About Elizabeth Bodien

Elizabeth Bodien

Elizabeth Bodien, Kempton, Pennsylvania, USA, lives in the Ontelaunee River watershed near Hawk Mountain.

Her degrees, undergraduate and graduate, are in cultural anthropology, consciousness studies, religion, and poetry from the University of California (Berkeley), John F. Kennedy University, the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and Western Colorado State University, USA.

She has worked as a teacher of English in Japan, organic farmer in the coastal mountains of Oregon, certified childbirth instructor in West Africa, calligrapher, graphic designer, and certified Montessori teacher.

No longer teaching at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, she has entered the world of poetry, rediscovering its music and mysteries.

Her poems have appeared in red lights, The Litchfield Review, Fledgling Rag, The Fourth River, Frogpond, Mad Poets Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Cimarron Review, qarrtsiluni, U.S.1 Worksheets, Parabola, and in Across the Long Bridge: An Anthology of Award Winning Poems, among other publications in the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and India. She is working on a book of translations, a libretto, and a collection of her trance writings.

Sample Poems


for B.

At day’s end,
I come home
to find in the garden
a poem of wood.

A phrase slopes
down the roof line
singing the cadence
of late afternoon shade.

A stanza of structure,
the shed stands sturdy,
corners at square
snapped tight as nouns.

Window vowels open
wide under eaves.
From outside to inside
syntax breezes between.

Wood on wood, light on light,
doors open to hallowed space.
Your hands have moved
to make it so.


The warp, a blizzard of winter white gauze,
threaded through heddles, silver trees in a forest,
travels towards her, humming heavy of snow.

She presses the pedals, opens a space,
throws the shuttle down through the shed,
into the whispers between warp and weft

into the gap between treble and bass,
strains of what she wants not to remember,
what the weaving may let her forget.

The rhythm takes over, she sinks in deep,
swaying smooth with each line she throws,
blue songs of sorrow weaving into the white

the homespun growing with lengthening night.
Drawn to the fugue, a dusky night moth
disappears with the music into patterns of cloth.

Lumbering loom and sleepy weaver
slow the weaving, end the whirr.
But who keeps singing and weaving her?

Published in Mad Poets Review Fall 2010 and in Endpapers (Finishing Line Press 2011)




"Code-Switching a Poem"
You Are Here:
The Journal of Creative Geography -- The Translation Issue

December 2015
youareheregeography.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/you-are-here-issue-xviii1.pdf (scroll down to page 12)

"Mary Oliver's Nature"
Book review of Blue Horses
Whale Road Review
December 2015

"Shapes of Violence"
Book review of Quan Barry's loose strife
Glint Literary Journal
Fall 2015

"Starting Fresh into Poetry: A Plan for a Late Career"
Writing After Retirement:
Tips from Successful Retired Writers

Edited by Carol Smallwood and Christine Redman-Waldeyer
(Rowman and Littlefield 2014)

"A Whole Month of ‘Best Words, Best Order’"
Lehigh Valley Arts Council Blog
April 2013

"Dear Czeslaw Milosz" (an article)
Schuylkill Valley Journal
Fall 2012

"Down to Earth with Tanka"
(a guest blog)
on Murder Your Darlings (with C.L.Bledsoe)
March 8, 2012


"Moody Window"
U.S. 1 Worksheets
April 2017

"Non Carpe Diem"
March 2017

"I’ve heard tell of a sour hippopotamus" and “Two Swans”
February 2017

“Into the Cold” (a tanka series)
red lights
January 2017

“Good News”
December 2016

“at the burial,” “a forest of leaf buds,” and “a breath and a click”
GUSTS Contemporary Tanka (Canada)
Fall 2016

“the old well”
GUSTS Contemporary Tanka (Canada)
Spring 2016

"Lodestar" and "Of Gods"
Contemporary Ghazals
January 2016

"Two Voices"
December 2015

"A famous race driver named Zack"
Form Quarterly--The Limerick Issue
Fall 2015

"All Souls' Night"
Deep Water Literary Journal (Cork, Ireland)
August 2015

red lights
June 2015

"dim light now"
Gusts: Contemporary Tanka (Canada)
Spring / Summer 2015

"Blue Boy"
U.S. 1 Worksheets
April 2015

"Gui: The Chinese Character for Tortoise"
Poetry Ink
April 2015

"Red Wind" and "Remains"
Lehigh Valley Vanguard
March 2015

Layers of Language (a Studio B publication)
February 2015

"after her passing" and "downy clouds"
red lights
January 2015

"The Blues of Sky"
The Weekly Avocet
September 24, 2014

"The Endless Climb," "Ewer," "Perfect Pitch," and "Solace"
Fall 2014

Summer 2014

"The Twelfth Hour"
East Coast Literary Review
June 2014

"the sun itself" and "to step out now"
red lights
June 2014

"Down Past Dreaming"
Poetry Ink Anthology
April 2014

"Aqua Glass"
U.S.1 Poets Worksheets
April 2014

"Oksana Says Goodbye"
The Agony and the Ecstasy (exhibition catalog)
Studio B, Boyertown, PA
February 2014

"Passing Through the Portal"
Crossing the River: Sacred Journeys Anthology
December 2013

"bandshell concert"
Haiku Soiety of America Anthology

"lingering in bed," "closets of day," and "I don’t speak of hope"
GUSTS 18 (Canada)
Spring/Summer 2013

