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Sydney Lea

Sydney Lea is author of seven volumes of poetry, the most recent of which, PURSUIT OF A WOUND, was a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer. He has also published a novel, A PLACE IN MIND, and a collection of memoiristic essays, HUNTING THE WHOLE WAY HOME. An eighth collection of poems, GHOST PAIN, will be issued in 2005 by Sarabande Books, and a second nonfiction book, A LITTLE WILDNESS, will be published in autumn ‘04 by Story Line Press. Recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Fulbright Foundations, Lea was also founder and for thirteen years editor of NEW ENGLAND REVIEW. He lives in northern Vermont.


Mudtime In the County

His old man's gone to ground, who bruised him black   when young. So's the drunken uncle whom people nicknamed Coal-   chunk, who hurt him otherwise, who's likely dead as well, though how say how or where? Violently-in-jail would make a decent be [...]

Mercy on Beeson’s Partridge

It was my scream, not the knock on the head, that put white spots before my eyes. Nothing lay handy to attack but a metal barrel, I crashed it like a cymbal, spilling rubbish. The racket sent our cat flat-belly across the kitchen floor and downcell [...]

A Winter Grouse

As forecast, last night brought this slight layer of snow. Today will be my final one to hunt grouse: the feed is vanished, the game-cover skinny, the scent worse and worse. I have, of course, the 'flu. In recent years the first storm, the last d [...]

Vermont: August Fever

—for Jim Cox Blue deepens, sucks the children's shouts away as crickets creep to the ballfield, trill and scrape. His radio whispers from another time zone: the Plains states beg for rain, have even called —out of his room in a county "home"— a [...]


He knelt next to the kennel and traced with one finger the long track. Its delicacy surprised him, a hoofmark like a stretched Valentine's heart, the cleft narrow. But the creature's power was shown by the gash in the chain link and the head of the [...]

From Another Shore

  —in memory of DV Cousin, I remember the first drunk: more than either of us might say of many to follow. Both of us fresh off some new amorous sorrow: you, knees like river weeds, down on the bank, chanting "I Love You, Peggy Sue," wretched who [...]

Canary Weather

It comes in sharp, a smell like the James River's foam. It remembers azalea, willow, the sway Of laurel, or camellia's pink-smoked buds dawning open like a woman's hands with moonlight in his dark room. It flings invisible from where he lives hands [...]