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Cecilia Woloch

Cecilia WolochCecilia Woloch is an American poet, writer and teacher, known for her work in communities throughout the U.S. and around the world. She is an NEA fellowship recipient and the author of six collections of poems, a novel, and numerous essays.

Influenced by Anna Akhmatova, W.S. Merwin, and Walt Whitman, Woloch writes lyrical poems of witness and exploration. Many of her poems arise from her extensive travels. She also writes autobiographical prose and fiction and collaborates on a regular basis with visual artists, theatre artists, musicians and dancers.

Woloch is the author of six poetry collections, including Carpathia (2009), Late (2003), and Sacrifice (1997). Her poetry has been translated into several languages and included in anthologies such as An Introduction to the Prose Poem (2009), Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present (2008), and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (2005). The text of her second book, Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem, has been adapted for multi-media presentations in the U.S., France and Poland. A chapbook of new poems, Earth, was published in early 2015, along with a novel, Sur la Route. Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, Chateau de La Napoule Retreat for Artists, and the Isaac W. Bernheim Foundation. She has been awarded the Indiana Review Poetry Prize and the New Ohio Review Poetry Prize.

Woloch has conducted creative writing workshops for children and young people, senior citizens, inmates at a prison for the criminally insane, and residents at a shelter for homeless women and their children. She has also served on the faculties of a number of graduate and undergraduate creative writing programs. The founding director of the Paris Poetry Workshop and Summer Poetry in Idyllwild, she is based in Los Angeles. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

I love this poem because it is an encouragement to me…


On Faith

How do people stay true to each other?
When I think of my parents all those years
in the unmade bed of their marriage, not ever
longing for anything else—or: no, they must
have longed; there must have been flickerings,
stray desires, nights she turned from him,
sleepless, and wept, nights he rose silently,
smoked in the dark, nights that nest of breath
and tangled limbs must have seemed
not enough. But it was. Or they just
held on.

A gift, perhaps, I’ve tossed out,
having been always too willing to fly
to the next love, the next and the next, certain
nothing was really mine, certain nothing
would ever last. So faith hits me late, if at all;
faith that this latest love won’t end, or ends
in the shapeless sleep of death. But faith is hard.
When he turns his back to me now, I think:
disappear. I think: not what I want. I think
of my mother lying awake in those arms
that could crush her. That could have. Did not.


(Picture Credit: teaandfeminism.tumblr.com)