Poems by Gail Mazur

Dana Street, December

Air Drawing




Gail Mazur’s poems celebrate the din and detail of ordinary life. The poet recalls scenes from kitchens, schoolhouses, museums and marriages, stooping to gather fragmentary images without sentimentalizing the histories seen through her lens. With a voice at once whimsical and wholly lucid, Mazur is a poet prone to such utterances as “I’d dislocated my life, so I went to the zoo.” She ponders the curious situations of the worldly creatures she sees, while being mindful “not to equate, for instance, / the lemur’s displacement with my displacement.” Mazur’s deft treatment of the human fears implicit to writing and living in the modern world elicited this response from the poet Michael Ryan: “It makes me happy to see my frightening condition so skillfully rendered.”

Mazur has published five volumes of poetry, including They Can’t Take That Away from Me, a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. Booklist writes that “Mazur's poems read like phone calls from a friend who confides a rush of contradictory feelings in a warm and compelling voice that could, dear reader, be your own.” Her most recent volume, Zeppo’s First Wife: New and Selected Poems, won the Massachusetts Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Paterson Poetry Prize. A graduate of Smith College class of 1959, Mazur has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. She has long been active in the Boston and Cambridge literary communities, having served as founding director of the Blacksmith House Poetry Center, and, currently, as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College.






Poetry Center Reading:

      Fall 2007 (with Gina Franco & Eve Grubin)