New Issues Poetry & Prose - WMU
TitlesSubmission GuidelinesOrderingDonateAbout Us

Lisa Fishman

Lisa Fishman

Lisa Fishman a teaches in the English Department of Columbia College Chicago. She is the author of three books of poetry and three chapbooks and has a new  book, F L O W E R  C A R T, forthcoming on Ahsahta Press. Portions of that work appear in recent issues of A Public Space, Conduit, 1913, Volt, Interim, Women’s Studies Quarterly and other journals. Her earlier books are The Happiness Experiment and Dear, Read (both published on Ahsahta), and The Deep Heart’s Core Is a Suitcase (New Issues Press). Chapbooks are Lining (Boxwood Editions), KabbaLoom (Wyrd Press), and ‘The Holy Spirit does not deal in synonimes’: Notes by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the Margins of Her Greek and Hebrew Bibles (Parcel Press).

Faculty Page: Columbia College Chicago

Also by Lisa Fishman


The Deep Heart's Core is a Suitcase

The Deep Heart's Core is a SuitcaseThe Deep Heart's Core is a Suitcase

$12.00 paper | $22.00 cloth | 57 pages
ISBN: 978-0-932826-47-3 (paper)
ISBN: 978-0-932826-46-6 (cloth)
Publication Date: 1996
Foreword by William Olsen
Buy: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | ShopWMU | UPNE

An Inland Seas Poetry Book

"This first collection . . . is informed by Stevens's colorism and his civilized, lush metaphysics. Fishman's concrete, specific images also bring to mind William Carlos Williams's dictum, 'No ideas but in things!' Well-crafted lines shake up points of view and the process of viewing: 'Various trees/ take place, take blossom; like nets that catch our ankles in silk holes.' Fishman's strongest phrases are rooted in an assiduous attention to particulars that give shape and weight to observations of the unconscious, her primary focus. . . . Fishman's poems are consistently powerful in their close hewing to the physical world, and this collection announces a strong, commanding presence with such lines as 'Who needs the tattered covenant this body is?/ The car glides like an egg through the centuries falling around it' and '...but I would say my lungs are bruise-colored rivers of trout/ cascading faster than Killyon Creek/ and with less reason.'"
        —Publishers Weekly

"What great passion and tender illuminations fill Lisa Fishman's marvelous debut collection. These intimate unravelings and eloquent meditaitons are constantly reminding us of the harsh exigencies of experience and the fierce disquiet of desire. Graceful and gracious, these poems are often heart-breaking and always remarkably, truly wise."
        —David St. John

"Lisa Fishman's voice is as distinctive as the poems are original and surprising, and the lyric elegance that resonates from each is pure exaltation. There is a wonderful blend of passion and restraint here, and a wisdom that I find rare and enchanting."
        —Jack Driscoll

"The shape-shifting realms of longing are fitful setting for local genius. But here, in Lisa Fishman's beautiful first collection of poems, is where for the love of the world we find ourselves. As a reader, I could say I see in these poems a devotion approaching to love, if love ever stayed still enough to take a linguistic reading of. The poet sees much more, though. There's possibly no harder stance for the young poet to take up than one of love and longing. . ."
        —William Olsen, from the foreword

"These passionate poems rescue beauty and knowledge from the world of everyday sadness"
        —Maura Stanton


Ave Maria

The blizzard drove them home. (I love to hear the voices merge—)
Now the thirteenth century, now the choir sang.

If he kissed her
without intent,

without touching,
believe it, they sang in Latin.

Who needs the tattered covenant this body is?
The car glides like an egg through the centuries falling around it,

but the voices merge, singing.
It’s 1297. Stone gates,

cobblestone. Where shall we lay our weary heads
if the story holds them together like peas in a pod,

like a hand in a glove: will they ever stop singing,
is there world without end?

Salt streaks the car and a mule deer waits for the lights
to stop blinding. (It’s not that I want to leave—)

But what they are singing is not about love.
It’s about wanting the story, driving all night

and waiting for someone
to say, that man

or, this woman
is mine