Literature 2-4-2008

What Light: This Week’s Poem: LouAnn Shepard Muhm

Read this week's winning poem, "Breadcrumbs," by LouAnn Shepard Muhm, selected by e.g. bailey. Also: we're in the middle of a new competition round for What Light. You have till February 16 to submit your poems for consideration.



Everywhere I go
I leave a trail:
notes scribbled on a napkin in a bar,
an arrangement of leaves in the road.

I want you to be looking.
I want to be found.

You never come.

I blame the birds.


While I admire long and complex poems, I most often use tightly-compressed, single images in my own work. I strive for what I call “deceptive simplicity:” a clear image, clearly stated, but with other layers of meaning that eventually come to the surface. When my writing process is working best, I end up somewhere surprising.


LouAnn Shepard Muhm is a poet and teacher from Park Rapids, Minnesota. Her poems have appeared in Dust & Fire, The Talking Stick, North Coast Review, Alba, Red River Review, Eclectica, Poems Niederngasse, Creekwalker and CALYX, and she is a recipient of the 2006 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in Poetry. Her chapbook, Dear Immovable, was published in 2006 by Pudding House Press, and her full-length poetry collection Breaking the Glass is forthcoming in February 2008 from Loonfeather Press.