National Poetry Month Spotlight: Renée Ashley

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2016! 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.

Today’s featured poet is Renée Ashleyauthor of  The View from the Body.

It is the now that is reordered. All the markers gone. Thunder
on the window ledge. Your heart a rattle of rocks and
the world ends every day. You would like to get closer to
what-it-is. The what-you-just-by-moments-missed when
you were otherwise, abstractly, occupied. The what-bodies-
rolled-by-you, the what-fell-from-the-goddamned-sky. You
would like the dogs to understand—but they’re otherwise, not
so abstractly, occupied. They want bones and beef. They want
to go outside, pee, take a big dump near the marigolds. They
want that now. And the black one would like his muzzle
stroked. You’d like some god to let the ladder down, you’d like
to understand a few things as they are when they take you.
Renee1033Renée Ashley is the author of five previous volumes of poetry: Because I Am the Shore I Want to Be the Sea (Subito Book Prize, University of Colorado—Boulder); Basic Heart (X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, Texas Review Press); The Revisionist’s Dream; The Various Reasons of Light; and Salt (Brittingham Prize in Poetry, University of Wisconsin Press), as well as a novel, Someplace Like This, and two chapbooks, The Museum of Lost Wings and The Verbs of Desiring. A portion of her poem, “First Book of the Moon,” is included in a permanent installation by the artist Larry Kirkland in Penn Station, Manhattan, NY.  She has served as Assistant Poetry Coordinator for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and as Poetry Editor of The Literary Review. Ashley teaches in the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing and the MA in Creative Writing and Literature for Educators programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University.