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Joanna Trzeciak

Joanna Trzeciak teaches in the NEOMFA program in creative writing at Kent State University. Her translations have appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Harper’s, Poetry, and the Paris Review, among others. Miracle Fair, a collection of her translations of Wisława Szymborska, was awarded the 2001 Heldt Translation Prize.



Spring 2010 | Poetry

I’m twenty-four Led to slaughter I survived.These words are empty and equivalent: man and animal love and hate foe and friend dark and light.Man is killed just like an animal I’ve seen: truckloads of chopped up people who will never be saved.Conc [...]

The Story of Old Women

Spring 2010 | Poetry

I like old women ugly women mean womenthey are the salt of the earththey are not disgusted by human wastethey know the flipside of the coin of love of faithdictators clown around come and go hands stained with human bloodold women get up at dawn buy [...]


Spring 2010 | Poetry

When it rains I lie flat spread out distant in a fogI feel wet twigs of blackthorn stretched out under my skin gnarled prickly blackthe capillarity of blood vessels of the stems of plantsup flows blood rust bile patina and colors the plainon the rim [...]

As You’re Leaving

Spring 2010 | Poetry

At dawn as you’re leaving your contours shucked out of night a bright violin your birch hips bowed taut strings still vibrating.Enveloped encased by your touch a cover of caresses so sweet I will not drift off into sleep.Eyelids open wider are now [...]

My Poetry

Spring 2010 | Poetry

justifies nothing explains nothing renounces nothing encompasses no whole fulfills no hopecreates no new rules of the game takes no part in merriment has a defined place it must occupyif it’s not esoteric if it’s not original if it doesn’t awe [...]

a finger to the lips

Spring 2010 | Poetry

the lips of truth are pressed tighta finger to the lips tells us the time has comefor silenceno one will answer the question what is truththe one who knew the one who was the truth is gone [...]

Butcher’s Booths

Spring 2010 | Poetry

Rosy ideals hang quartered in butcher’s boothsIn stores clowns’ masks are sold gaudy post-mortem casts made of our faces we who live we who survived staring into the eyesockets of war. [...]


No Title Required

Spring 2001 | Poetry

It's all come down to me sitting under a tree
on a river bank
on a sunny morning.
It's an inconsequential event
that won't go down in history.

Rubens’ Women

Spring 2001 | Poetry

Herculasses, a feminine fauna.
Naked as the crashing of barrels.
Cooped up on top of trampled beds.

Under A Certain Little Star

Spring 2001 | Poetry

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity. My apologies to necessity in case I'm mistaken. May happiness not be angry if I take it for my own. May the dead forgive me that their memory's but a flicker. My apologies to time for the multiplicity [...]


Spring 2001 | Poetry

A raindrop fell on my hand,
crafted from the Ganges and the Nile,

from the ascended frost of a seal's whiskers,
from water in broken pots in the cities of Ys and Tyre.