B H Fairchild

(1942 - / Houston, Texas.)

Biography of B H Fairchild

B H Fairchild poet

B.H. Fairchild is an award-winning American poet and former college professor. His most recent book is Usher, and his poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The Southern Review.


He was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in small towns in the oil fields of Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas, later working through high school and college for his father, a lathe machinist. He taught English and Creative Writing at California State University, San Bernardino and Claremont Graduate University. He lives in Claremont, California with his wife, Patti, and dog, Minnie.

His third poetry collection, The Art of the Lathe, winner of the 1997 Beatrice Hawley Award, brought Fairchild's work to national prominence, garnering him a large number of awards and fellowships. The book ultimately gave him international attention, as The Way Weiser Press in England published the U.K. edition of the book.

B H Fairchild's Works:

Full-Length Poetry Collections

Usher (W. W. Norton, 2009)
Local Knowledge (W.W. Norton, 2005, second edition)
Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest (W.W. Norton, 2003)
The Arrival of the Future (Alice James Books, 2000, second edition)
The Art of the Lathe (Alice James Books, 1998)
Local Knowledge (Quarterly Review of Literature, Princeton, NJ, 1991)
The Arrival of the Future (illustrated by Ross Zirkle, Swallow's Tale Press, 1985, Livingston Publishing, 1985)


The System of Which the Body Is One Part (State Street Press, 1988)
Flight (Devil's Millhopper Press, 1985)
C & W Machine Works (Trilobite Press, 1983)

Literary Criticism

Such Holy Song: Music as Idea, Form, and Image in the Poetry of William Blake (Kent State University Press, 1980)

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PoemHunter.com Updates

The Art Of The Lathe

Leonardo imagined the first one.
The next was a pole lathe with a drive cord,
illustrated in Plumier's L'art de tourner en perfection.
Then Ramsden, Vauconson, the great Maudslay,
his student Roberts, Fox, Clement, Whitworth.

The long line of machinists to my left
lean into their work, ungloved hands adjusting the calipers,
tapping the bit lightly with their fingertips.

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