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Emily Ferrara

Emily Ferrara

Nationality: Estados Unidos
Email: erferrara@gmail.com


Emily Ferrara

Emily Ferrara is a poet and writer who lives in Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S. She is author of The Alchemy of Grief/Alchimia del dolore, winner of the Bordighera Poetry Prize and published by Bordighera Press in bilingual edition (English and Italian), with Italian translation by Sabine Pascarelli of Tuscany. Ms. Ferrara is assistant professor at University of Massachusetts Medical School where she has taught medical creative writing, doctor-patient communication, and health care considerations for refugees, asylum seekers, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. She is passionate about improving access to services for Lowell’s large refugee and immigrant populations. Ms. Ferrara is founder and curator of the virtual Global Quarantine Museum, and editor of the Pendemics Arts and Literary Journal, an e-journal launched during the COVID-19 crisis, as a vehicle for writers and artists to explore themes that are emerging as a result of the global pandemic. The inaugural issue of the journal can be viewed at: https://tinyurl.com/gqmmasked.




I navigate by sumac and seep. 

Time succumbs to feldspar.

To mica, cormorants, the folly of sky.


It is braver to stand on the promontory, listening 

for unseen salvages at high tide,

the wreckage and the sheer.  To hear

the quarry speak: Repeat after me. After me.


But how to trust ­­­­the imperfect 

armament of hindsight, 

the archipelago, arc of unknowing.

Is it braver to navigate by surrender?


A deep spring slakes the quarry 

in me.  Gulls haunt the brindled 

and lacquered ledges. 


I have spent far too long preening in calm resolve. 

It is braver to navigate by surrender.

I navigate by sumac and seep.


Keeper of the Lock 


The keeper watches as the haulers, starboard

lash with ropes the drunken boat, upright, afloat 


in the sea-to-sea churning, dangerous beauty, 

foaming and rushing green between plane trees 


whose roots keep the banks from collapse. 

These waters are truer than God, truer 


than the mad-brilliant verse of Rimbaud, 

that burning asteroid who left me in his wake


to make of my life a break-your-heart poem 

the likes of which no fool’s eyes have ever seen.


Ars Poetica


The book I dream is thick 

with words I’ve never spoken:  

boreal   fin-de-siecle  tramontane.


I’ve sworn off words my life 

has overused      yearning  

breathless   God undone


Feckless conceit

an easy tug:  I‘ve murdered      

my darling starlings in flight                 


to tread on fields of lock-down       

tight-lipped tourniquet shrike

to ransom commas for insurrection.


I’ll ditch decorum   run amok    

transgress the book of forms   

my i’s rolled back and sweat 


sweetening the interval 

from mayhem 

to   horror.  


On the Morning of the Third Supermoon


I’m driving due North for the coast 

powering past ramps and merges   the clouds 

a skyless blue   the driving question   this placebo 

road    is not why    but how to persist


at the impasse of innocence toeing the fault line

innocents captured on alien soil   fear   threats

reckless returnings       the clouds have fallen


asleep at the wheel   sundogged swoon

the-too-much-with-us moon  

I’m course correcting on cruise


past burning wrecks     promised auroras 

the clouds an eyeless blue   driving North to the sea

to the sea I love    the complicit and culpable sea.


By the River Dure

I. Reverie


I measure my arrival 

in linden trees, shutter

my window open 

for the river’s rapport 

with sunlight.  Tableau

of poached pear, camembert,

pain perdu.  Laundered sheets

in the courtyard, swallows

for my thirst, swallows

of minted water, beds of lavender

where the sun casts bee shadows.

The allure of too much 

defies the imposition of a poem.

After dinner, and evening’s walk

to the gorge, I shutter my window 

against the river, its conversation 

with twilight and later still, 

its soliloquy, night.   


II. Trance


I follow gossamer 

from the alms box to the rafters 

thread it out the doorway

through Mistral winds 

and cypress scrub to the Pyrenees. 


I gather a bouquet of wildflowers 

make for myself a bracelet 

the fields and the fields 

mêlée of impermanence.


III. Awakening


How to face myself

after such ecstatic abandon?


Without history, without

the immense edifice of memory


the river wrapped around the idyllic—

It is what I don’t see that moves me.


I deliver myself to grief in code—

an empty frame in the terraced garden


rose-fermented rosaries, the milky stars

of my mother’s prayers in the changing light.


a basket of linens, all white

a set of silver spoons 


four chairs set around a space

where once there was a table.

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