Today's poem is "Mystery Beneath a Handprint of Light"
from Temper

University of Pittsburgh Press

Beth Bachmann's first book, Temper, was selected by Lynn Emanuel as winner of the AWP Award Series 2008 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Her poems appear in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Tin House, among other journals, and have been anthologized in Alice Redux: New Stories of Alice, Lewis and Wonderland and Best New Poets 2005 and 2007. She holds graduate degrees from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and Concordia University in Montreal and teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University.

Other poems by Beth Bachmann in Verse Daily:
April 13, 2007:   "Setting" " A lilac can hold on, half-dead, for days..."

Books by Beth Bachmann:

Other poems on the web by Beth Bachmann:
Two poems
"Mystery Ending With a Girl in a Field"

Beth Bachmann's Website.

About Temper:

"Temper is an unforgettable first book. Embodied in a poetry that quakes with sorrow one moment and is steely with forensic detail the next, Temper's account of a murder encompasses the polarities of flesh and spirit, love and horror. What is most compelling is the way Bachmann presides over the drama with a courage and restraint that manifest themselves as the beauty of these poems."
—Lynn Emanuel

"Tempered by silence and grappling for meaning beyond story, beyond what is spoken or known, these poems recall absences everywhere—the losses by which we are plagued, what we must endure."
—Natasha Trethewey

"Restraint and abandon ride side-by-side through these fiercely distilled poems—again and again they bear reluctant witness to the shadows hovering around the edges of every moment. A beautiful unease suffuses these poems—they make me aware I'm alive, and certain of nothing. A stunning debut."
—Nick Flynn

"In its clarity of voice—stark, startling and objective—Temper reminds me of Louise Glück’s First Born. Bachmann works the charged margins of the mythic imagination, but with a terrifying difference. For her, myth is also fact: a murdered sister, an accused father, and an inconsolable mother. A marvelous, compelling, and disquieting addition to contemporary poetry."
—Michael Collier

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