Biography of Amy Gerstler
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.
Amy Gerstler Poems
From 'A Severe Lack Of Holiday Spirit'
… People hit the sauce in a big way all winter. Amidst blizzards they wrestle unsuccessfully with the dark comedy
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
Fruit Cocktail In Light Syrup
Rocket-shaped popsicles that dyed your lips blue were popular when I was a kid. That era got labeled "the space age" in honor of some longed-for,
The dissonance of women. The shrill frilly silly drippy prissy pouty fuss of us. And all the while science was the music of our minds. Our sexual
Hymn to the Neck
Tamed by starched collars or looped by the noose, all hail the stem that holds up the frail cranial buttercup. The neck throbs with dread of the guillotine's kiss, while the silly, bracelet-craving wrists chafe in their handcuffs.
Through what precinct of life's forest are you hiking at this moment? Are you kicking up leaf litter or stabbed by brambles? Of what stuff are you made? Gossamer or chain mail? Are you, as reputed, marvelously empty? Or invisibly ever- present,
He fancies his chances are good with her, unaware that in the years since the war she has come to prefer women whose cunts taste like mustard. To pin one's hopes on
Sea Foam Palace
(Bubbling and spuming as if trying to talk under water, I address you thus:) Must I pretend not to love
In Perpetual Spring
Gardens are also good places to sulk. You pass beds of spiky voodoo lilies and trip over the roots
The Ice Age
A million years ago the earth grew cold. Iowa was covered by twenty-five hundred feet of ice. No one knows why the glaciers formed and spread, or why they eventually retreated.
Sea Foam Palace
(Bubbling and spuming
as if trying to talk under
water, I address you thus:)
Must I pretend not to love
you (in your present bloom,
your present perfection — soul
encased in fleshly relevance)
so you won't believe me
just another seabed denizen