Baltimore Series Intro // Edited by Dora Malech
I recorded this reading on my front porch in August 2021. First published in the Poem-a-Day series, it also appears in my most recent book, Flourish. I wrote it a while back, on a previous front porch, in a different city. It felt right to try to imperfectly recreate its origins, since the poem itself deals with the recurring impulse—and failure—to preserve a particular moment. Speaking of failure, I did misremember one word in my reading, swapping “begin” in for “forget” at the end of the third-to-last line. While it disrupts the intended rhyme scheme—the poem is one of the more prosodically traditional Italian sonnets I’ve ever written—it also creates a new internal slant rhyme with “vein,” and I decided I wanted to let the reverse-erratum stand.
Dora Malech’s most recent book of poetry is Flourish, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2020. Her chapbook Time Trying was also published in 2020 as part of Tupelo Press’s Four Quartets: Poetry in the Pandemic. Her poems have appeared numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Poetry, Poetry London, and The Best American Poetry, and her honors include an Amy Clampitt Residency Award and a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. She lives in Baltimore where she is an associate professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.