- Composer Eric Malmquist’s setting of “Song of the Rattling Pipes” from Little Murders Everywhere will premiere in Des Moines, Iowa in May.
- Cspan’s coverage of the Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence event at the Boston Public Library is now online.
- The New Yorker’s “2017: Our Year in Poems” includes my poem “At Sea” from Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country.”
- New poems are out or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Orion, and the Florida Review.
- Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence (Beacon Press) is out in the world. Please read it, share it, gift it, teach it.
- My essay on my hometown, Charlottesville, VA, appears in The Critical Flame.
- “At Sea” from my collection, Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country, appears in the current New Yorker. Read and/or listen to it here.
- Tufts Poetry Award Blog features a post about my collaborative work and the Memorious Art Song series I curate.
- Two poems of mine are included in Susan Eliott Brown’s roundup of love poems over at the Best American Poetry blog.
- I’m the grateful recipient of a Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship in Poetry.
A FEW RECENT INTERVIEWS & REVIEWS
About Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country
“Frank (The Spokes of Venus), spellbinds in this shrewd collection about intimacy, salvation, and the rustic dilapidation of the American South. She writes as a curious survivor of hardship and loss with a newfound sense of wonderment in her surroundings: “I thought I knew a little about small southern towns—/ what it meant to leave to live./ Now every direction takes me to a foreign land.” Publishers Weekly
There’s something tenacious and fierce about this vivid book, with its spinning, Metaphysical metaphors, quick turns of line, and unpredictable, dynamic, monologues in the voices of dispossessed people and things. In this poet’s hands, form means trying anything you can. Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country’s pages teem with a yearning for change. They live by their nerve in that ghostly small town our vast America can become inside a poem. But Rebecca Morgan Frank does more than withstand her own disorientation in the country she finds she must look at and try to see – she turns it into radar, second sight, an inestimable sixth sense, joining that home-grown company of visionary dissenters (I think of James Wright, or even Larry Levis) who have done the same. – Katie Peterson
A wind-blown straw slices through a telephone pole. Ranch houses tip and fall like rows of dominos. Trains rumble through a sleeping woman’s dreams. And somewhere, a twirling ballerina figurine longs to explore the world beyond her music box. So much happens in Morgan Frank’s intensely lyrical poems, accompanied by such subtle music and profound, often witty, meditations on love, loneliness, rapture and mortality. Sometimes We’re all Living in a Foreign Country is a beautiful book, one that asks us to see the everyday world anew, and discover in it marvelous strangeness.– Kevin Prufer
About Little Murders Everywhere
In Rebecca Morgan Frank’s remarkable first book, the line that launches a story about feeding an injured raptor morphs hauntingly into ars poetica: “I was the dark room, the leather glove, the rope” . . . . Captured in this parable are both the ruthless devotion to beauty and the yet-more-ruthless devotion to clear-eyed rendering that make Little Murders Everywhere an extraordinary debut. The elegant formal variations in these poems, the structuring alliterations, the density and precision of the figurative imagination would almost suffice on their own but, wonderfully, they have no need to do so. They add up, as in all true poetry, to a way of seeing.” –Linda Gregerson
“Rebecca Morgan Frank’s arresting and unflinching poems show what can still be done with the bittersweet stuff of longing that gave the art of the lyric its original reason for being. Everywhere she turns her rapt attention – pensive elegies and laments, gnomic riffs on things lost and found in the naked city, limber sonnets on nettling sins of the spirit and the flesh – she’s in her element, taking the measure of desire in language honed to a glittering edge. “Go ahead, reinvent the wheel,” one mordant poem here begins, and so she does, daring you to see another soul at the white heat with a mind and music all her own.” –David Barber
About The Spokes of Venus
“I don’t think I’ve read a book as unapologetically metaphysical as The Spokes of Venus since Heather McHugh’s early work. One feels everywhere in these poems the force of Morgan Frank’s insistent looking, tensile, witty, fiercely cool in its appraisals: “The truth is that there’s nothing in the room but us.” Right, there we are—dead center. Frank gets it, totally: the centripetal forces that whirl us there are awesome.” –David Rivard
“The gorgeously made poems in The Spokes of Venus suggest the self-reflexivity of the beholder and the nuances of perception: the slippage between object and viewer — whether the site of scrutiny is planet or painting. . . . Whether the object is painting or dance, installations or music, Frank’s elegant, cerebral poems evoke all the senses in richly condensed lines: a syntax that fibrillates with radiant linguistic spokes — insights so fresh that that one can’t help but be amazed and instructed. . . .Ekphrastic art should enrich or extend the work it considers: “A god can see something / that does not yet exist in the world.” Rebecca Morgan Frank’s poems have just that visionary freshness and strength: they share the power of all startlingly beautiful things. –Alice Fulton
Work in Progress
“ [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, for the Poetry Society of America Alice Fay di Castagnola Award for a manuscript-in-progress