Poems by Carolyn Creedon


First Communion

Medusa's Love Song



Poet, editor, and, as she says, fifteen-year veteran of the waitress wars, Carolyn Creedon was born in Newport News and completed her BA as an Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith College. She then went on to earn an M.A. at Washington University and an MFA at the University of Virginia, where she was the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Prize. Creedon's astonishing debut collection, Wet was chosen by Edward Hirsch as winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and published by Kent State University Press in 2012. Hirsch called the book "fiery and fervent," writing that he was moved by the way that Creedon treats experience as sacred: "She won't look away from difficult truths. She writes frankly about her own frustrations, longings, and heartbreaks, but also recognizes the suffering of others-their secret grievances and griefs."

Wet is a red-hot blast of truth, full of wildly various poems that are carefully cooked, yet manage to be slyly and earnestly raw. In her author's statement for The Best of the Best American Poetry, Creedon notes that she likes words "at least as much for their rich gushes and droughts, their sounds, as for their meaning." Indeed, Harold Bloom has called her "a kind of legitimate granddaughter of the sublime Walt Whitman" and Eleanor Wilner has praised her for "defying us to separate the sacred from the profane, myths from the mundane, intellect from appetite." Wilner continues, "Language itself moves with a fluid energy, a breathtaking emotional velocity and formal dexterity, hot-wired by humor, fueled by hunger, cadence after cadence, as Creedon piles on the similes till the whole world wears her kind of trouble, her wild and brilliant apprehension."

Creedon's work has been featured in the anthologies Best New Poets (2009, edited by Kim Addonizio), You Drive Me Crazy: Love Poems for Real Life (2005, edited by Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Vélez), and The Best of the Best American Poetry: 1988-1997 (1998, edited by Harold Bloom). She has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2010 she won the Alehouse Happy Hour Poetry Prize. Her poems have been published in The Massachusetts Review, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Yale Review, Rattle, American Poetry Review, and other journals. She lives in Charlottesville with her husband and her dog.