Rachel Richardson


Poet Rachel Richardson was born and raised in Berkeley, California. She is the author of the poetry collections Copperhead (2011) and Hundred-Year Wave (2016). Her poetry investigates the disjunctions of remembered and recorded history. Richardson earned a BA at Dartmouth College, an MFA at the University of Michigan, and an MA in folklore at the University of North Carolina. Her honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, the Hopwood Award, and several Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes. She has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Stanford University, the University of San Francisco's MFA in Writing Program, and several prisons. Richardson co-directs Left Margin LIT, a literary arts center in Berkeley, California, and directs poetry programming for the Bay Area Book Festival. Source

The ‘I Want’ Song

I just want them to stop emailing. All of them. You. The bots.

I want the kids to stop whining, the floor

to sweep itself, the sun to rise blamelessly

into the sky. In every Disney movie the main character

gets to stop, look into the camera, and howl

her “I Want” song straight into our chests. Once

it’s been laid out for all of us to hear, we know

she has to get it. But there’s so much that I want—

for the trees not to burn, or at least

not these trees, not unless they’re far away or 

beneficial to the understory. I want to stop

feeling like I’d better buy the fruit

now because maybe next year there will be

no more fruit, no more water, maybe the crops will burn

or wither or be sprayed with the chemical that kills

the bees and which studies now show

kills the bees’ children and children’s children

two bee-generations after exposure. 

I want not to think about the expiration of the world.

I want to delete my profile, I want pollination

of the blossom and the swelling of fruit. 

I want to stand inside the fog socked in under a crown

of redwoods. I want to become the fog.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Poems of the Everyday

Pop Culture

Science & Climate

Literary Devices:


An inversion of typical syntax (word order).

Varied syntax

diverse sentence structure