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James Bertolino

Sun Rising Into Storm
James Bertolino

"A Wedding Toast" from Ravenous Bliss was featured on Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry

James' web site

James' Blog

Visit the Bertolino poetry archive at the Sayta Center

Read James' poem "Our Orcas Hours" on Verse Daily

James Bertolino’s poetry has received recognition through a Book-of-the-Month Club Poetry Fellowship, the Discovery Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two Quarterly Review of Literature book publication awards, the Connecticut College Contemporary American Poetry Archive and, in 2007, the Jeanne Lohmann Poetry Prize for Washington State Poets. His 27 poetry collections have been published by 21 presses in nine states, and Ravenous Bliss: New and Selected Love Poems is his twelfth full volume.

He has taught creative writing at Cornell University, University of Cincinnati, Washington State University, Western Washington University, the North Cascades Institute and, in 2006, retired from a position as Writerin- Residence at Willamette University in Oregon. 2018 is the ninth year he nominated books for the American Book Awards, sponsored by the Before Columbus Foundation in Berkeley.

He grew up in Wisconsin, and now lives on five rural acres near Bellingham, Washington with his multi-talented wife Anita K. Boyle, a dog and two cats.

Sun Rising Into Storm

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Poem from Sun Rising Into Storm

The Wave

Once again we learn order
watching the legs

of the centipede: such
elegance—to make

the precise move,
to know when, and be

convinced your motion
is of the great wave of being.

Ravenous Bliss

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Poem from Ravenous Bliss


Please forgive
me if I keep

your name.

Each moment
builds a new universe

and I need to find
you there.