Lyn Lifshin

Lyn Lifshin

Lyn Lifshin has written more than 125 books and edited 4 anthologies of women writers. Her poems have appeared in most poetry and literary magazines in the U.S.A. and her work has been included in virtually every major anthology of recent writing by women. Her poem “No More Apologizing” has been called “among the most impressive documents of the women’s poetry movement” by Alicia Ostriker.

Lyn has given numerous readings across the U.S.A. and also taught poetry and prose writing for many years at universities, colleges and high schools, and has been Poet in Residence at the University of Rochester, Antioch and Colorado Mountain College.

Winner of numerous awards including the Jack Kerouac Award for her book Kiss The Skin Off. Lyn is also the subject of the documentary film Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. She has been praised by Robert Frost, Ken Kesey and Richard Eberhart, and Ed Sanders has seen her as “a modern Emily Dickinson.”

Lyn Lifshin’s prizewinning book (Paterson Poetry Award) Before It’s Light was published 1999 – 2000 by Black Sparrow Press, following their publication of Cold Comfort in 1997. Texas Review Press published her prize winning book of poems about the famous, short lived beautiful race horse, Ruffian in 2006: The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian. Another Woman who Looks Like Me was published by Black Sparrow-David Godine in October 2006.

Other books: A New Film about a Woman in Love with the Dead, Marilyn Monroe, When a Cat Dies, Another Woman’s Story, Barbie Poems, The Daughter I Don’t Have, What Matters Most, Blue Tattoo, Mirrors, August Wind, Novemberly, 92 Rapple Drive, Desire, All The Poets Who Have Touched Me, Living and Dead: All True, Especially the Lies and Tsunami. Other writings include a book about the courageous and riveting race horse, Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness from Texas Review Press, Nutley Pond from Goose River Press, Lost in the Fog from Finishing Line Press and Persephone from Red Hen.

Just published: For the Roses poems after Joni Mitchell and Hotel Hitchcock from Danse Macabre and NYQ books will soon publish A Girl Goes into the Woods.

For interviews, photographs, more bio material, reviews, prose, samples of work and more, please visit her web site:

The poems below from a collection created during a recent trip to Turkey …


You feel the past take
a gulp. Cycles kick up
dust behind them like
a scrim. Gauze filmy
as a harem dancer’s
veil. You hear the slap
of their bare feet on
blue tile. Lips sweet
and sticky as honey
dreams camouflage
what is draped as
carriages pull the new
women. Echo of black
eunuchs. On a night this,
musky and sweet, who
wouldn’t dream of being
unveiled, leaning back
to read the blue black
clouds over Blue Mosque,
the white birds
over the minarets,
raucous, wild


pale marble dust, light
turns guava past melon
pigeon and gull roosts.
The birds flutter from
door frames past cobalt
and tourmaline tiles.
I think of a woman
in toga and sandals
coming back from the
din of the agora, silk
on her wrists, her arms
smelling of incense.
When she dips them in
warm water rose scent
fills the afternoon like
a garden

For other contributions by Lyn Lifshin, please follow the links below:

Poetry in this post: © Lyn Lifshin
Published with the permission of Lyn Lifshin