The Hocking Hills Festival of PoetrY


Alison Luterman, winner of the 2000 Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize for The Largest Possible Life, is a prizewinning poet, essayist, short story writer, and playwright. Ms. Luterman has given readings, led workshops, and spoken on panels on creativity and writing around the country, including at a cultural center for low_income and homeless people and at Esalen.

            She has been a teacher and a counselor, teaching writing seminars for adults and with 12 years' experience teaching poetry to students from elementary, middle and high schools. As a counselor in the inner city, Ms. Luterman has worked in the Latino and Haitian communities, among others, with drop_in groups for high school students; with H.I.V. positive and AIDS clients, including I.V. drug users, women, adolescents, and others; and with women and families. She was a teacher and translator for Haitian families in Boston, having spent a year in Miami with the VISTA, and participated in theatre workshops for prison inmates at MCI Framingham, in Massachusetts.
            In addition to her CSU Prize book of poetry, chosen by Bruce Weigl, she has published poems, essays and short stories in a variety of periodicals, including The Sun, Whetstone, Radiance, Poetry East, Poet Lore, Charlotte Poetry Review, Brooklyn Poetry Review, The Cape Rock, the eleventh muse, and many other magazines and anthologies. As a writer, her freelance credits include essays and articles on topics ranging from Haitian voodoo ceremonies to single mothers, quiltmakers and story_tellers, with an emphasis on women and the arts. Her plays include The Long Light, Voices of Aging, with Karen Henry, produced by The Boston Theater Group; What's Shakin', produced by Jawbone Theater Company; and The Girl Who Climbed a Tree and Became a Butterfly, produced by Dolphin Tales Theater Company. Ms. Luterman graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts and is attending Mills College as an MFA candidate this fall.


Consider the Generosity of the One-Year-Old

who has no words to exchange with you yet,

and instead offers up her favorite drooled-on blanket,

her green rhinoceros as big as she is,

her cloth doll with the long blonde pigtails,

her battered cardboard books, swung open on their soggy pages,

her limitless heart.


If you were outdoors she would hand you a dead beetle,

a fistful of grass, a pebble,

by way of introduction or just because.

And if, a moment later, she wants it back,

it would be for the joy of passing

these simple symbols back and forth,

freely offered, freely relinquished,

This is me.  Here is who I am.  Oh.


In the same way, sun

drapes a buttered scarf across your face,

rose opens herself to your glance,

and rain shares its divine melancholy.

The whole world keeps whispering or shouting to you,

nibbling your ear like a neglected lover,

while you worry over matters of finance,

of "relationship,"

important issues related to getting and spending,

having and hoarding,

though you were once that baby,

though you are still that world.  


                                             Alison Luterman