Deborah Meadows

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Deborah Meadows
Meadows in 2013

Deborah Meadows (born 1956) is an American poet and playwright and essayist.[1][2][3][4]


Meadows has published more than ten books of poetry, as well as essays,[5] plays, and lithographs. She was nominated for Los Angeles Poet Laureate in 2014.[2][6] From a working-class family, Meadows was born and raised in Buffalo, New York where she graduated from St. Martin's elementary school, then Nardin Academy. Meadows has described Buffalo as “rich in modernist art such as the Albright-Knox art collection .. with works of artists such as Clyfford Still, Jasper Johns, Rothko, etc. … Art Park on reclaimed land in the Niagara River gorge opened to include site-installed works, early conceptual and performance art, offered opera, and theatre...” as significant to her thought.[3]

She graduated from SUNY, Buffalo (Magna Cum Laude with a BA in English and Philosophy) where she studied literature with the postmodern critic and novelist Raymond Federman, literature professor Myles Slatin,[2][3] and with Eastern philosophy scholar Kenneth Inada.[3] She went on to complete an MA in English from CSULA and MFA from Antioch University, Los Angeles.[2][3]

Active with readings,[7] her work has been widely anthologized.[8] Meadows has been active in international cultural affairs, traveling a few times to Cuba where she met with Cuban writers such as Reina María Rodríguez and Antonio José Ponte, and she has traveled to and worked with poets in Buenos Aires such as Romina Freschi and Jorge Santiago Perednik.[3] She has also been active with her faculty union and various issues involving access and equity in public higher education.[6] She lives with her husband in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District,[6] and is an Emerita faculty member at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, is dedicated to critical pedagogy and interdisciplinary practices and “whose poetry is distinguished by its experimental [literature] aesthetics, marked by philosophic and politically engaged matter”.[3][9][10][11] Meadows is a juror on the panel for The America Awards for outstanding contribution to world literature.[12] She served on the board of the Los Angeles River Artists & Business Association from January 2013 to December 2016, and served as the 2014 president.[13][14][15]



  • Neo-bedrooms (Bristol, UK: Shearsman Books, Ltd., 2021) ISBN 978-1-84861-767-4
  • Lecture Notes: A duration poem in twelve parts (BlazeVOX Books. Kenmore, NY, 2018) ISBN 978-1-60964-308-9
  • The Demotion of Pluto: Poems and Plays (BlazeVOX Books. Buffalo, NY, 2016) ISBN 978-1-60964-262-4
  • Translation, the bass accompaniment: Selected Poems (Shearsman Press, Bristol, England, UK, 2013) ISBN 978-1-84861-280-8
  • Saccade Patterns (BlazeVOX Books. Buffalo, NY, 2011) ISBN 978-1-60964-006-4
  • How, the means (Los Angeles: Mindmade Books, 2010)
  • Depleted Burden Down (Factory School, NY 2009) ISBN 978-1-60001-976-0
  • Goodbye Tissues (Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books Ltd, 2009) ISBN 978-1-84861-013-2
  • involutia (Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, Ltd., 2007) ISBN 978-1-905700-19-6
  • The Draped Universe (Belladonna* Books, 2007)
  • Thin Gloves (Los Angeles: Green Integer Press, 2006) ISBN 978-1-933382-19-7
  • Growing Still (Kaneohe, Hawaii: Tinfish Press, 2005) ISBN 978-0-9759376-2-4
  • Representing Absence (Los Angeles: Green Integer Press, 2004) ISBN 1-931243-77-8
  • Itinerant Men (San Francisco: Krupskaya Press, 2004) ISBN 978-1-928650-21-8
  • “The 60’s and 70’s: from The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick” (Kaneohe, Hawaii: Tinfish Press, 2003) ISBN 978-0-9712198-5-4



  • After Moby-Dick: An Anthology of New Poetry, eds. Elizabeth Schultz and Kylan Rice, New Bedford: Spinner Publications, 2019
  • The PIP Anthology of World Poetry of the 21st Century, Volume 10, Selected Contemporary American Poets Anthology, ed. Douglas Messerli, Los Angeles: Green Integer Press, 2017 online. 202–207.
  • Journal of Poetics Research (Australia), 2015.
  • LA Telephone Book, Volume 2, 2012–2013, ed. Brian Kim Stefans,
  • La Alteración del Silencio: Poesía Norteamericana Reciente (Spanish trans. Wm. Allegrezza and Galo Ghigliotto, eds.), Santiago, Chile: Das Kapital Press, 2010
  • Poets For Living Waters, July 23, 2010
  • A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years, Volume 1, Poetry & Nonfiction, ed. Rebecca Wolf et al., Albany: Fence Books, 2009 ISBN 978-1-934200-06-3
  • The PIP (Project for Innovative Poetry) Blog, 2009 Volume, ed. Douglas Messerli
  • Another Language – Poetic Experiments in Britain and North America. LIT-Verlag: Muenster, Hamburg, Berlin (2008): 149-159 and 227–229. ISBN 978-3-8258-1210-2
  • The PIP Anthology of World Poetry of the 20th Century, Volume 5, Intersections: Innovative Poetry in Southern California, ed. Douglas Messerli, Los Angeles: Green Integer Press, 2005 ISBN 978-1-931243-73-5


