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Beth Bachmann

Beth Bachmann is the author of three books, all published by the University of Pittsburgh Press: Temper (2009), Do Not Rise (2015), and CEASE (2018). A recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in Poetry and VQR’s Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry, she lives in Nashville and New York City.


Children in America

December 3, 2020 | Poetry

go to the library to learn how to administer NARCAN
to stop their mother or father’s heart from overdosing. 


December 3, 2020 | Poetry

Time is the distance between birth and death. Parallel universes appear in real time on your screen. Place is an illusion. For instance, I am in the Palace of Versailles.

On Solitude

December 3, 2020 | Poetry

Rats can laugh, but the dogs aren’t smiling: they’re hooked on oxytocin, which rises when we lock eyes with one another. Oxytocin is not dissimilar to OxyContin, an opioid analgesic which can result in a similar sense of euphoria or attachment.


December 3, 2020 | Poetry

Your heart is like an island, like a bomb chambered for containment and you should handle my heart like a rare species of flower that grows only here, like a thing that can destroy.

Famous Writers

December 3, 2020 | Poetry

There must’ve been some incident, something to push both Dickinson and Proust into isolation, the horse thought as a student, but now he thinks time and immortality require one’s full attention. 

Afterwinds, while inside the head of the cloud

Fall 2018 | Poetry

The Gold Codes are the launch codes the president must keep on his person to initiate a nuclear strike.

Nicknamed “the biscuit,” there’s something domestic about it, as though nuclear attack were akin to pressing the soft flesh of a doughboy, the biscuits rising in the oven like mushroom clouds, mother singing.


Fall 2018 | Poetry

I wore the face of the animal to lure the animal into shooting range.

This was symmetry. 


Fall 2018 | Poetry

Man made the lake to catch the water.

It’s how man gets the gold out of the mountain. 


Spring 2017 | Poetry

your name for purposes of identification

how can I when it’s failed

better a border made of water

harder to cross

each seed is different

like each tongue

how many heads

was the right question to ask

the ones

Fall 2016 | Poetry

the world is made perfect why not rebuild here lies the water made of motion same day different peace is a matter of time


Fall 2016 | Poetry

is fragile as speech in answer when you ask me please go light the fire in the drum


Fall 2016 | Poetry


the bloodshot eye cannot swallow any more red sunset rose after sunset rose in the mouth of the field godless