Erin Belieu is an American poet
She graduated from Boston University, and Ohio State University with an MFA. She taught at Washington University, Boston University, Kenyon College, and Ohio University. She teaches at Florida State University.
Belieu is the author of three collections of poetry. Her first book, Infanta (1995), was a winner of the Nationa Poetry Series, selected by Hayden Carruth. Infanta was also chosen as a best book of the year by The Washington Post and Library Journal.
Her second collection, One Above & One Below, was the winner of the Midland Authors Prize in poetry and the Ohioana prize, and her most recent collection, Black Box, was a finalist in 2007 for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is presently Director of The Graduate Creative Writing Program at Florida State University.
Belieu is also the coeditor of The Extraordinary Tide, an anthology published by Columbia University Press that features the work of contemporary American women poets. She has worked extensively in literary publishing and was previously the managing and poetry editor for AGNI magazine, as well as the founding editor of Hotel Amerika.
In addition to her writing, editing, and teacher, Erin Belieu is the co-founder and co-director of VIDA, a literary organization that seeks to explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women through meaningful conversation and the exchange of ideas among existing and emerging literary communities.
From On Being Fired Again
I've known the pleasures of being
fired at least eleven times—
most notably by Larry who found my snood
unsuitable, another time by Jack,
whom I was sleeping with. Poor attitude,
tardiness, a contagious lack
of team spirit; I have been unmotivated
squirting perfume onto little cards,
while stocking salad bars, when stripping
covers from romance novels, their heroines
slaving on the chain gang of obsessive love—
and always the same hard candy
of shame dissolving in my throat;
handing in my apron, returning the cash-
register key. And yet, how fine it feels,
the perversity of freedom which never signs
a rent check or explains anything to one's family...