  • Representing Absence (Winner of The Gertrude Stein Poetry Award 2004 for Innovative Poetry)[citation needed]
  • Itinerant Men (Winner of the Krupskaya poetry contest resulting in book publication)[citation needed]


Meadows's Translation, the bass accompaniment: Selected Poems is the sounding of consciousness, but not singular, not just her own: these poems are patterns pulled from texts in order to make a new accompaniment, to expose “the syntax of exploratory thought”... This capstone book looks back on Meadows's prolific writing life, and I believe that Meadows's poetry stands out among contemporary experimental poetry in two ways: in her treatment of matter, including political and economic realities, and in her use of and trust in sound. ... Simultaneously lyrical and conceptual, Meadows's work is exemplary among contemporary poetry. In fact, it challenges the clunky, western-world, Cartesian construct that would differentiate between somatic experience and conceptual practice.[16]

[On Growing Still]: One thinks of Ponge, in that this is a kind of exploration which doesn't depend on the ‘surreal’, as so much ‘prose’ ‘poetry’ does. This is that which tends to BE thinking rather than mimic it.[17]

Poetry capable of elevating the reader into new ways of thinking about language often runs the risk of isolating and ostracizing the reader through challenge and difficulty in the breakage of paradigms. ... In Deborah Meadows's latest collection of writing, The Demotion of Pluto: Poems and Plays, these fine lines are approached and often transcended through the poet's consistent use of external influences and forces.[18]


  1. ^ Meadows, Deborah (2013). Translation, the Bass Accompaniment: Selected Poems. ISBN 9781848612808. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "California State Polytechnic University, Pomona". California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Review of Deborah Meadows". Verse Mag. Verse Magazine. 11 February 2005. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Representing Absence by Deborah Meadows Reviewed by Anthony Hawley". Verse Magazine. February 11, 2005.
  5. ^ Murphy, Sheila (July 2006). "article by Sheila Murphy in American Book Review on Deborah Meadows' publication". American Book Review. 27 (25).
  6. ^ a b c "Electronic Poetry Center author page". Electronic Poetry Center. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  7. ^ "on Deborah Meadows' reading at NYC's Bowery Poetry Club in ColdFront Magazine". Cold Front Magazine. March 24, 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  8. ^ Staff, Harriet (7 October 2022). "article written by Harriet Staff at Poetry Foundation about an anthology in which Deborah Meadows' work appears".
  9. ^ "Minutes of Academic Senate meeting on May 30, 2012 at Cal. Poly., Pomona that records Meadows' Emeritus Status". CalState. Retrieved 12 May 2015., Scroll to pages 21-22
  10. ^ Donovan, Thom (March 2010). ""Three Contemporary Activist Presses" by Thom Donovan - 1 includes Deborah Meadows' poetry as significant for its political approach". American Book Review. 31 (3). Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  11. ^ Corey, Joshua. "Review by Joshua Corey of Meadows' poetry". Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Article announcing America Awards that include Deborah Meadows as one of the jurors entitled "Rangos amerikai díjat kapott Krasznahorkai László"". Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  13. ^ Jao, Carren. "President of LARABA, "Arts District Fights to Keep Metro Maintainance [sic] Yard Out"". KCET. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  14. ^ Phillips, Lance (October 2005). "A Map (on one's own palm) of Growing Still: Lance Phillips reviews Growing Still, by Deborah Meadows". Jacket Magazine. Jacket 28. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  15. ^ California State Polytechnic University, Pomona faculty web page
  16. ^ MAGI, JILL. "Sound matters". Jacket2. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  17. ^ "A Map (on one's own palm) of Growing Still: Lance Phillips reviews Growing Still, by Deborah Meadows". Jacket Magazine. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  18. ^ Bem, Greg."Yellow Rabbits Review #12: The Demotion of Pluto: Poems and Plays by Deborah Meadows". Yellow Rabbits. Retrieved 2 May 2018.

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