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  Brenda Hillman
Brenda Hillman was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1951. After receiving her B.A. at Pomona College, she attended the University of Iowa, where she
Brenda Hillman
received her M.F.A. in 1976. She serves on the faculty of Saint Marys College in Moraga, California, where she teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs; she is also a member of the permanent faculties of Napa Valley Writers Conference and of Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her seven collections of poetry—White Dress (1985), Fortress (1989), Death Tractates (1992), Bright Existence (1993), Loose Sugar (1997) and Cascadia (2001), Pieces of Air in the Epic (2005)—are from Wesleyan University Press; she has also written three chapbooks, Coffee, 3 A.M. (Penumbra Press, 1982 ), Autumn Sojourn (Em Press, 1995), and The Firecage (a+bend press, 2000). Hillman has edited an edition of Emily Dickinsons poetry for Shambhala Publications, and, with Patricia Dienstfrey, has co-edited The Grand Permisson: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (2003). Among the awards Hillman has received are Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area; she is married and has a daughter.

Street Corner



Brenda Hillman
There was an angle
where I went for
centuries not as a
self or feature but
exhaled as a knowing
brick tradesmen engineered for
blunt or close recall;
soundly there, meanings grew
past a second terror
finding their way as
evenings, hearing the peppermint
noise of sparrows landing
like spare dreams of
citizens where abstraction and
the real could merge.
We had crossed the
red forest; we had
recognized a weird lodge.
we could have said
song outlasts poetry, words
are breath bricks to
support the guardless singing
project. We could have
meant song outlasts poetry.


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