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  • NYS Writers Institute

Poetry Friday: Sandra Cisneros

When you’re a writer you have to work hours to get your heart broken in two so you can write the good stuff... What is poetry if not medicine for your heart. -- Sandra Cisneros

WAMC Northeast Public Radio aired a Joe Donahue interview with Sandra Cisneros on Thursday. (Here's a link.) The best-selling author of the novel The House on Mango Street (1984), Cisneros returns to poetry with the publication of Woman Without Shame, her first poetry collection in 28 years. It's been described as a "moving collection of songs, elegies, and declarations that chronicle her pilgrimage toward rebirth and the recognition of her prerogative as a woman artist."

Cisneros was awarded a MacArthur fellowship in 1995, a National Medal of Arts in 2015, and the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature in 2019.

Bay Poem from Berkeley by Sandra Cisneros

Mornings I still reach for you before opening my eyes.

An antique habit from last summer when we pulled each other into the heat of groin and belly, slept with an arm around the other.

The Texas sun was like that. Like a body asleep beside you.

But when I open my eyes to the flannel and down, mist at the window and blue light from the bay, I remember where I am.

This weight on the other side of the bed is only books, not you. What I said I loved more than you. True.

Though these mornings I wish books loved back.


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