Black and white photo of Deborah Woodard, standing in front of two microphones and looking to the left.

Deborah Woodard

Deborah Woodard’s books include Plato’s Bad Horse (Bear Star, 2006), Borrowed Tales (Stockport Flats, 2012) and No Finis: Triangle Testimonies, 1911 (Ravenna Press, 2018). She has translated Amelia Rosselli’s poetry in Hospital Series (New Directions, 2015), Obtuse Diary (Entre Rios Books, 2018) and The Dragonfly (Entre Rios Books, 2023).

2024 Jack Straw Alumni Poetry Series:

The Dragonfly/La Libellula is Amelia Rosselli’s acknowledged first major work and contains all the elements of her mature vision: trilingual wordplay, musicality, and political engagement. With its vertiginous propulsion and rotational structure, this book-length poem hovers on the edge of the surreal where meaning continuously multiplies and then negates.

Find Ortensia: her mechanics is ejaculatory
solitude. Her solitude is ejaculatory
mechanics. Find the monstrous gestures of Ortensia:
her solitude is populated with specters, and
specters populate her with solitude. And her love
ruminates and can’t leave the house. And thus her
light vibrates between the walls, with light,
with specters, with love that never leaves the
house. With only the specter of love, with love’s
reflection, with disenchantment,
enchantment and frenzy. Seek Ortensia: seek
her vibrant humility that can’t find peace,
and that can’t find farewell for anyone, and that
always bids farewell and to no one, and tips to everyone
her little summer hat, with an uncommon show of
piety. Find Ortensia who in her solitude
populates the civilized world with savages. And the guitar’s
song no longer satisfies her. And the guitar’s
pardon no longer satisfies her! . . .

2000 Writers Program (with Don Mee Choi)

1998 Writers Program