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Today's poem is "Improvisation"
from Shepherdess with an Automatic

Washington Writers' Publishing House

Jane Satterfield was born in England and educated in the U.S. She has been a Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry and the essay and holds an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her awards include a John Atherton Poetry Scholarship at Bread Loaf, the Heekin Foundation’s Cuchulain Prize for Rhetoric in the Essay, and grants from the Mary­land State Arts Council and Britain’s Arvon Foundation. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Antioch Review, American Poetry Review, North American Review, Quarterly West, Massachusetts Review, Countermeasures, and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore with her daughter where she teaches in the Writing and Media Department at Loyola College in Maryland.

About Shepherdess with an Automatic:

"In Shepherdess with an Automatic, Jane Satterfield searches for the 'world with­out the ideal,' one that’s 'beyond doubt,' where desire lives 'in a perspective/yet to be reached.' These poems are edgy, taut, and elegant. They are filled with the rich figurative language of a moral intelligence, rare for poets of Satterfield’s generation."
—Michael Collier

"The supremely articulate, assured and urbane poems of Jane Satterfield keep their poise in an untrustworthy world of 'flickering lights,' 'combustible matter' and 'mangled music.' Anglo/American anguish at the absent green pastures of an old refuge is given voice in dazzling turns of phrase and an improvised composure, as this 'shepherdess' tracks the transits of desire and a rest-less intellect across the past-haunted, 'bone-stuffed' ground."
—Eleanor Wilner

"Under the unusual composure of Satter­field’s first collection is a turbulence that— even as it is resisted—colors her poems. 'The song heard in snatches' is the one readers will find here, a 'slender glimpse,' a 'reckless glance'; sounds are 'viewed' as delicate enticements for change."
—Judith Hall

"Satterfield’s poems display many of the best qualities of an ambitious new generation of poets. Intelligent, strictly-phrased, unsentimental, Shepherdess with an Automatic convinces us that the large questions—however unanswerable—remain indispensable: What is one’s place in history? In gender? In thought? In the cosmos? Satterfield is a poet of high challenges and rewards."
—Greg Glazner



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