Debora Greger


Poet and artist Debora Greger grew up in Richland, Washington. She earned a BA from the University of Washington and an MFA from the University of Iowa. She has published numerous books of poetry, including In Darwin’s Room (2017), Men, Women, and Ghosts (2008), and Movable Islands (2016), and her work has been included in issues of Best American Poetry. Greger’s ability to make unexpected yet revealing connections by overlapping the orbits of myth, history, and our daily commute is made tactile in her work as a collage artist. As a student at Iowa, Greger once (unsuccessfully) tried to submit a quilt in lieu of an essay. Her artwork has been included in The Writer’s Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers (2007) and featured on the covers of several books, including William Logan’s Desperate Measures (2002). She has been awarded the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship and received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and twice from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been a fellow at the Bunting Institute (Radcliffe) and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and has won the Grolier Prize, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the “Discovery”/The Nation Award, the Peter I.B. Lavan Younger Poets Award, and the Brandeis University Award in Poetry. Greger shared the 2004 Corrington Award for Literary Excellence from Centenary College with her longtime partner, poet and critic William Logan. She lives with Logan in Gainesville, Florida and Cambridge, England. Source 

The Poetry of Bad Weather

Someone had propped a skateboard

by the door of the classroom,

to make quick his escape, come the bell.


For it was February in Florida,

the air of instruction thick with tanning butter.

Why, my students wondered,


did the great dead poets all live north of us?

Was there nothing to do all winter there

but pine for better weather?


Had we a window, the class could keep an eye

on the clock and yet watch the wild plum

nod with the absent grace of the young.


We could study the showy scatter of petals.

We could, for want of a better word, call it “snowy.”

The room filled with stillness, flake by flake.


Only the dull roar of air forced to spend its life indoors

could be heard. Not even the songbird

of a cell phone chirped. Go home,


I wanted to tell the horse on the page.

You know the way, even in snow

gone blue with cold. 





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica

Education & Learning


Literary Devices:


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered

Sensory Detail

words used to invoke the five senses (vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell)