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Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr is the author of nine collections of poetry, the most recent Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved (Copper Canyon Press, 2005). He is also author of a memoir, The Blessing, and a book on the cultural function of the lyric, Poetry as Survival. He is a professor in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Virginia.


Return to Hayneville

I was born and raised in rural, upstate New York, but who I am began with a younger brother’s death in a hunting accident when I was twelve and he was eight. I held the gun that killed him. But if my life began at twelve with my brother’s sudden, [...]

from How Beautiful the Beloved

* Doesn’t the soldier serve The state? Isn’t that his Or her job? Doesn’t He dream of heroic deeds, Or she of giving her life To protect her family? Who does the poet serve? The poet serves poetry, Whose form is the beloved, Wh [...]

Turnings and Returnings: The Art of Jake Berthot

Fall 2006 | Essays

Instead of the viewer’s gaze skimming off the surface like a skipped stone as in so much contemporary painting, Jake Berthot’s paintings hold you—stop you and engage you, stir you and disturb you. When you stand in front of one of Berthot’s recent paintings, you immediately become aware of depths in the painting and you are drawn out into them, feel some part of yourself emptying into them. But then the mysterious mutuality of reverie takes hold: into your newly created emptiness, something flows from the painting. And gradually, steadily, the experience of gazing at the canvas becomes a reciprocal emptying-out and filling, an ebb and flow. Depth speaks to depth. And when at last, after successive, calm, reciprocal emptyings and fillings, you break the spell of the encounter, you emerge changed in some quiet but definite way.