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About this poet

Although born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Anne Pierson Wiese grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She is a graduate of Amherst College and the New York University Graduate Writing Workshop, and currently lives and works in New York City.

Wiese won the 2006 Walt Whitman Award for her first collection of poems, Floating City, selected by Kay Ryan, which was published in 2007 by Louisiana State University Press. Other awards include a 2005 Fellowship in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and Second Prize in the 2004 Arvon International Poetry Competition sponsored by the Arvon Foundation in Great Britain. She was also a winner in the 2004 "Discovery"/The Nation Poetry Contest and received the First Place Poetry Prize in the 2002 Writers@Work Fellowship Competition.

Her work has been anthologized in Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn (New York University Press, 2006).

Profile of the Night Heron

Anne Pierson Wiese
In the Brooklyn Botanic Garden the night
heron is on his branch of his tree, blue
moon curve of his body riding low
above the pond, leaves dipping into water
beneath him, green and loose as fingers.
On the far shore, the ibis is where
I left him last time, a black cypher
on his rock. These birds, they go to the right
place every day until they die.

There are people like that in the city,
with signature hats or empty attaché cases,
expressions of private absorption fending
off comment, who attach to physical
locations—a storefront, a stoop, a corner,
a bench—and appear there daily as if for a job.
They negotiate themselves into the pattern
of place, perhaps wiping windows, badly,
for a few bucks, clearing the stoop of take-out
menus every morning, collecting the trash
at the base of the walk/don’t walk sign
and depositing it in the garbage can.

Even when surfaces change, when the Mom & Pop
store becomes a coffee bar, when the park
benches are replaced with dainty chairs and a pebble
border, they stay, noticing what will never change:
the heartprick of longitude and latitude
to home in on, the conviction that life
depends, every day, on what outlasts you.

Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press from Floating City by Anne Pierson Wiese. Copyright © 2007 by Anne Pierson Wiese.

Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press from Floating City by Anne Pierson Wiese. Copyright © 2007 by Anne Pierson Wiese.

Anne Pierson Wiese

Anne Pierson Wiese

Poet Anne Pierson Wiese won the 2006 Walt Whitman Award for her collection of poems, Floating City

by this poet

poem
There was the famous photographer, Walker Evans,
who started by photographing old signs and ended
by filling his bathtub with them and washing
himself in the kitchen sink.  There was the Harlem
man whose pet tiger cub grew so big that first
his family and finally he himself fled
the 12th-floor, three-bedroom
poem
St. Nicholas Park in Harlem is one of few spots
on the island of Manhattan where you can stand
on terraces of rock untouched since men
with surveyor's tools stood on them
to deliver the bad news, back in the last 
century but one: Gentlemen, here is a substance
we cannot move.  So they built around,
below and