Skip to main content

Albert Goldbarth

Albert Goldbarth is a two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. His most recent collections include To Be Read in 500 Years and The Kitchen Sink: New and Selection Poems, 1972–2007, both from Graywolf. He is the Adele Davis Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Wichita State University, where he has taught since 1987.



Spring 2012 | Poetry

Because we’ve seen the power in even a single atom unchained from its own infrastructural hold, and know what happens when a mass—the famous “critical mass”—of atoms are simultaneously unformed (the woe of Nagasaki is unendurable both on th [...]

True Void

Spring 2010 | Poetry

“Until the 1920s physicists viewed the vacuum much as the rest of us still do: as a true void. That all changed with the birth of quantum mechanics. According to that theory, [empty] space is seething with energy and particles that flit into and ou [...]


Spring 2010 | Poetry

The real wing of a real angel . . . ? That would be the travel of light through the universe. Now imagine both wings . . . no, we can’t. Instead, medieval artists set them onto a figure’s shoulders, made a backpack, made [...]

Not Sumerian

Summer 2006 | Poetry

  They tried to stop her dying. The son with the money tried—he shoveled it by the trainload into her lungs. The daughter made herself an expert in the illness, to erase it on its own terms: still it stayed, it grew, and as you know the eraser [...]


Winter 2006 | Poetry

Sometimes the dominatrix simply squats above the subservient mouth, and feeds it like a mother bird. At other times (in other moods) a sense of courtly ritual is called for, and her seat-on-hollow-box is wheeled out, so something formal and geometric [...]

Stated Focus

Fall 2004 | Poetry

Late May, 1754: George Washington watches
as one of his confederates, the Iroquois warrior
Half-King, reaches down to the corpse
of a freshly slain French ensign,

The English Rat

Fall 2004 | Poetry

Brioche. Barouche. And one of them you can still buy, by the dozen,
at the sweets stall in the weekend farmers market; the other
hasn't been seen in a century (although they tend
to blend, to be conjoined twins, in my mind).

The Song of How We Believe

Fall 2004 | Poetry

Give us an incisor, and we'll rationally conjecture
an entire prehistoric head, to the glint
in its eyes and in the light along its scaled skin
—but first, we need that tooth, that seed

Scale-Model Sketch

For his birthday, they bought their ten-year-old a pet boa constrictor."Feeding time" became a matter of knowingly kitschy ritual, with Marco Polo costumes and a gold gong (was a trash can lid). And then, from a level about a thousand miles above thi [...]

Fetishes of Passport

. . . and then woke—as I'd dwindled into it—with the pen still in my hand."Whatever getsya through the night . . . " a sometime-cokehead friend would say, and shake her snow-globe of a cranium, inside of which her devils for the day were be [...]

Crystal / Window / Gem

With the witch, and the batwinged monkeys, Kim thought Emmie would be nightmared-up for days. But Emmie's three and a half. She doesn't understand these stand for half of what's out there waiting. "Mommy this is all in Dorty's 'magination, right?" R [...]


Betsy Nelson of Arlington, Va. , sued Irving's Sports Store of nearby Falls Church after security personnel there falsely accused her of shoplifting a basketball. Nelson, 33, was nine months pregant. —as reported in National Lampoon's "True Fact [...]

Jan. 31st – 31 Yrs.

It was my thirtieth year to heaven, Thomas wrote. Even that was last year. In the corner, the radio's crumbed-over from the cake, a final candle leans like a drunk. The country station clears its throat—I shave, then nick, my own. A long tim [...]

Roof & Writing

1. The the ladder slipped and Roger with it. "The skull," Cully emphasizes, "showed through." And before they wheeled him in to drain and stitch, he told her "Go home shit cover the roof before it rains." No shingle work for me, uh-uh. I don't want t [...]