Richard Newman (poet)

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Richard Newman (born March 25, 1966) is an American poet and the editor of River Styx.[1] He is the author of three full-length poetry collections: All the Wasted Beauty of the World (Able Muse, 2014), Domestic Fugues (Steel Toe Books, 2009), and Borrowed Towns (Word Press, 2005).


Born in Illinois, raised in southern Indiana, and now living in St. Louis, Newman is the author of All the Wasted Beauty of the World (Able Muse, 2014),[2] Domestic Fugues (Steel Toe Books, 2009),[3] and Borrowed Towns (Word Press, 2005),[4] and four poetry chapbooks: 24 Tall Boys: Dark Verse for Light Times (Snark Publishing/Firecracker Press, 2007), Monster Gallery: 19 Terrifying and Amazing Monster Sonnets! (Snark Publishing, 2005), Tastes Like Chicken and Other Meditations (Snark Publishing, 2004), and Greatest Hits (Pudding House Press, 2001).

His work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2006 [5] (edited by Billy Collins), Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry,[6] Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac,[7] Boulevard, Crab Orchard Review, The Ledge (as winner of The Ledge 2010 Poetry Competition), New Letters, (where he won the 2006 Reader's Choice Award),[8] Poetry Daily,[9] The Sun, Tar River Poetry, Verse Daily,[10][11] and many other periodicals and anthologies.

Newman earned his MFA at the Brief-Residency Writing Program at Spalding University. He teaches at Washington University and UMSL Honors College, reviews books for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and has served as editor for River Styx since 1994. He is a member of The CharFlies,[12] a junk-folk band in St. Louis, Missouri.

Excerpt from Borrowed Towns[edit]


My change: a nickel caked with finger grime;
two nicked quarters not long for this life, worth
more for keeping dead eyes shut than bus fare;
a dime, shining in sunshine like a new dime;
grubby pennies, one stamped the year of my birth,
no brighter than I from 40 years of wear.
What purses, piggy-banks, and window sills
have these coins known, their presidential heads
pinched into what beggar's chalky palm--
they circulate like tarnished red blood cells,
all of us exchanging the merest film
of our lives, and the lives of those long dead.
And now my turn in the convenience store,
I hand over my fist of change, still warm,
to the bored, lip-pierced check-out girl, once more
to be spun down cigarette machines, hurled
in fountains, flipped for luck--these dirty charms
chiming in the dark pockets of the world.

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