Alison Luterman


Alison Luterman is a poet, essayist and playwright. Her books include the poetry collections In the Time of Great Fires (Catamaran Press), Desire Zoo (Tia Chucha Press), The Largest Possible Life (Cleveland State University Press), See How We Almost Fly (Pearl Editions), and a collection of essays, Feral City (SheBooks). Luterman's plays include Saying Kaddish With My Sister, Hot Water, Glitter and Spew, Oasis, Touched, and the musicals, The Chain (with composer Loren Linnard), The Shyest Witch (with composer Richard Jennings, and song cycle We Are Not Afraid of the Dark (with composer Sheela Ramesh). Alison Luterman was raised in Massachusetts, the oldest of four children. She began writing poetry at the age of six or seven and has never stopped.  She studied poetry at Emerson College and then at UMass Amherst. Her mentor at Emerson was the poet Bill Corbett, who introduced her to the work of Bernadette Mayer, John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, James Schuyler, and others.  At UMass she studied the poetry of D.H. Lawrence, Muriel Rukeyser, Frank O’Hara, Allen Ginsberg, Elizabeth Bishop, and later, Tess Gallagher. Source

Some Girls

Some girls can’t help it; they are lit sparklers,

hot-blooded, half naked in the depths of winter,

tagging moving trains with the bright insignia of their


I’ve seen their inked torsos: falcons, swans, meteor


And shadowed their secret rendezvous,

walking and flying all night over paths traced like veins

through the deep body of the forest

where they are trying on their new wings,

rising to power with a ferocious mercy

not seen before in the cities of men.

Having survived slander, abuse, and every kind of exile,

they’re swooping down even now

from treetops where they were roosting,

wearing robes woven of spider webs and pigeon


They have pulled the living child out of the flames

and are prepared to take charge through the coming


I have learned that some girls are boys; some are birds,

some are oases ringed with stalking lions. See,

I cannot even name them,

although one of them is looking out through my eyes

    right now,

one of them

is writing all this down with light-struck fingers.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Strength & Resilience


Literary Devices:


The repetition of similar vowel sounds that takes place in two or more words in proximity to each other within a line; usually refers to the repetition of internal vowel sounds in words that do not end the same.


a break between words within a metrical foot


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”

Transferred Epithet

When an adjective usually used to describe one thing is transferred to another.