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Today's poem is "The Holy Bloom"
from One Hundred Children Waiting For A Train

The Word Works

Michael Atkinson has had poems published in many magazines, including The Threepenny Review, Ontario Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, The Laurel Review, Chelsea, and Chicago Review. He has won a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and had work selected for The Best American Poetry 1993. He teaches at C. W. Post/Long island University and works in New York as a film critic for The Village Voice.

About One Hundred Children Waiting For A Train:

"At once gritty and tender, seemingly plain-spoken yet studded with moments of astonishing language, these poems delineate an American landscape of promise and dread. In this America, a woman cries among strangers on a subway train, movies flicker constantly, new homes look "as clean and pure as TV." In this America, a speaker can say of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, "I adore you yet you fail us every day." Such willing adoration and wonder in the midst of a harsh knowing illuminates this fine work at every turn.
—Laurie Sheck, author of Black Series

"One of Michael Atkinson's poems begins with the disclaimer, "I'm no poet." The poem is filled with romantic things that poets, at least in the popular mind, have always done. And Atkinson is right about himself—he does not walk night roads pondering his own heart in his hands, does not 'travel forth looking for significances.' But in the deepest, best sense, he is wrong about himself, too, for at center his is, as Hyatt H. Waggoner said about Robinson Jeffers, a 'desperate effort to teach the heart not to love.' Atkinson is a stunning poet of the darkly-comic here and now. I hear starkness and indwelling light in one voice, and I find myself constantly grateful for his desperation."
—William Heyen, author of Crazy Horse in Stillness



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