Poems - Bio
hand, or the shadow of a hand,
passes over. The wind, you’d think,
or the way some sad, benevolent god
might stroke the hovering
of all creation his favorite jewel.
So now the hollyhocks shake their hankies
and the dog looks
by domestication, while the minions
of aridity suffer from their thorns and scales,
without love, amen.
You’d think the raven’s rosiny squawk
was complaint, an oiled curmudgeonly bell.
a decent god would
allow a man to love another man.
You’d think there was no place like hell
earth, awash in its armies
and damned to believe in nothing
so much as dollars and death, the economies
of raven and of
man—one who flies,
one who tries and tries to pray.
The Reign of Snakes
Poems - Bio
Robert Wrigley was born February 27, 1951, in East St.
Louis, Illinois, Illinois, and grew up in Collinsville, a coal mining town. He received his B.A. (with honors) in
English Language & Literature at Southern Illinois University in 1974, and his M.F.A. in Poetry from the University
of Montana in 1976, where he studied with Madeline DeFrees, John Haines, and Richard Hugo.
of poetry include Earthly Meditations: New and Selected Poems (Penguin, 2006); Lives of the Animals
(2003); Reign of Snakes (1999), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award; In the Bank of Beautiful Sins
(1995), winner of the San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award and Lenore Marshall Award finalist; What My Father
Believed (1991); Moon in a Mason Jar (1986); and The Sinking of Clay City (1979).
work has also been published in numerous anthologies and literary journals. Wrigley's awards and honors include
fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Idaho State Commission on the Arts, and the Guggenheim
Foundation, as well as the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry magazine,
the Wagner Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Theodore Roethke Award from Poetry Northwest, and two Pushcart
Prizes. From 1987 until 1988 he served as the state of Idaho’s writer-in-residence.
with his wife, the writer Kim Barnes, and their children, on the Clearwater River in Idaho. He has taught at Lewis-Clark
College College, at the University of Oregon of Oregon, twice at the University of Montana, where he returned to
hold the Richard Hugo Chair in Poetry, and at Warren College. He is the Director of the M.F.A. program in creative
writing at the University of Idaho of Idaho.
Poems - Bio