Faith Paulsen’s chapbook “We Marry, We Bury, We Sing or We Weep,” received an award in Moonstone Arts’ 2021 Chapbook Contest. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia Stories, One Art, Ghost City Press, Seaborne, and Book of Matches, as well as Thimble Literary Magazine, Evansville Review, Mantis, Psaltery and Lyre, and Terra Preta, among others. Her work also appears in the anthologies Is it Hot in Here or Is It Just Me? (Social Justice Anthologies) and 50/50: Poems & Translations by Womxn over 50 (QuillsEdge). She has been nominated for a Pushcart. Her chapbook A Color Called Harvest (Finishing Line Press) was published in 2016, and Cyanometer in 2021. She lives just outside Philadelphia Pennsylvania. She and her husband Barton Sacks are the proud parents of three sons, Paz, Seth and Gideon.
I had no idea how lucky I was to take a course with Denise Levertov when I was only in high school. She taught me to value well-crafted work that brings me to that “ah!” moment when all the aspects (language, rhythm, syntax, image, etc) become song.
My love of poetry began with music, with Psalms and Song of Solomon. Later, Milton and George Herbert, Eliot, Williams, Rumi and Stevens, Levertov, Jane Kenyan, Jane Hirshfield, Li-Young Lee, Marie Howe, Ocean Vuong, Ellen Bass and Ilya Kaminsky. I could go on and on.
I like words that surprise. I like to write from the wilderness. I enjoy words and ideas from science, philosophy, art, and universal themes such as family, grief and love. I like rich and unpredictable language, details at once conversational and strange, elliptical endings.
Beloved teachers and role models include Denise Levertov, Janice Thaddeus, Rachel Simon, Sandy Crimmins, Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, Leonard Gontarek, Amy Small-McKinney, Grant Clauser, Jan Freeman, Michael Afaa Weaver, Dilruba Ahmed, J.C. Todd, and so many more I’d better just stop there.