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Desirée Alvarez


It is the shortest night of the year.
The owls will return early.

A childhood without the attribute of a father lasts a lifetime.
Abandon, knock-kneed and erratic rules.
To know the moment you turned.

I stole the owl’s nest that she stole from the hawk.
Since then I’ve always walked as though hands ran
up my legs and this is flight.


Desirée Alvarez has published poems in Poetry Magazine, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, and The Iowa Review. She received the Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner in 2012, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 2011. As a visual artist, Alvarez exhibits widely and was awarded the Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and two NYFA Fellowships. She lives in Manhattan and teaches at CUNY.


See the full list of 2012 Emerging Poets Fellows