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  Poetry Pages: an Introduction

Introduction"A poem is a window that hangs
between two or more human beings
who otherwise live in darkened rooms."

—Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

I love this image … and I love poetry. The genre itself defies definition but I believe this quote captures perfectly how it feels when poetry does its necessary work. Poetry is at the heart of all my writing for children, teens, and adults.

I’m in awe of the many Master Poets whose dog-eared collections rest on my shelf and whose carefully crafted lines move and inspire me. Who’s your favorite poet? readers often ask. Although I find that impossible to answer, here are a few to whom I often return: Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, Lucille Clifton, William Stafford, Gary Soto, Sharon Olds, Wendell Berry, Billy Collins, Rita Dove, William Carlos Williams, Ted Kooser, Yusef Kumanyaaka, C.K. Williams.

This section of my website is devoted to a sampling of poems that I’ve written for an adult audience. Many of them have appeared in literary magazines and chapbooks, and a few of them have inspired my books and poems for young people. Click on any of the titles below and enjoy the poem. 

POEMS by Jen Bryant
Here in Missouri
Walking the Dog at Dusk
Screech Owls
Theories of the Afterlife
Sestina for the New Development
Afternoon at the Funeral Home
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