Joanna Klink earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University. Her collections of poetry include They Are Sleeping (2000), Circadian (2007), and Raptus (2010). Her work has been included in numerous anthologies, including The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry (2011). Of her work, Klink has said: “In poems I am trying to find my bearings through a world that at times feels remote and inchoate and struck blank with noise. I would like to place myself in a field of deep attention, and out of that attention come to feel and regard with more acute understanding what is there. I write to be less hopelessly myself, to sense something more expansive than where I speak from.”
Her honors and awards include a Rona Jaffe Fellowship and the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, among others. She was the Briggs-Copeland Poet at Harvard University and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Montana.
Lately, too much disturbed, you stay trailing in me
and I believe you. How could I not feel
you were misspent, there by books stacked clean on glass,
or outside the snow arriving as I am still arriving.
It began in a foyer of evenings
The evenings left traces of glass in the trees
A book and a footpath we followed
Under throat-pipes of birds
When everything finally has been wrecked and further shipwrecked,
When their most ardent dream has been made hollow and unrecognizable,
They will feel inside their limbs the missing shade of blue that lingers
Against hills in the cooler hours before dark, and the moss at the foot of the forest
Some feel rain. Some feel the beetle startle
in its ghost-part when the bark
slips. Some feel musk. Asleep against
each other in the whiskey dark, scarcely there.