A Web del Sol Featured Writer

Joan Houlihan

Joan Houlihan is the author of HAND-HELD EXECUTIONS (Del Sol Press, 2003) and THE MENDING WORM (New Issues Press, 2006), winner of the Green Rose Award. A third collection, THE US, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. She has written a series of essays called the BOSTON COMMENT that focuses on contemporary American poetry. She is editor-in-chief of Perihelion and staff reviewer for the Contemporary Poetry Review.

Houlihan is founding director of the CONCORD POETRY CENTER in Concord, Massachusetts and of the COLRAIN POETRY MANUSCRIPT CONFERENCE.

From Surgeon Speaking
    Lie down. I am hand and finger
    to you, intent in my medium,
    fluent in what flourished before
    guided by the noise of trapped being.

    I was yours at birth, privy to your washings
    and waste. Words spoken by us
    are lysis and ligature. What matters
    is the gash, the possible rush

    between us. How to conduct the bleeding?
    Bent to you, I provide from my fingers
    something small and mammal,
    parted from one discarded.

    Ten hours of us and we are wed.
    Mumbling of vein, I finish you,
    who will emerge new-made, doll-sewn.
    The furthest thing from my mind.

Selections from Joan Houlihan's work:

As Winter Will
As to The Origin
Nothing Else But You Will Do
Nothing So Stoic As a Child Done Early
I Sing To You, Offering Human Sound
Reconstructing Easter
Stark, North of Gainsboro
Surgeon Speaking