In this timely and reflective anthology, the generation that sought to stay forever young reveals that midlife should mean more than jokes about thinning hair, creaking joints, and thickening waistlines. Midlife's insights—whether they be physical, spiritual, or emotional—are indeed startling, and who better than poets to deliver them?

Contributors Include:

Kim Addonizio, Julia Alvarez, Doug Anderson, Dorothy Barresi, Bruce Bond, Nick Carbó, Denise Duhamel, Cornelius Eady, Louis Jenkins, Allison Joseph, Yusef Komunyakaa, Maureen Seaton, Gary Soto, David Wojahn

“This rich anthology tracks boomer girls from birth to, well, knowingness. . . . Their poems are about loss, loneliness, violence, and love. The writers in Boomer Girls touch themes that all generations experience but this generation can express for all of us—in ways that quietly bred Emily Dickinson, say, never could—what it is to be a girl baby, then adolescent, then woman growing up in America..” —Susan Stamberg, NPR's All Things Considered



Introduction by Pamela Gemin, David Graham, and Betsy Sholl

I. Bless This House

Bob Hicok, Choosing My Conception

Cornelius Eady, I’m a Fool to Love You

Kyoko Mori, To My Ancestral Spirits

Jim Daniels, Blessing This House

Rick Campbell, How the Streets in Front of Kaufmann’s Departments Store Tell Me I Am Home

Gary Soto, Braly Street

David Mura, Issei Strawberry

Ginger Andrews, Habitiual Offender

Andrea Hollander Budy, Reading Aloud to My Mother

David Graham, Sundowning at the Dementia Unit

David Graham, On the Eve of My Mother’s Surgery

Tony Hoagland, Lucky

Kim Addonizio, The Moment

Jan Heller Levi, My Father Calls Me Every Sunday Morning

Charles Harper Webb, It’s Good That Old People Get Crotchety

Philip Bryant, Early Inheritance

Robin Becker, Adult Child

Yusef Komunyakaa, My Father’s Loveletters

Janet Holmes, My Mother’s Clown

Andrea Hollander Budy, My Father’s Sweater

Amy Dryansky, Beneath the Canopy of Trees


II. Extending the Lines

Kathleen Norris, Land of the Living

Denise Duhamel, Reminded of My Biological Clock--While Looking at Georgia O’Keeffe’ Pelvis One

Leslie Adrienne Miller, When Hope Goes to Hug Me

Jim Daniels, What I Did

Judith Vollmer, What She Didn’t Tell Him

David Mura, Listening

Cathy Song, Lucky

Afaa Micheal Weaver, Abiku

Norbert Krapf, When the Call Came

Laurel Mills, Geography of Love

Bruce Bond, Open Throat

Jim Daniels, Falling Bricks

Cortney Davis, Teasing Was Only the Beginning

Roger Weingarten, From the Temple of Longing

Kathleen Norris, Children of Divorce

Jeredith Merrin, Family Reunion

Kate Sontag, Making Step Beautiful in Maine

David Graham, Father of the Man

Betsy Sholl, Chances

Mark Cox, Fatherhood

Walter bargen, Those Things

Deborah Keenan, Comfort


III. Woven in My Walk

Paula McLain, Willing

Julia Kasdorf, Freight

Yusef Komunyakaa, Providence

Nick Carbó, Ang Tunay Na Lalaki Moves into Sally’s Apartment

Maureen Seaton, When I Was Straight

Timothy Liu, Two Men on a Swing Watching Their Shadows Lengthen

Allison Joseph, Wedding Party

Deborah Keenan, Marriage

Rebecca McClanahan, Making Love

Kel Munger, After Making Love, We Hear Sirens

Philip Bryant, Looking at Your Body

Laurie Kutchins, Milk

Natasha Sajé, What Difference Does It Make?

