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Eula Biss

Eula Biss is the author of The Balloonists (Hanging Loose Press, 2002), as well as the award-winning nonfiction books On Immunity: An Inoculation (Graywolf Press, 2014) and Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays (Graywolf Press, 2009). She is the recipient of a Jaffe Writers’ Award, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at Northwestern University and lives in Chicago.

By This Poet


My Father Told Us Stories. . .

My father told us stories every night about strange little ani-
mals that came out in the dark. When my father was away, my 
mother read us fairy tales that always ended in marriage. 
Sometimes, when I missed my father, I slept under my bed in 
mourning and the mice crawled all around me.
I stand at the window of a bridal shop where huge dresses
hang ghostly in the dark. At the back is a collection of veils
like a row of sleeping jellyfish. One whole wall of the shop is
a mass of white cloth. The wedding dresses are enormous.
They are twice as big as me, and bigger than any woman on 
the street.
This is the year that everyone is trying to fly around the world in a balloon. I don't know why.