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Sandra McPherson

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Sandra McPherson

Raised in California, Sandra McPherson received her B.A. at San Jose University and studied at the graduate level with Elizabeth Bishop and David Wagoner at the University of Washington. Her poetry collections include, A Visit to Civilization (Wesleyan University Press, 2002), The Edge Effect (1996), The Spaces Between Birds (1996), The God of Indeterminancy (1993), and The Year of Our Birth (1978), which was nominated for the National Book Award. She has also published nine chapbooks, including Beauty in Use (1997). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Yale Review, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Southern Review and TriQuarterly.

Sandra McPherson's honors include two grants from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, three National Endowment of the Arts fellowships, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She has taught at the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop, the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, and the Art of the Wild Conference. Her poetry was also featured in the PBS special, The Language of Life, hosted by Bill Moyers. She currently teaches English at the University of California at Davis.

by this poet

poem
I have enough retablos of visions, ex-votos of rescues,
for a shrine in a corner of my home
to pray for release from the mind's mad portraitist--
Wendy's sick green angel of the asylum,
William's fisherman curled up
in his own tackle box, Alice's hunched figure outlined
with scraping fingernail through blue
poem
Orange is the single-hearted color. I remember
How I found them in a vein beside the railroad,
A bumble-bee fumbling for a foothold
While the poppies' petals flagged beneath his boot.

I brought three poppies home and two buds still sheathed.
I amputated them above the root. They lived on artlessly
Beside the