Eric is now on Facebook.
Eric Torgersen has published seven books and chapbooks of poetry, two of fiction, and a full-length study of Rainer Maria Rilke and Paula Modersohn-Becker. He also translates German poetry, especially that of Rainer Maria Rilke and Nicolas Born. He was born in Melville, New York. He has a BA in German Literature from Cornell University; after two years in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, he earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa. He retired in the spring of 2008 after 38 years of teaching writing at Central Michigan University. He lives in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan with his wife, the quilt artist Ann Kowaleski. He’s available for workshops and readings. (photo by Peggy Brisbane)
Mayapple Press has published Eric's collection of ghazals, In Which We See Our Selves: American Ghazals. Copies can be ordered at:
In this fine collection Eric Torgersen’s great wit and fine ear turn themselves to the ancient Persian verse form, the Ghazal, and dress it, sometimes hilariously, in American tone and circumstance perfectly fitted to an election year, or any year in our strange and various country. When he writes,
The house, you’ll notice, is on fire again.
We might decide to put out the flame for a change.
Look back. Look down. We’re all alone up here.
Let’s not forget the way we came for a change.
you realize this is a book anyone can read with pleasure and instantaneous understanding even by those determined not to understand. – Christopher Howell – Author of The Crime of Luck and many others.
Eric will present a workshop on writing the ghazal at the spring meeting of the Poetry Society of Michigan, Saturday April 22 at the Delhi Cafe, 4625 Willoughby Road #9, Holt, Michigan. This is a meeting for members (why not join?) and there is a $25 registration fee. See the PSM website for details, available soon.
Michigan Poetry Celebration:
More than 20 Michigan poets from the anthology The Michigan Poet: Poems 2010-2015 will read starting at 7:00 pm April 10, 2017 as part of the Wellspring Literary Series at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 319 South University, Mt. Pleasant, MI. Daryl and the Beans will follow the poets with music.
Poem of the Month: March, 2017
I was just an average Joe back then.
I had no plans or dough back then.
Family gone, no friends to speak of--
I was feeling pretty low back then.
I started hanging out too much.
I had no place to go back then.
I don’t remember making choices;
you just went with the flow back then.
It wasn’t that strange to move in with people
you didn’t really know back then.
I think I might have been okay--
some things were touch-and-go back then--
but I started getting into stuff.
I never could say no back then.
To feel like you were keeping up
you did a lot for show back then.
What little I had going for me,
I lost it in the snow back then.
America, it wasn’t you.
I did it. Long ago. Back then.
From In Which We See Our Selves. First appeared in 32 Poems.
Click here for the Poem of the Month Archive: past Poems of the Month.
Click What's New for a list of recent, current and forthcoming publications.
Eric's essay "Gaga's Left Arm" appears in Serving House Journal 15, Fall 2016.
Translation of Nicolas Born's poem "Lüneburg Station, April 30, 1976" appears in Plume April 2016,
Four translations from German poet Nicolas Born appear at Blackbird spring 2016: click on current issue or, later, click on index/archive and search Born's name.
Eric's essay "Writing the American Ghazal" appears in Able Muse, Summer 2015, along with a ghazal, "With You."
Three of Eric's ghazals appear in The Ghazal Page #58:
Another ghazal, "Right," appears in The Ghazal Page #60.
The ghazal "Not Literature" appears at the Pleiades website.
Eric's translation of Rilke's "Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes." appears online at Hermes Poetry. Scroll down to read it.
"I Will Die in Lake Superior" is reprinted at Flyover Country Review, a new site featuring Midwest writing.
A brief essay, "Reading for Otherness," appeared on the North American Review blog November 10, 2014.
Eric's review of Diane Radycki's Paula Modersohn-Becker: The First Modern Woman Artist appeared in Open Letters Monthly , September 2013. www.openlettersmonthly.com .
An interview with Eric appears on the Columbia Poetry Review blog in connection with publication of his ghazal "Broken" in CPR 26.
A short poem, "A Death," appears in The Diagram 12.6.
Eric's short essay "In Passing" is online at bioStories. Scroll down to read it.
"What Is Your Earliest Memory? What Does It Mean?" appears at the Silver Birch Press website.
Full publication information on all of Eric Torgersen's books, with cover images and sample readings, can be found under Books.
All poems and translations on this site copyright © Eric Torgersen.