Amy Gerstler

(1956 / San Diego, California)

Biography of Amy Gerstler

Amy Gerstler poet

Amy Gerstler (born 1956) is an American poet. Her books of poetry include Ghost Girl (2004); Medicine (2000) - finalist for the Phi Beta Kappa Poetry Award; Crown of Weeds (1997); Nerve Storm (1995); Bitter Angel (1990) - winner of the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award - The True Bride (1986) and Dearest Creature, (2009).

Described by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the best poets in the nation," her 2009 book, Dearest Creature, was named one of the notable books of the year by the New York Times.

Gerstler was editor of the 2010 edition of the anthology Best American Poetry. She is also the author of art reviews, book reviews, fiction, and occasional journalistic essays. She has collaborated with visual artists, including Alexis Smith, and her writing has been published in numerous exhibition catalogs.

She is a graduate of Pitzer College and holds an M.F.A. from Bennington College. She is now a professor in the MFA writing program at the University of California, Irvine. Previously, she taught in the Bennington Writing Seminars program, at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and the University of Southern California's Master of Professional Writing Program.

She is married to artist and author Benjamin Weissman. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Bon Courage

Why are the woods so alluring? A forest appears
to a young girl one morning as she combs
the dreams out of   her hair. The trees rustle
and whisper, shimmer and hiss. The forest
opens and closes, a door loose on its hinges,
banging in a strong wind. Everything in the dim
kitchen: the basin, the jug, the skillet, the churn,
snickers scornfully. In this way a maiden
is driven toward the dangers of a forest,

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