Work of the Week: Camille Guthrie


Wise woman of Vermont, come out of the forest

Assure me I won’t die lonely in these woods, show me 

How to keep owls out of my hair, tell me how  

To stack wood, to shoot trespassers, to seal the cracks

In my heart to keep the ice out, promise me

A catamount won’t think I’m food

Make me a pot of venison stew 

While you describe what to expect during the Changes

When you no longer sleep and my sorrow seems girlish

Teach me how to trim my whiskers when I get witchy

Advise me which mushrooms won’t kill us quickly

Suggest stapling my son to the wall till he’s twenty-seven

Tell me of your childless aunt who died asking for her kids 

How do I make it in this cold hard land? 

Tell me where the treasure’s buried? 

What’s the song I have to sing to myself?

Camille Guthrie is the author of four books of poetry: Diamonds (BOA Editions 2021); and Articulated Lair: Poems for Louise Bourgeois, In Captivity, and The Master Thief—published by Subpress. Her poems have appeared in such journals as At Length, Boston Review, Interim, The Iowa Review, The New Republic, Tin House, as well as in anthologies including The Best American Poetry 2019 & 2020 and Art & Artists: Poems. The Director of the Undergraduate Writing Initiatives at Bennington College, she has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell and the Yaddo Foundation. She lives in rural Vermont.

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