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Zach Savich

Zach Savich was born in Michigan and raised in Washington, where he received his BA in English from the University of Washington. He also earned MFAs in creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Savich is the author of six poetry collections: Daybed (Black Ocean, 2018), The Orchard Green and Every Color (Omnidawn Publishing, 2016); Century Swept Burial (Black Ocean, 2013); The Firestorm (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Open Award; Annulments (Center for Literary Publishing, 2010), winner of the 2010 Colorado Prize for Poetry; and Full Catastrophe Living (University of Iowa Press, 2009), winner of the 2008 Iowa Poetry Prize. He is also the author of the lyric memoir Events Film Cannot Withstand (Rescue Press, 2011).

Savich has held editorial positions at Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, and Thermos Magazine, and has taught creative writing and literature courses at the University of Iowa; the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; the University of Washington’s Creative Writing Seminar in Rome; Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; and Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. He is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art  and serves as the coeditor of Rescue Press’s Open Prose Series. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Selected Bibliography


Daybed (Black Ocean, 2017)
The Orchard Green and Every Color (Omnidawn Publishing, 2016)
Century Swept Burial (Black Ocean, 2013)
The Firestorm (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011)
Annulments (Center for Literary Publishing, 2010)
Full Catastrophe Living (University of Iowa Press, 2009)


Events Film Cannot Withstand (Rescue Press, 2011)

By This Poet


Strip Show

Lightning-torn bark lured on the lower limbs, a sym-
bol of how a bole bares itself in time. I've tried

to wear my sheddings so gracefully
that finches will not flush at the foul capillary sheen my

systolic nerve acts out its barn-raisings slash burnings by.
Have a heart. Mine murmurs yes and no and yet now.

Rust Honey

I knew for years the archaic term for refrain
               the part of the song you carry—
is burden. It carries you. Refrain, also, as in
               hold back. The burden holds me back.
If I didn’t have you, my father said, passing
               the fire, I’d get out to help. It made me
imagine people inside. I lived instead.
               Burden, I learned, after the bees began
producing rust-honey in their rust-wax
               hives, is also what you feed
into the blast furnace. A burden of rust-honey,
               into the furnace shaft. The slag
is gummy. It sounds impossible. It’s also
               dull. The house kept burning and we ran
for help. It means we’d stopped to watch.
               It sounds impossible. It’s also dull.
Tenderly, though, his running desperate, 
               yet matching his steps to the child’s. 
A sweet smell in the tetanus.