Tuesday May 21

Chiles Poetry credit Miriam Berkley Adam Chiles’ first collection of poems, Evening Land (Cinnamon Press) was nominated for the 2009 Gerald Lampert Memorial award for best debut collection in Canada. His work has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2006 (Samovar) and has appeared in such journals as Barrow Street, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cimarron Review, Copper Nickel, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, Magma, Other Poetry, Permafrost, RHINO and Thrush Poetry Review. His fellowships and scholarships include the Reginald S. Tickner Creative Writing Fellowship a Sewanee Writers Conference, Tennessee Williams Scholarship, as well as scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and Banff Writing studio in Canada. He is full professor of English and Creative Writing at Northern Virginia Community College.

Reading Edward Thomas to My Father

From the ninth-floor hospital window, acres broaden,
scroll out past slate and pylon, the black moor

loosening, hour by hour, its thicket of wounds.
All afternoon, I give back willow-herb and grass,

the black bird’s carousel wing. I give back hunger, thirst,
lines that widened in him for almost a century,

widening again. I give back this catalogue
of field, sky, each word circling farther and farther in.

I give back haycock, pasture. Silence wheeling deeper.
I give back the ravening wing, the rapture.


The rook never sleeps.
It calls from the branches,
its museum of leaves
inside you. Night after
night you climb back,
float up there, observing
the old pasture. Drift
amid the tree’s green bell,
listening to your future;
the calculus of rain, a dog
barking, that slow traffic
of wind. Always the same
car passing under you
announcing its insomnia.

Author photo by Miriam Berkley