Mid-Week Break | Tarfia Faizullah Reads at Bread Loaf 2014

Tarfia Faizullah reads her poems at the 2014 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference:

“I Told the Water”

“Interviewer’s Note”

Tarfia Faizullah Author PhotoBangladeshi-American poet, editor, and educator Tarfia Faizullah was born in 1980 in Brooklyn, NY and raised in west Texas. She received an MFA in poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University and is the author of Seam (SIU 2014). Her honors and awards include a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Ploughshares Cohen Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, as well as scholarships and fellowships from Kundiman, Bread Loaf, Kenyon Review, Sewanee, and Vermont Studio Center. Her poems appear in Poetry Magazine, Poetry Daily, Oxford American, Ploughshares, jubilat, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and have been anthologized in Best New Poets 2013 (Meridian), The Book of Scented Things (Rose O’Neill Literary House Press), Please Excuse this Poem: 100 Poems for the Next Generation (Viking/Penguin), and Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry (University of Southern Carolina Press). Recent prose appears in LA Review of Books, Poetry Foundation, and Necessary Fiction. She lives in Detroit where she co-directs the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press and Video Series with Jamaal May, and is the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor of Poetry in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.

All Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference readings are available on iTunes U. Want to hear more? Visit the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference website.

The streetlamp above me darkens

From Tarfia Faizullah’s poem, “The streetlamp above me darkens,” in the current issue:

The Sun, Street Light and Parallax (Wikimedia)

for this, I am grateful. This elegy
doesn’t want a handful of puffed rice

tossed with mustard oil and chopped chilies,
but wants to understand why a firefly

flickers off then on, wants another throatful
or three of whiskey. This elegy is trying

hard to understand how we all become
corpses, but I’m trying to understand

permanence, because this elegy wants
to be a streetlamp dying as suddenly as a child

who, in death, remains a child….


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Announcing the new NER: Vol. 34, #1

The new issue of New England Review has just shipped from the printer, and a preview is available here on our website. In this issue, Joseph McElroy turns his mind to the ways of wetlands and the costs of human intervention; Kathleen Chaplin listens for the death knock through generations of her Irish family; Ashley Hope Pérez assesses Anne Sexton’s difficult ambitions as a poet and teacher; Joanne Jacobson follows her mother into a garden that grows smaller with time; and in a selection of letters spanning his productive career, Italo Calvino reveals his life as a writer conditioned by history.

Also in these pages you’ll find new poems by Aaron Baker, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Joanne Dominique Dwyer, Tarfia Faizullah, Debora Greger, Benjamin S. Grossberg, Joshua R. Helms, James Hoch, Maria Hummel, Eric Pankey, Melissa Range, and Andres Rojas; new fiction from Michael Coffey, Kathryn Davis, Steve De Jarnatt, Lisa Van Orman Hadley, and Christine Sneed; and a translation of Yves Bonnefoy by Hoyt Rogers. On the cover is Schroon River #2 by Irma Cerese. We dedicate this issue to NER contributor A. J. Sherman (1934–2013): distinguished author, generous friend, unfailing observer.

Get a copy of the beautiful new issue here — or better yet, subscribe!