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Joyce Sutphen


Biography of Joyce Sutphen

Joyce Sutphen (born 1949) is an American poet, currently serving as Minnesota's Poet Laureate. She is the state's second laureate, appointed by Governor Mark Dayton in August, 2011. Sutphen also serves as a professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

Sutphen was raised in Saint Joseph, Minnesota and currently resides in the city of Chaska. She holds degrees from the University of Minnesota including her Ph.D. in Renaissance Drama.

Her first book of poetry, Straight Out of View (Beacon Press, 1995), won the Barnard New Women's Poets Prize. Her second, Coming Back to the Body (Holy Cow! Press, 2000), was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award, and her third, Naming the Stars (2004), also from Holy Cow! Press, won the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry.

In 2005, Red Dragonfly Press published a fine press edition of Fourteen Sonnets. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Water~Stone, Hayden's Ferry, Shenandoah, Luna.

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At the Moment

Suddenly, I stopped thinking about Love,
after so many years of only that,
after thinking that nothing else mattered.

And what was I thinking of when I stopped
thinking about Love? Death, of course—what else
could take Love's place? What else could hold such force?

I thought about how far away Death once

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