Students of Poetry, 9:35am

Brittany has cut up her poem
and arranges the slips for the right order.

Julia snaps her gum snap,
cradles a thesaurus, types words into her laptop.

Amelia, with headphones on,
writes something longhand.

Tyler stares at his computer,
leans back in his chair

far enough for me to be nervous,
scratches under his chin and resumes typing.

Yana munches Chex crackers
and makes notes on a piece of paper.

Victoria listens to music, looks at her screen,
then transcribes something in longhand.

And Erin, shut inside her head
has no papers about, except for Brittany’s slips

which have encroached over to Erin’s side,
as she taps the mouse pad on her Mac.

They move their fingers,
crinkle their minds,

give themselves over
to the blood-black task of revising.

They must love this work,
the words, the long hours

and bruised forearms
up to their lovely white throats.

Janee J. Baugher's picture

Janée J. Baugher, a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and Bread Loaf Conference participant, holds a B.S. in Applied Physiology from Boston University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University. A former poetry editor for Willow Springs magazine and Switched-on Gutenberg online journal, Baugher is an associate editor for StringTown magazine (Spokane, WA). Baugher regularly collaborates with visual artists, composers, and choreographers, with recent collaborations having been produced at University of Cincinnati–Conservatory of Music, Interlochen Center for the Arts (Interlochen, MI), and Dance Now! Ensemble (Miami Beach, FL). Baugher is the author of the collection of ekphrastic and travel poems, Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books), and in 2011 she presented her work at the Library of Congress. Her current projects include a collection of water-themed lyric essays and a collection of human-anatomy-physiology-influenced poems. Baugher lives in Seattle where she teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Richard Hugo House and University of Phoenix. For more information, visit:

Last updated October 22, 2011