April Ossmann on Poets Cafe

The following interview of April Ossmann by Lois P. Jones originally aired on KPFK Los Angeles (reproduced with permission).


Biographical Information—April Ossmann

April Ossmann is the author of Event Boundaries (Four Way Books, 2017), and Anxious Music (Four Way Books, 2007) and has published her poetry widely in journals and anthologies, including Colorado Review, Harvard Review, and From the Fishouse (Persea Books, 2009). Her poetry awards include a Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant, and a Prairie Schooner Readers’ Choice Award. She has published essays including Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order Your Poetry Manuscript (Poets & Writers, March/April 2011), and a biography/critical study of poet Lynda Hull in American Writers Supplement XXI (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2011). Former executive director of Alice James Books (2000 – 2008), she owns a consulting business (www.aprilossmann.com), offering manuscript editing and publishing advice. She is a faculty editor for the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Sierra Nevada College, and teaches private tutorials and poetry workshops using a method she developed to teach poets to revise their work objectively. She lives in West Windsor, Vermont.


April snow bends
each lilac branch,

heavy and wet
as your body on mine

after love-making,
but less warm—

in truth, a better simile
for loss than love,

though love appears
predicated on loss—

or the fear of it—
surely, every new love

predicts new loss—
branch, you bend

more easily than we,
but sooner break.

This snow’s weeping
is its vanishing,

but the lilac’s sigh of relief
is not its life—

no breath is ours to keep,
just as no body is.

“Sigh,” from Event Boundaries (c) 2017 by April Ossmann. Appears with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.