Photo by Brian McConkey

Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of four books of poetry: Oh You Robot Saints!Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country, and The Spokes of Venus, all from Carnegie Mellon University Press, and Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon Poetry), a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her poems, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, Catapult, American Poetry ReviewPloughshares, The Kenyon Review, The Southern ReviewPoetry IrelandLos Angeles Review of Books, Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day,  and elsewhere. Her collaborations with composers have been performed and exhibited across the country. She is the recipient of such honors as a Meier Achievement Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, a Mississippi Arts Commission Fellowship, a Richard S. and Julia Louise Reynolds Fellowship for the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Ragdale Foundation, and the Writers’ Room of Boston. She holds an MFA from Emerson College and a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, where she was an Elliston Poetry Fellow. Co-founder and editor-in-chief of the online magazine Memorious, Frank serves on the board of the National Book Critics Circle and lives outside of Chicago, where she has a space to write in Hemingway’s childhood attic as the Hemingway Foundation’s writer-in-residence.

New York Public Library Best Books of 2021


“[Frank] picks at the tension between born and unborn, magic and science, fertility and sterility, the sexed and the sexless, the lifeless, the living, and the never-lived….That she reckons with the machine makes the aliveness of her voice, the heat behind it, all the more evident, and all the more urgent.” THE BOSTON GLOBE

“Eye-opening, jaunty: this is a whirl of a book.” THE MILLIONS

Check out videos of some of the automata and robots behind the book here.

About Frank’s Work:

“[We’ll Never Get Back to Zamboanga] as it interrogates with inventive specificity a group of individual histories, in this case, Filipino Americans during World War II and after, also adds an eloquent voice to a world poetry (as exemplified in different ways by Rukeyser, by Nelly Sachs, by Darwish) of displacement, of an experience of exile that can be internal, of the human realities and costs of war. There is no question in reading these texts that one is being guided through these landscapes by a poet as sure in craft as in historical vision, giving the reader the pleasure of this virtuoso reach, lyricism, control, while investigating (in the poet’s own words) “the consistently manipulated dividing lines of culture and power.” -Marilyn Hacker, Judge for Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award

“The truth is in the job, not the wound” is one of my favorite lines in Rebecca Morgan Frank’s daring Oh You Robot Saints!, a book in which the beauty, jealousy, and worship of the gods take center stage. Part of the precision of this book and every one of its lines has to do with Frank’s commitment to showing us tragedy as the Greeks would through her indomitable use of second person like a director giving instructions: “Fill the ark: start / with the giant flower / beetle . . .” And part of it has to do with full-on Sapphic tenderness: “The women I’ve loved and lived with are dead, / and today it felt like spring might return.” This volume proves Rebecca Morgan Frank is a poet of the exact and the harrowing. ” Jericho Brown


Listen to Collaborations:

Read Sample Work Online: