March 9, 2018

“Sometimes conflict with a god provokes a poem”: A few minutes with Lucie Brock-Broido


Lucie Brock-Broido in 2013. Via YouTube.

The world of writing suffered and major and shattering loss this week, when Lucie Brock-Broido, the acclaimed and beloved poet long associated with the writing program at Columbia University, died at the age of sixty-one. Brock-Broido was the author of four books, one of which, 2013’s Stay, Illusion, received the National Book Critics Circle Award and was nominated for the National Book Award. Her last book, Left of Oblivion, is forthcoming from Knopf.

In a moving remembrance, the blog of the Poetry Foundation quotes Brock-Broido’s editor, Deborah Garrison, observing that her poetry, “while stunningly various in its forms and subjects, had its signature: injustices unmasked in beautifully embroidered, fanciful language that continually fascinated her readers and was hugely influential with students of poetry over several decades.”

Several of her poems—pungent, economical, imagined so vividly and forcefully that it sometimes feels as though theirs is the primary reality, our world projected out from inside their irreducible logic—are available to read online.

She will be dearly missed by generations of colleagues, readers, and students.