Rae Armantrout

October 21, 2019 Armantrout Rae


For Mark Kruse

Now they tell us
“orbit” is wrong.
Electrons don’t actually
“orbit a nucleus.”
Perhaps they are looking for the word
One meaning of haunt
is to frequent.
To be known
to appear.
They say electrons leap
from nonexistent
rung to rung,
giving off energy
as a ghost may vanish
from one room
to materialize in the next,
causing the audience
to jump.

Rae Armantrout’s most recent books, Versed, Money Shot, Just Saying, Itself, Partly: New and Selected Poems, Entanglements, (a chapbook selection of poems in conversation with physics), and Wobble were published by Wesleyan University Press. Her upcoming book, Conjure is forthcoming this Sept. 6. Wobble, a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award, was selected by Library Journal as one of the best poetry books of 2018. In 2010 her book Versed won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and The National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2007 Armantrout received a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and journals including Poetry,Conjunctions, Lana Turner, The Nation, The New Yorker, Bomb, Harper’s,The Paris Review, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology, The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine, several volumes of The Best American Poetry, etc. Her Paris Review interview in “The Art of Poetry” series will appear in December, 2019.  She is recently retired from UC San Diego where she was professor of poetry and poetics. She now lives in the Seattle area.