Fred Marchant

The Migrants 

He hid the fire in a tall hollow stalk of fennel,
out of the sight of the great one who delights in thunder.


In those mountains he met others walking in the same direction. Back-
packs, black plastic garbage bags, food sacks, a girl with two hard-boiled
eggs, the shells flaking off. Some wore t-shirts from the sports teams of the
West, and one man still carried an orange life jacket. The hunted, wayward
god stood beside a mother who held her infant before her the same way he
held the stalk that carried the embers he had stolen. He noted dry myrtle
along the side of the road, and saw a ground that seemed soft enough for
them to sleep on. There would be at least this much tonight, twigs for a
fire, perhaps water for tea, some warmth in the morning.


from Said, Not Said (Graywolf Press, 2017)


Fred Marchant’s new collection of poetry, Said Not Said, was published by Graywolf Press in May 2017. Afaa Michael Weaver has written that this poetry takes us to the “interior of hope,” and Mary Szybist has written that she loves the generosity in these poems, “a generosity that carries us through every heartbreak.” The Looking House (Graywolf Press, 2009), was named by Barnes and Noble Review and the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best books of poetry in 2009. He is also the author of Tipping Point, winner of the 1993 Washington Prize, that book was recently reissued in a 20th anniversary second edition. His earlier books include Full Moon Boat (Graywolf Press, 2000). and House on Water, House in Air (Dedalus Press, Dublin, Ireland, 2002).  Fred Marchant is also the co-translator (with Nguyen Ba Chung) of From a Corner of My Yard, by Tran Dang Khoa, and Con Dau Prison Songs by Vo Que, both published in Hanoi.  Editor of Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, 1937-1947 (Graywolf Press, 2008), Marchant is an emeritus professor of English at Suffolk University, and founding director of the Poetry Center at Suffolk. He is a longtime teaching affiliate of The William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and teaches poetry workshops across the country. He is the 2009 co-winner of the New England Poetry Club’s May Sarton Award, given to poets whose work “is an inspiration to other writers.”