Words Without A Song
A week after the
killings, I read an overview
of the elegy. The long thin call of birds
plays in the background; that CD
where a man's voice interrupts
each feathery blue and gold composer. All
about the air waves shatter with freshly arranged
for war, for retribution and slaughter.
The sky holds above, earth below—
foiled, silent horizon.
us trampling the middle air
where amaranth brightens in the rubble.
-from The Swing Girl
What is Dangerous Not To Remember
We learn pain. It abides between our shoulders
at the base of
the neck in the old pivot of wings we've lost.
Better then not to listen to flight whose sounds can damage us.
to love blue as a color not a point of view.
Better to be a cow in a field, cloven hooves stuck to the earth,
fat with cud. Better to let the swan
draw physics from desire and mount the air
in a blizzard of white.
if there were not men with a taste for steak
and an acute skill with knives.
Poems - Bios
Katherine Soniat's fourth
collection, Alluvial, was published by Bucknell University Press (2001) and was a finalist for The Library
of Virginia Center for the Book Award. A Shared Life won the Iowa Poetry Prize given by the University
of Iowa Press, and a Virginia Prize for Poetry. She has been a recipient of the Camden Poetry Prize, Virginia
Commission for the Arts Fellowships, the William Faulkner Prize, an Ann Stanford Prize, and a Jane Kenyon Prize
for Poetry. Her other collections include Cracking Eggs, Notes of Departure, and a chapbook, Winter
Toys. Poems have appeared in such literary journals as The Nation, Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, The Literary
Review, Witness, River Styx, The Southern Review, and TriQuarterly. An associate professor of English
at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, she lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Lucinda Roy is the
author of the novels Lady Moses and The Hotel Alleluia, two collections of poetry, Wailing the Dead to Sleep and The
Humming Birds, and a book of nonfiction, No Right to Remain Silent:
What We've Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech. Lady Moses was
selected by Barnes and Noble for their Discover Great New Writers series, and Roy won the Eighth Mountain Poetry
Prize for The Humming Birds. She was awarded the Baxter Hathaway
Poetry Prize for her long slave narrative poem “Needlework.” Roy’s commentaries and articles
have appeared in numerous newspapers and journals, including the New York Times, USA Today, The
Chronicle of Higher Education, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Newsweek’s 2009 college guide. She has been
a guest on many TV and radio shows including Oprah, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, Sunday Morning, and the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.
Lucinda Roy is an
Alumni Distinguished Professor in English at Virginia Tech. She earned her B.A. from King’s College, London,
and her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arkansas. She has an honorary doctorate of letters from
the University of Richmond. Professor Roy has won a number of teaching and administration awards, including the
college-wide Excellence in Administration Award, the university-wide Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence, and
a SCHEV statewide Outstanding Faculty Award from the Commonwealth of Virginia. She directed Virginia Tech’s Creative
Writing program for eight years, and served as Chair of English from 2002-2006.
Roy teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in creative writing and
literature at Virginia Tech, and gives keynotes and presentations in the U.S. and abroad on creative writing, higher
education reform, campus safety, race, and women’s issues.
Poems - Bios