Literature 7-28-2008

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Sandy Beach

Read "Preface" by Sandy Beach, this week's winning poem, selected by series coordinator Lightsey Darst

Sandy Beach
What Light anthology

            (a scavenged poem)

To learn a bird by name
dissect desire.

In your garden
view color

It is a simple matter
It is natural.

Yet, millions refuse it.


Preface was “scavenged” from the preface of an old bird taxonomy book. Skimming across the text, I grabbed all the words or images that felt like a poem. Though, I still find this a great way to rev the engine, I usually go further, using appropriated language as a jumping off point: as a first line, or take each word as the first or last word in a line, and write towards or away from them, giving me a scaffolding for the poem. Much more often I write from interacting in some way with visual art.


St. Louis Park poet, Sandy Beach‘s awards include: a month at The Ezra Pound Center for Literature (northern Italy) with The University of New Orleans, A Loft Poetry Mentorship, her MFA capstone celebrating the lives and work of women artists was chosen “Outstanding MFA Poetry Thesis” (2000) at Hamline University, and two Norcroft Women Writers residencies.