Camille Rankine

Camille Rankine‘s first full-length collection of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses was published by Copper Canyon Press in January 2016. She is also the author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America’s 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. The recipient of a 2010 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize and a finalist for The Poetry Foundation’s 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship, she was featured as an emerging poet in the fall 2010 issue of American Poet and the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including American Poet, The Baffler, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, Narrative, Paper Darts, A Public Space and Tin House. Camille earned her BA from Harvard University, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. She is the recipient of a fellowship from theMacDowell Colony and was named an Honorary Cave Canem fellow in 2012. She serves on the Executive Committee of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and the Board of Trustees of The Poetry Project, and co-chairs the Brooklyn Book Festival Poetry Committee. She is a visiting professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst’s MFA for Poets and Writers, and lives in New York City.




not what was meant

to be. not classically. not clean

glassine. not a body but

a living in it.


not anyone’s. won’t soft gloss

like your magazine.

won’t lighten up

the room. none of this

bloom & giddy. but jut

& sweat. a blight.

against the linen. the good

white porcelain.


a bit of damp.

& sloppy. this push.

this steady. this taking

space. a little black

fly. wild & desperate

in the water. drop

of blood in your warm

cup of milk.


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