NEA Literature Fellowships

Michelle Detorie

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(2007 - Poetry)


It was folly, the way I let the foal
out into the yard. I thought
she'd like to trot the perimeter
as I had done when we first arrived.
I thought she'd like to know
where the world ended and divided.

The fence round our yard, how did
it end? Teeth picked from the wood, from
the floss. When she was gone, you came
out to me, the whip in your hand, your
face clenched into knots. I never
knew the spoke of it, the slip

from one braided box into the next.
You were the branding iron, I the ox.

Michelle Detorie lives in Goleta, California. She used to live in Kyle, Texas, where she was the 2004-2006 Writer-in-Residence at the Katherine Anne Porter House and Literary Center. She has an MA from the Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from Texas State University, where she held the Rose Fellowship. Current projects include Secret Alphabets and Magical Animals (a manuscript of poems), Mirror Girls (a prose-poem memoir), Diary (a novel for teens), and Daphnomancy, an improvised music and text project with guitarist Kurt Newman. She is also the founding editor and publisher of WOMB, an online magazine for poetry by women. WOMB is available for viewing at

Photo courtesy of the author

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