Spring 2011, Volume 10

Poetry by Emily McKeage

Villanelle: For a Childhood Friend, in mem.

We always sat together
and only went inside
when the shadows would gather.

On the back stoop in East Dover
made from field granite,
we always sat together

and talked about the war,
peace and how to find it,
til the shadows would gather.

And inside, your mother
gave us stew and, as we ate,
we always sat together

on the old plank bench, weather
beaten and rough, candles lit
for when shadows would gather.

We would never bother
then with how to write it
just always sat together.
But how shadows gather.



BIO: Born and raised in NYC, Emily McKeage received her Master's degree from the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard and taught English at Harvard and later at NYU. A writer and educator, she has served as both a private writing and Latin tutor to middle and high school students as well as a volunteer writing tutor to middle schoolers at the East Harlem School.

While at Harvard, she studied literature and poetry writing with (most notably) Robert Fitzgerald, Octavio Paz, and William Alfred. In the past few years, she has taken advanced poetry workshops through the 92nd Street Y with Grace Schulman, whom she regards as both muse and mentor, as well as with Rachel Hadas and Glyn Maxwell, whose classes were also full of inspiration.

Other new work appears in the current California Quarterly (vol. 36, no. 1), entitled "Grapevine."