Arizona Poets: Brenda Hillman

Arizona Poets is a series featuring 20 poets from Arizona in honor of our 60th Anniversary. These poets have all visited the Poetry Center and recordings of those visits are available in our audiovisual archive, Voca. Click here to learn more about our anniversary and here to see the rest of this series

Brenda Hillman smiles and looks at the camera
Photo by Cybele Knowles for the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Copyright © 2015 Arizona Board of Regents.

Brenda Hillman has published ten collections of poetry and has been recognized with an LA Times Book Award for Poetry, the International Griffin Poetry Prize, and a California Book Award Gold Medal in Poetry. A chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a professor at St. Mary’s College, Hillman was born in Tucson and attended Rincon High School.

See more of Hillman's work on Voca.

Your loved ones gather strength 
after an illness; they put their heads 
against the years. They hear 
the molecular rattle of the mesquite, 
the finding bin of syllables, 
their mothers' unchanging breath.


From Practical Water. Wesleyan University Press, 2011. Read the full poem here.