Connecticut River Review
August 2013

"How to Be an Enigma"
Crannog (Ireland)
June 2013

"triplet sunbeams" and "I dreamt of you"
red lights
June 2014

"Ocean Fabric"
Schuylkill Valley Journal
June 2013

"Roar of the Girl in the Room"
Rathalla Review
May 2013

"white pear blossoms," "how could a painter," and "I like this warm day"
GUSTS 17 (Canada)
Spring/Summer 2013

U.S.1 Worksheets
April 2013

"Baroque Con Brio"
Poetry Ink Anthology
April 2013

"Midnight/Noon Along the Solar/Lunar Meridian"
Intersections: Poetry with Mathematics

Intersections: Poetry with Mathematics

"I feel long" and "a perfect snow"
red lights
January 2013

"As Women Sang, Crickets Would Pause"
The Hive (Apiary Digital Edition)
January 2013

"First Day of Class"
Solo Cafe 8&9 Vol. 2: Teachers & Students

"cleaning the closet’
Winter 2012

"a life entire," "high on the barn roof," "morning fog softens," "under an easy sky," and "white Queen Anne’s Lace"
Atlas Poetica
November 2012

"the small voice," "violin and cello," and "her voice’
October 2012

"meeting the in-laws"
Spring/Summer 2012

"I buy cut tulips"
Spring/Summer 2012

"clouds piling on clouds"
American Tanka
June 2012

"just for today" and "we enter"
red lights Vol. 8, No. 2
June 2012

"at my window"
Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 4

"an array of trees," "this blue-gray light," and "black-necked geese"
GUSTS (Canada)
Spring/Summer 2012

"Calling Out the Poems"
Open Road Review (India)
May 2012

"Violet Edges"
U.S.1 Worksheets
April 2012

"Shall We Blast the Shale?"
Poetry Ink Anthology
April 2012

"clouds line up"
bottle rockets #26
February 2012

"after many gray days" and "what was her name"
Magnapoets (Canada) Issue 9
January 2012

"Texas Reunion" and "the boy flies his kite"
red lights Vol. 8, No. 1
January 2012

"after the funeral"
in pine shade
Haiku Society of America Anthology
January 2012

"no one knows," "he pulled and pulled," "rain, I can smell you"
No. 14 Fall/Winter 2011

"At the Door of No Return"
August 23, 2011

"after the divorce"
Mu Haiku Journal (online - scroll down the page)
July 2011

"at my window" and "frost on the windshield"
red lights
June 2011

"Prisoner" (a haiga)
June 13, 2011

"late snow" and "as spring begins"
River Poets Journal
National Poetry Month 2011:
A Sprinkle of Napkin-Pocket Poems

Poetry Ink Anthology
April 2011

"Two Pages Together"
U.S.1 Worksheets
Spring 2011

"a doomsday sky"
Winter 2010-2011

"I miss all my friends"
Atlas Poetica: 25 Tanka for Children
Winter 2010-2011

"colors at dusk"
Magnapoets (Canada)
January 2011

"clouds so low" and "a maze of rooms"
red lights
January 2011

December 2010

"I travel alone"
American Tanka (online)
December 2010

"Hunting Season" and "The Visit"
Contemporary Haibun Online
December 2010

"iridescent blue"
Eucalypt (Australia)
November 2010

"Listening to the Loom"
Mad Poets Review #23
Fall 2010

"Brevis Missa pro Oceano (Brief Mass for the Ocean)"
Poets for Living Waters
(scroll way down to Bodien in the Bs)
July 2010

"since your death"
Tanka Society of America Anthology

"weather report" and "snow so deep"
red lights
January 2010

"yellow light"
Winter 2009

"Paeonia" and "Geraldine R." Dodge Poetry Festival 2008"
The Lehigh Valley Literary Review

"Again, Deer Season"
Cimarron Review
Fall 2009

Sacred Sites Newsletter
Summer 2009

"old women," "the furrowed bark," "an old game," "full moon," "if I were to choose," "grandmother," "reading the old words," "the sharp point," "winter turns to spring," "your voice"
Modern English Tanka

Contemporary Haibun Online
June 2009

"Deep Winter"
Spring 2009

Spring 2009

"cold morning" and "stark clear"
April 2009

"Fiddlehead Fern"
Schuylkill Valley Journal
Spring 2009

"sky darkens"
Winter 2009

"air turning cold" and "I throw off"
red lights
January 2009

"Furrows" and "Blessing"
January 2009

"Evelyn Snake Woman" and "The Harvesters"
The Fourth River

"African bracelet"
Haiku Society of America Newsletter

"broken goblet"
red lights

"this dress"
bottle rockets

"Not Such a Tough Guy"
Fledgling Rag, Issue #7
May 2008

"Fissure in the Rock"
Poetry Ink Anthology

"Granny’s House"
The Lehigh Valley Literary Review

"September Remembering"

"Garden Shed"
The Litchfield Review
Winter 2006

"Yellow Skirt"
Across the Long Bridge: An Anthology of Award-Winning Poems

"heavy non-stop rain"
red lights


"Grandmother's old house"
Bear Creek Haiku #65

"Why Sing?"
The Lilliput Review


Upcoming Events

Thursday, April 6, 2017 Len Roberts Poetry Day, 50th Anniversary of Northampton Community College
-11AM in the Lipkin Theatre, 3835 Green Pond Road Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18020
- 3:30PM in Keystone 205, Monroe Campus 2411 Rt. 715 Tannersville, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania 18572

Sunday, April 23, 2017 Kutztown Block Party on Main Street
- 3PM to 4PM Firefly Bookshop Author Pavilion Kutztown, PA 19530