Biography of Stephen Yenser
Stephen Yenser (born 1941 Wichita, Kansas) is an American poet and literary critic who has published two acclaimed volumes of verse, as well as books on James Merrill, Robert Lowell, and an assortment of contemporary poets. With J.D. McClatchy, he is co-literary executor of the James Merrill estate and co-editor of four volumes of Merrill's work.
Yenser graduated from the University of Wisconsin, studying with James Merrill in 1967 on one of the rare occasions when the poet taught. Merrill dedicated to Yenser his final, posthumous collection, A Scattering of Salts (1995).
Yenser is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at the University of California, Los Angeles,curating the Hammer Poetry Series at the Hammer Museum.
His work has appeared in Paris Review,Poetry, Southwest Review, Yale Review, "The New Yorker," and many other magazines. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter..
Stephen Yenser Poems
Now LeRoy on the kill room floor Was almost larger than life. Mondays the green fatigues he wore
Dear Melissa- daughter of Deborah, Hebrew for bee, From dbr, linked to words for truth and word- Whose own name glows
Selections From &Quot;Vertumnal&Quot;
Close call, close call, close call: this early in the morning The raucous crows' raw caws are ricochets off rock. Afloat on wire from a dead tree's branch a piece of charred limb
Sometimes the rain shines Just when the sun reigns, And that was the way it is Beyond those French doors
A Table Of Greene Fields
Your wife, who polished verse, Was duty-bound to quarrel With much that we'd rehearse
Homecoming At Lammas
The August sun starts in against the green And rugged Kansas grain. The rented Dodge whines on through heat so candid
Poetry makes nothing happen. Makes it happen like nothing else. Nothing makes nothing happen like poetry.
Petition On Santorini
Mother of Stone, Cybele, Stone Mother, keep me low, Resigned, involved, confusable
Psalm On Sifnos
One does not want, O Lord, to heap Up by still waters
Nervy, sparrow-like, Eyes Cherokee, Blackberry black,
Hija For Emerson's Birthday
"Just ask yourself," we said back in those days, "Is this world better off without Saddam Hussein?" Now that's a simple question. Just ask yourself.
Petition On Santorini
Mother of Stone, Cybele,
Stone Mother, keep me low,
Resigned, involved, confusable
As to the novice eye the vine
With wild thyme and caper, close
To your chemic soil—
Ash, tuff, and pumice—twined
In on itself to stand
Up under summer wind