Biography of Gary Whitehead
Gary Joseph Whitehead is an American poet, painter, and cruciverbalist. He is the author of Measuring Cubits while the Thunder Claps (David Robert Books, 2008), The Velocity of Dust (Salmon/Dufour Editions, 2004), After the Drowning (Finishing Line Press), A Cool, Dry Place (White Eagle Coffee Store Press), and Walking Back to Providence (Sow's Ear Press). His work has appeared worldwide in journals, magazines and newspapers and most notably in The New Yorker and Poetry.
His awards include a New York Foundation for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry, two Galway Kinnell Poetry Prizes, a Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship at Iowa State University, and a Princeton University Distinguished Secondary School Teaching Award in 2003. He has held artist residencies at Blue Mountain Center, Mesa Refuge, and the Heinrich Böll cottage in Ireland. Whitehead was the founding editor of the now-defunct Defined Providence Press. In 2004, he was the recipient of the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency Award, and spent April though October, 2005 in a secluded cabin in the woods of southwestern Oregon.
Whitehead's crossword puzzles have been published in The New York Sun, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and, most notably, The New York Times. He also has had his puzzles published in Games magazine.
Well known for his poetry, Whitehead is also a painter whose "oil paintings" appear in private and corporate collections in America and the United Kingdom. He currently teaches at the National Blue Ribbon School of Tenafly High School in Tenafly, New Jersey
Gary Whitehead's Works:
Measuring Cubits while the Thunder Claps (David Robert Books, 2008)
The Velocity of Dust (Salmon/Dufour Editions, 2004)
After the Drowning (Finishing Line Press)
A Cool, Dry Place (White Eagle Coffee Store Press)
Walking Back to Providence (Sow's Ear Press)
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Gary Whitehead Poems
A Used Book
When I open its pages my dog stirs from his repose on the couch beside me to sniff at the spine and trim. His gray ears lift to listen, and I hear what he hears:
Full Of Blood, And Irrelevant
If memory had fingers, it would wring from me each forgettable day we shared. The double-date drive to Plum Island in the pouring rain, windows fogged
A Glossary Of Chickens
There should be a word for the way they look with just one eye, neck bent, for beetle or worm or strewn grain. "Gleaning," maybe, between "gizzard"
In the garden of the mind the best thought will never bloom as beautifully as this lily, lemon-yellow and freckled red, four tongues lolling out of a single mouth
A Cold House
I wake now to a house as cold as your side of our double bed. Across the threshold, in the dark hall, the thermostat sparks
Rolling nests of the prairie, prickered and denuded and dead, clutching at clumps, skipping across asphalt, whole shrubs ripped out
Mouse In The House
For two nights now it's wakened me from dreams with a sound like paper being torn, reams of it, a scratching that's gone on for hours. Blind in the dark, I think of my father's
I like to slice them along the seam, blade balanced on the fulcrum of pit —that density, like bone, inside the flesh— and roll until it's cut clean through.
Mouse In The House
For two nights now it's wakened me from dreams
with a sound like paper being torn, reams
of it, a scratching that's gone on for hours.
Blind in the dark, I think of my father's
letters, the ones composed but never sent.
They were addressed to his sister, my aunt,