Michael Klein



Poems By Michael Klein

The playwright

The massage

The twin


Michael Klein is a writer who “sees the world broadly, deeply and clearly, and uses each word with ultimate care,” writes Liz Rosenberg. His first publication was the anthology Poets for Life:  76 Poets Respond to AIDS (1989), which received a Lambda Literary Award. Klein returned to the subject of AIDS in both of his subsequent anthologies, In The Company of My Solitude (1995) and Things Shaped in Passing (1997). It is also the focus of his first book of poems, 1990, for which he received a second Lambda Literary award.

More recently, he has received significant praise for his second collection of poems,
then, we were still living (2010). “In these roughly whispered poems,” writes Nick Flynn, “Klein somehow—miraculously—manages to evoke a past of empty suitcases, of ghosts, while being fully present in the moment, in the now.” September 11th, the Iraq war, the recession, the nationwide obsession with electronic gadgets—all of these come into these poems, which struggle to distinguish reality from illusion, past from present, ghosts from the living. Chase Twichell calls then, we were still living one of those books “that changes the way I read poems.”

Klein’s poems, essays and interviews (with Mark Doty, Jean Valentine and Adrienne Rich) have been published widely, and he has also published two memoirs, Track Conditions, a memoir reflecting on his alcoholism, childhood abuse, a strained relationship with his lover, and his experience as a professional groom for a Kentucky Derby-winning horse, and The End of Being Known (2009), which explores sex, desire, love, friendship, incest—and the points at which these things intersect. Eve Ensler writes,“Klein enters his memories with a searing clarity steeped in tenderness. The stories create a fugue of whispers—mysterious, sexy, and demanding to be heard."

Klein has held teaching positions at Sarah Lawrence College, City College of New York, Binghamton University, Manhattanville College. At present he is a professor in the Low-Residency MFA Program at Goddard College. During the summer he teaches at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he was a Fellow in Poetry in 1990. Klein currently lives in New York City with his partner, Andrew Hood.





    Poetry Center Reading:
    Spring 2011