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John Witte

John Witte’s poems have appeared with regularity over the years in such publications as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Antaeus, and American Poetry Review. He has received two writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a residency at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and numerous other grants and awards. He is the author of LOVING THE DAYS, published by Wersleyan University Press, and THE HURTLING, forthcoming from Orchises Press in 2006. He has also edited numerous books, most recently, THE COLLECTED POEMS OF HAZEL HALL (Oregon State University Press, 2000). He lives with his family in Eugene, Oregon, and works at the University of Oregon, teaching contemporary literature, and editing Northwest Review.



Summer 2002 | Poetry

His heart turned a sleeping dog her heart seemed to be bleeding and yet they were drawn to one another   someone heard a voice speaking in his chest she thought she felt someone trapped in her heart his heart was burned he left a sooty smudge [...]


Summer 2002 | Poetry

The words smudged nothing comes back no memory he cannot remember something stirring something about falling like a dream we've had the dream of falling through the clouds it's quiet he cannot lift his wing will he ever again he reads the newspap [...]

The Alphabet Snake

The air tastes like an angry cat, cut grass, hot tar, and rotted plums. The snake flickering its tongue calculates its chances. It feels cold: the shadow of the cat bending over it, saying try, try. It moves on the cement making a C. It makes a C for [...]