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The Salt Cedar Fires of '08
from Norman Dubie's
Volcano, The

She said in the dark church kitchen
that the moon was on her
and so she put her last clean sock up inside her,
that she slept last night
in an automobile, was sober
but wouldn’t be much longer,
that the fires choked her—
the smoke, she thought, was greasy
and intolerable like Phoenix itself.

The Navajo, whom she admired,
said this town
was hell at the level of seawater.
She adjusted a shoulder
and regretted once more
not being a blonde. Though she was
insisted the deacon. She lifted her
hem to him and smiled
like Cavafy chewing an olive.

at the press

“Poetry is a way of looking at the world for the first time.”

—W.S. Merwin (1927-2019)


It is with profound sadness that we share this news: W.S. Merwin, former United States poet laureate, Academy of American Poets Chancellor, environmental activist, literary translator, and two-time Pulitzer prize-winning author, passed away in his sleep on March 15, 2019 at his home in the Pe’ahi watershed near Haiku-Pauwela, HI. He was 91.


William’s final original collection of poems, Garden Time, was published in 2016, and two retrospective collections, a 50th Anniversary Edition of The Lice, and The Essential W.S. Merwin, were published in 2017. His career as a published poet spanned nearly seven decades.


We look back now in gratitude for the countless times W.S. Merwin has inspired us, through poetry, to see the world anew.


“For the Anniversary of My Death”


Every year without knowing it I have passed the day

When the last fires will wave to me

And the silence will set out

Tireless traveler

Like the beam of a lightless star


Then I will no longer

Find myself in life as in a strange garment

Surprised at the earth

And the love of one woman

And the shamelessness of men

As today writing after three days of rain

Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease

And bowing not knowing to what

— W.S. Merwin


Leave a personal tribute to W.S. Merwin

Make a memorial gift in support of W.S. Merwin's poetry

readings and events
Taos Poetry Workshop with Ellen Bass and Jericho Brown
reader's reviews
Martin Levine reviews
Lao-Tzu's Taoteching

by Bill Porter (aka Red Pine)

Outstanding! Every feature of the book is well thought out and executed (Red Pine seems to have established his Chinese text to suit his own convenience and preconceptions, rather than#

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