National Poetry Month Spotlight: Mary Biddinger

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2015! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections. In turn, the featured poets will introduce poems they love. Happy April!
Today’s featured poet is Mary Biddinger, author of Saint Monica and O Holy Insurgency. Her most recent title from Black Lawrence Press is A Sunny Place with Adequate Water.
A Sunny Place with Adequate Water
We didn’t have a miniature lighthouse
or a hammer, but thankfully the things we did
have outweighed the things we didn’t
such as airplane tickets and apricot jam
(none, and very little) or proper footwear, wet
patches in the yard good for growing
weeds, not people, but that’s not to say
we were stunted. Every year my birthday gift
was a trip to the Christmas theme park
that contained a strange number of fires
and other threats to Santa, or the dark house
where they’d put a towel over your
mother’s face and pretend to slit
her corduroys with an oversized tree saw.
And then, all that ice, everywhere…
Less than a mile from the park
there was always a girl in her front yard,
hair so transparent it was more like
water haloing her head. Some
kind of radio signal gone solid. Maybe
in a distant dimension
we were sisters. She didn’t
seem to have a mother, but if they buried
her apron close enough
to the house, maybe she could
return once in a while, leave spare teeth
in a jar of honey marmalade.
Mary has chosen to introduce “When I Found a Wife” by Sarah Dravec.
She says: When I hunker down to write a poem, I need something to remind me of why I write poems in the first place. Often, that reminder is a poem. But how to find one so perfect, so riveting, that the reader has no choice but to immediately pick up a pen? Sarah Dravec’s “When I Found a Wife” from Phantom Limb is one such stunner. Every sentence in this prose poem packs a surprise, until we reach the end and realize we are breathless.
Biddinger 15Mary Biddinger’s most recent poetry collection is A Sunny Place with Adequate Water (Black Lawrence Press, 2014). Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Green Mountains Review, jubilat, The Laurel Review, and Pleiades, among others. She teaches poetry writing and literature at the University of Akron, and edits Barn Owl Review and the Akron Series in Poetry. Biddinger is the recipient of a 2015 NEA creative writing fellowship in poetry.