Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Moment with Chris Dombrowski

Chris Dombrowki is a poet whose work I very much admire. I first met Chris when he was an undergraduate at Hope College. Jack Ridl had invited me to workshop a few poems with some of his students, and Chris was very much a star. Chris received an MFA from the University of Montana, and has worked as a river guide--Jim Harrison swears by Dombrowski's ability to put a drift boat over trout--and as a teacher of creative writing both at the University of Minnesota and at Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he served as Writer-in-Residence.

Chris Dombrowski's debut collection By Cold Water, was published this spring by Wayne State University Press, and is one of the finest first collections I've seen this year. Here's one of his poems, which originally appeared in the journal Salt Hill.


We were taught to count kestrels on wires

like coins in our pockets. Whole years

we recalled by color: that torch-year,

tanager, fox, sandstone, sage. Droughts

revealed the river’s former ways, oars wedged

between boulders, a derailed boxcar,

conductor’s leather cap. A recluse fell in love

with certain shadows spilled across

her cellar floor, and among the east’s first stars

were the occasional words jeweling-up at dusk

with junkyards, chrome hubcaps—as mirrors

struck small skies across our bodies.

-Chris Dombrowski


Blogger Leslie said...

That is a lovely poem.

11:44 PM  
Blogger friberg said...

What a gorgeous poem.
thanks for that.

3:45 PM  

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