Brenda Hillman was born in Tucson, Arizona, and attended Pomona College, where she received a bachelor’s degree, followed by the University of Iowa, where she earned an MFA. She has been a member of the faculty at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, since 1984. She once told Contemporary Authors: "I am interested in the presence of spirit in matter and in how to have joy in a divided universe—that's what my poetry is mainly about. My tools are irony, the image, the broken narrative, and an intensely personal voice."
More By This Poet
Angrily Standing Outside in the Wind
—kept losing self control
but how could one lose the self
after reading so much literary theory?
The shorter "i" stood under the cork trees,
the taller "I" remained rather passive;
the brendas were angry at the greed, angry
that the trees...
A brenda is missing—where is she?
Summon the seeds & weeds, the desert whooshes. Phone the finch
with the crowded beak; a little pretenda
is learning to read
in the afternoon near the cactus caves. Near oleander & pulpy
caves with the click-click of...
Often visitors there, saddened
by lack of trees, go out
to a promontory.
Then, backed by the banded
sunset, the trail
of the Conquistadores,
the father puts on the camera,
the leather albatross,
and has the children
imitate saguaros. One
at a time they stand there smiling,
fingers up like the...