Edgar Kunz


Edgar Kunz is the author of the poetry collection Tap Out (Mariner / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a New York Times New & Noteworthy book. Originally from New England, Edgar lives in Baltimore where he teaches at Goucher College and in the low-residency Newport MFA. He has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), MacDowell, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He is working on a book of poems about love and late capitalism. Source


When you showed up drunk as hell, humming

tunelessly to yourself, and slumped against

the auditorium's faux-wood paneling  — when

you fumbled in the pockets of your coat,

fished out a cigarette, brought it to your lips,

then, realizing for the first time where you were,

tossed it away and said Fuck it loud enough

that everyone turned in their seats and a friend

elbowed me and asked if I knew you — I shook

my head and spent the next hour wondering why

I was so glad you came. You, who slept

each night in your battered van, who skipped

meetings and lied to your sponsor, who still

called your ex-wife every day, restraining order

be damned. You shouldn't have been there

either: a hundred yards was the agreement

after you gathered all the meds in the house

into a shoebox and threatened to take them.

You had come regardless. You were there.

And I was there. And when I walked the stage

you hollered my name with a kind

of wild conviction, then said it a second time,

less convinced, and I thought of that night

when the cops came and you, unashamed

of the fuss you caused, of your desperate,

public struggle for happiness, kissed me

on the head — once, twice — and went quietly.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:


Childhood & Coming of Age


Memory & The Past

Poems of Place

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences

Interrupted Clause

a word group (a statement, question, or exclamation) that interrupts the flow of a sentence and is usually set off by commas, dashes, or parentheses

Media Res

a literary work that begins in the middle of the action (from the Latin “into the middle of things)