Today's poem is "Calf"
from Less Obvious Gods

Iris Press

Lisa Coffman grew up in East Tennessee and currently lives on California’s Central Coast—two locales that inspire and color her work. She has received fellowships for her poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry. Her first collection of poetry, Likely, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University Press. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems; Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia; A Fine Excess: Fifty Years of the Beloit Poetry Journal; and the forthcoming Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI: Tennessee. An excerpt from her nonfiction manuscript in progress, “No Business, Tennessee,” received the 2010 Ingrid Reti Nonfiction Prize. She teaches at the California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo and lives in nearby Los Osos with her husband Joe and daughter Jenna.

Books by Lisa Coffman:

Other poems on the web by Lisa Coffman:
"Black Radish"

About Less Obvious Gods:

"In Lisa Coffman’s provocative odes, abstractions become entities, relatable, influential, surprising: our “Less Obvious Gods.” For Coffman, experience folds back on itself, change perpetually remakes us, and consciousness is always self-consciousness, complicating our every desire with rueful awareness: “what the wave does below the wave.” In “Kiss,” she evokes “your tongue loosing words off what they cover,” and that stripping off of self-deception, that recognition of our dangerous freedom to swim—or not—in passion’s undertow, makes Less Obvious Gods a theogony for our equivocal times."
—Nathalie F. Anderson

"Lingering, meticulous, breathless, aglow, Less Obvious Gods showcases Lisa Coffman's superb ear, and her mind and eye attuned to both joy and loss. The pour and spill of her lyric can barely contain—in her own words—"the honest messy nature/of when inner is brought forth to outer." Coffman is wonderfully, quirkily attentive to big things revealed in small moments. It has been well worth the wait for her second book."
—Daisy Fried

"These are poems dazzling in their grace, sharpness, depth, and the joy of surprising truths surfacing on page after page. Coffman has an ear for American music, an eye for precise detail, a striking intelligence, a heart that pulses wildly, and an understanding of silence, of what’s not said. Love and sex, family, bulls and cows, dogs, time, pain, “a little oar into the underworld”—oh, I can’t tell you how jubilant I feel reading Less Obvious Gods, how completely satisfying it is."
—Alicia Ostriker

"Less Obvious Gods has attitude a-plenty, and is refreshingly unguarded and transgressive in its approach to both tone and subject matter—which is as often as not an almost-Tantric refusal to distinguish between the erotic and the devotional. The author has an unmistakable voice, one that is querulous, unflappable and hip without being fashionably wise-ass. Lisa Coffman is a writer of considerable promise."
—David Wojahn

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