Ronald Wallace, Wild Strawberries

Louis Jenkins, The Couple

Kate Gleason, After Fighting for Hours

Kim Addonizio, Near Heron Lake

Luis Rodriguez, The Bull’s Eye Inn

Leslie Ullman, Peace

Belle Waring, So Get Over It, Honey

Julie King, Hives

David Baker, The Affair

Jan Heller Levi, Marriage 2

Dorothy Barresi, At the Pioneer Valley Legal Clinic

John Reinhard, After Skinnydipping, the Old Couple Fishes for Brown Trout in the Root River

Mark Doty, The Embrace


IV. In This Strange Land We Sing Our Song

Timothy Liu, Thoreau

Heid Erdrich, TV News: Detox Closed

Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton, Exquisite Candidate

Nick Carbó, Secret Asian Man

John Reinhard, Jimmy Pohoski’s a Woman Now

Rachel Loden, Lingerie Ads in the Sixties

Martín Espada, For the Jim Crow Mexican Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachussets Where My Cousin Esteban Was Forbidden to Wait Tables Because He Wears Dreadlocks

Maureen Seaton, When I Was White

Bruce Jacobs, Black on Black

Heid Erdrich, Human Map

Bob Hicok, To the Moon, Alice

Erin Belieu, The Man Who Tried to Rape You

Ellen Bass, Bearing Witness

Wendy Bishop, Evidence of Death’s Voodoo--Inside and outside the “Gun as Art Exhibit”

Albert Goldbarth, Columbine High School/Littleton, CO

William Olsen, Blood

Bruce Weigl, And we came home

Afaa Michael Weaver, To the Vietnam Vet

Yusef Komunyakaa, Facing It

Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton, Exquisite Communist

Bob Holman, Cement Cloud

Louis Jenkins, The Way Things Used To Be

Andrew Hudgins, Heaven

Marcia Southwick, A Star Is Born in the Eagle Nebula

Heid Erdrich, Future Debris

Josie Kearns, Sping

David Wojahn, Rajah in Babylon


V. The Strenuous Work of Vanishing

Leslie Ullman, Estrogen

Rodney Jones, Variation on a Sundial

Diane Seuss, Kansas

Alison Townsend, At the Hairdresser, Reading Elle Magazine

Charles Harper Webb, Losing My Hair

Stephen Dunn, The Sexual Revolution

Holly Iglesias, Epitome Café

Lisa Lewis, The Young

Ann Hostetler, Priestess of Love

Bill Bauer, Wildflowers

Kim Addonizio, Getting Older

Judith Vollmer, Scan

Doug Anderson, Outliving Our Ghosts

David Baker, The Art of Comedy

Cynthia Huntington, The Rapture

Karen Donovan, Chemo

Kate Sontag, Caribbean Breast Lullaby

Andrew Hudgins, Ashes

Marie Howe, What the Living Do

Bob Hicok, Heroin

Tony Hoagland, Are You Experienced?

Virginia Chase Sutton, Drunk

Thomas Lux, Loudmouth Soup

Jane Mead, After Detox

Louis Jenkins, February

Dorothy Barresi, Late Summer News

Dorianne Laux, Antilamentation

Susan Firer, These Are My Buddhist Shoes

Tony Hoagland, Memory as a Hearing Aid


VI. Why the Dog Howls at the Moon

Martín Espada, The Owl and the Lightning

Jeanne Bryner, Lourdes

Diane Seuss, Viceroy

Kel Munger, Why the Dog Howls at the Moon

Kyoko Mori, Not Believing

Ellen Bass, If There Is No God

Andrew Hudgins, We Were Simply Talking

Laura Kasischke, A Long Commute

Thylias Moss, Dennis’s Sky Leopard

Monifa A. Love, Mount Olive

Amy Gerstler, A Non-Christian on Sunday

Rodney Jones, Refusing to Baptize a Son

Julia Alvarez, The Dashboard Virgencita

Bruce Weigl, What Saves Us

Thomas Lux, Fundamental

Eleanor Lerman, The Mystery of Meteors

Laura Kasischke, Dear Earth

Belle Waring, Look

Jane Mead, Passing a Truck Full of Chickens at Night on Highway Eighty

Contributors’ Notes



Retail price

Publication Details

Publication Date
Pages, art, trim size
284 pages