Karen Donovan 04-15-07


Mark Doty 04-11-08


Camille Dungy 12-23-2014


Stephen Dunn 11-09-02010


Lynn Emanuel 08-30-2010


Lynnell Edwards 11-22-2010


Kerry James Evans 02-18-2015


B. H. Fairchild  09-04-09


Tarfia Faizullah 08-25-2015


Andrew Feld 11-04-2014


Elyse Fenton 04-25-2011


Nick Flynn 01-28-2012


Nick Flynn 10-04-2010


Rachel Contreni Flynn 04-10-2011


Carolyn Forche 09-21-07


Carrie Fountain 03-21-2011


Ross Gay 11-29-2012


James Galvin 04-02-2013


James Galvin 02-23-07


Margaret Gibson 01-24-10


Mary Jo Firth Gillett 02-22-08


Dana Gioia 03-18-2013


Dana Gioia 08-23-2010


Eugene Gloria  02-04-2013


Eugene Gloria 09-20-08


Louise Gluck 03-17-2010


Kevin Goodan 08-29-08


Matthew Graham 11-28-2010


Robert Grunst 04-14-2014


Robert Grunst 11-16-07


Bruce Guernsey 9-13-2011


Elizabeth Hadaway 06-15-07


John Haines 11-01-2011


Donald Hall 02-10-07


Sam Hamill 10-02-2013


Sarah Hannah 11-25-2011


C. G. Hanzlicek 04-23-2012


Jeff Hardin 10-09-2013


Jeff Hardin 08-10-07


Georganne Harmon 09-29-2015


Elizabeth Haukaas 09-13-2011


Brooks Haxton 03-08-10


Seamus Heaney 09-03-2013


Seamus Heaney 09-11-09


Jamey Hecht 12-05-2010


Kurt Heinzelman 03-31-2014


Bob Hicok 10-25-2011



Edward Hirsch 11-11-2014


Chloe Honum 01-20-2015


Cornelia Hoogland 02-17-2014


Andrew Hudgins 11-21-09


Richard Hugo 9-10-2012



Lynda Hull 05-20-07


T.R. Hummer 10-28-2013


Henry Israeli 01-23-2011


Major Jackson 05-02-2010


Mark Jarman 10-19-08


TJ Jarrett 09-08-2015


Luke Johnson 09-30-2014


Rodney Jones 10-26-09


Barbara Jordan 02-02-09


Judy Jordan 11-06-2012


Anna Journey 09-10-2013


Ilya Kaminsky 11-18-2011


Julia Kasdorf 11-11-2013


Aby Kaupang 04-21-2014


Daniel Khalastchi 8-30-2011


Brigit Pegeen Kelly 10-12-08


Terry Kennedy 10-28-2014


Jane Kenyon 04-01-07


Suji Kwock Kim 11-09-2011

 James Kimbrell 04-07-2010

James Kimbrell 01-19-07


Galway Kinnell 11-09-07


Yusef Komunyakaa 07-15-07


Stephanie Lenox 04-15-2013


Eleanor Lerman 11-02-08


Mari L'Esperance  02-11-2013


Phil Levine 06-03-07


Larry Levis 04-04-08


Larry Levis 02-08-2010


Lisa Lewis 02-11-2012


Sandy Longhorn 02-11-2015


Sandy Longhorn 04-26-08


Al Maginnes 03-17-2014


Corey Marks 09-18-2012


Corey Marks 10-03-07


Adrian Matejka 04-18-08


Clay Matthews 01-27-2015


Davis McCombs 01-18-08


Jeffrey McDaniel 10-08-2011


Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum 02-24-2014


Campbell McGrath 04-06-2014


Michael McGriff 02-22-09


Marc McKee 11-06-2012


Jay Meek 01-16-2010


Erika Meitner 10-21-2013


Joanne Merriam 08-20-2013


Anne Michaels 01-18-09


Nils Michals 02-29-08


Sara Michas-Martin 03-11-2015


Wayne Miller 04-30-2012


Susanna J. Mishler 05-13-2015


Keith Montesano 05-06-2015


Keith Montesano 12-12-2010


Malena Morling 05-12-08


Travis Mossotti 01-13-2015


Simone Muench 02-08-08


Kathryn Nuernberger 02-25-2015


Sharon Olds 02-22-07


Sharon Olds 10-19-07


Michael Ondaatje 02-01-2010


Eric Pankey 09-07-07


Gregory Pardlo 06-22-07


Ed Pavlic 09-28-07


Ed Pavlic 08-28-2012


Oliver de la Paz 02-15-2010


Charlotte Pence 09-16-2015


Lucia Perillo 12-04-09


Nathaniel Perry 10-07-2014


Catherine Pierce 09-04-2012


Catherine Pierce 04-18-2011


Jon Pineda 04-09-2012


Donald Platt 02-15-08


Joshua Poteat 03-13-2011


Joshua Poteat 11-3-09


Wyatt Prunty 02-20-2011


Dean Rader 03-07-2011


Doug Ramspeck 09-22-2015


Amy Randolph 03-01-09


Robert Randolph 12-12-09


Roger Reeves 10-14-2014


Paisley Rekdal 03-04-2013


Adrienne Rich 04-20-2010


Doren Robbins 10-30-2012


Joshua Robbins 11-04-2013


Joshua Robbins 11-16-2010


David Roderick 04-08-2015


David Roderick 12-07-07


Bobby C. Rogers 02-04-2012


Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers 08-18-2014


Pattiann Rogers 3-21-08


Ever Rohan Saskya 10-09-2012


Eva Saulitis 02-03-2015


Steve Scafidi 10-09-09


Jim Schley 10-19-09


Jeffrey Schultz 09-25-2012


Will Schutt 09-23-2014


Steven D. Schroeder 12-16-2014


Tim Seibles 10-08-07


Glenn Shaheen 10-23-2012


David Shumate 10-26-08


Martha Silano 04-29-2013


Ron Slate 04-22-2013


Dave Smith 04-10-09


Maggie Smith 10-23-2012


Megan Snyder-Camp  02-18-2013


Katherine Soniat 12-06-2012


Katherine Soniat 01-21-2012


Katherine Soniat 11-30-07


Gary Soto 03-23-07


Mark Sullivan 08-28-09


Mathias Svalina 04-02-2012

Frank Stanford 10-25-2010

Christina Stoddard 10-13-2015


Mark Strand 02-22-2010


Mark Svenvold 03-23-09


Sam Taylor 04-01-2015


Ryan Teitman 09-24-2013


Daniel Nathan Terry 01-28-2013


Robert Thomas 05-03-2011


Seth Brady Tucker 09-01-2015


Seth Brady Tucker 02-25-2013


Brian Turner 05-13-07


Joshua Vinzant 01-30-2011


Tribute to Virginia Tech 04-24-07


Connie Voisine 10-1-2011


Mark Wagenaar 04-28-2014


Stacey Waite 03-25-2013


Charles Harper Webb 12-09-2013


Charles Harper Webb 10-12-07


David Wevill 03-27-2011


Joshua Marie Wilkinson 12-09-2014


C.K. Williams 05-25-07


Susan B.A. Somers-Willett 06-29-07



L. Lamar Wilson 11-18-2014


David Wojahn 11-18-2013


Charles Wright 01-27-07


Robert Wrigley 10-11-2010


Robert Wrigley 08-17-07


Robert Wrigley 04-09-07


Robert Wrigley 02-03-07


Jake Adam York 10-02-2012


Katherine Young 11-04-2015