August 18, 1587
by Lyn Lifshin
Lyn Lifshin

Lyn Lifshin has written more than 125 books and edited 4 anthologies of women writers. Her poems have appeared in most poetry and literary magazines in the U.S.A, and her work has been included in virtually every major anthology of recent writing by women. She has given more than 700 readings across the U.S.A. and has appeared at Dartmouth and Skidmore colleges, Cornell University, the Shakespeare Library, Whitney Museum, and Huntington Library. Lyn Lifshin has also taught poetry and prose writing for many years at universities, colleges and high schools, and has been Poet in Residence at the University of Rochester, Antioch, and Colorado Mountain College. Winner of numerous awards including the Jack Kerouac Award for her book Kiss The Skin Off, Lyn is the subject of the documentary film Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. For her absolute dedication to the small presses which first published her, and for managing to survive on her own apart from any major publishing house or academic institution, Lifshin has earned the distinction "Queen of the Small Presses." She has been praised by Robert Frost, Ken Kesey and Richard Eberhart, and Ed Sanders has seen her as "a modern Emily Dickinson."

Virginia Dare, first English child born in the new country. Her grandfather went back to England to get help, came back 3 years later but there was no sign of any of them

In that fall, as leaves went
blood with her child squalling
her mother must have clawed
wisteria, dreamt of orange trees
loaded with fruit as ice crept
into buckets and the dark came
too fast. No one knows if the
corn faltered, the flood bank
rose. No one knows if a roof
collapsed, bones broke, if men
crept in with hatchets, the baby
in her arms as snow piled higher
than the chinked window. The
mother might have torn the dress
she wore for teas in Essex into
swaths to soothe her childís
burning skin, or to make a dollís
dress for the corn cob figure her
child giggled and cried to have
near her bed. Were there gaps
in her memory, going over the
smell of English roses, the weather,
the porcelain cups for tea. She
could load the gun but would
she use it on a stranger in the
middle of the night with the baby
between them? Did she hold it in
her hands as if it was anotherís
fingers as the moon slithered thru
burlap and the rough weave never
let her forget where she was


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