Bio: Lori Desrosiers

Lori Desrosiers’ poetry books are The Philosopher’s Daughter (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2013), Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak (Salmon, 2016) and Keeping Planes in the Air (Salmon, 2020). Two chapbooks, Inner Sky  and typing with e.e. cummings, are from Glass Lyre Press. Their poems have appeared in  Ms. Magazine, The New York Times, New Millennium Review, Split this Rock, Contemporary American Voices, String Poet, Blue Fifth Review, Pirene’s Fountain, New Verse News, Mom Egg Review, Cutthroat and many other journals and anthologies. Desrosiers holds an MFA in Poetry from New England College. They won the Liakoura Prize from Glass Lyre Books, and X.J. Kennedy chose their poem “That Pomegranate Shine” for the Brockton Society for Poetry and the Arts Poetry Prize. Their work has been nominated for the 2020 Pushcart Prize. They edit Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry and, an online journal dedicated to social justice. Desrosiers teaches Literature and Composition at Westfield State University, Poetry in the Lesley University M.F.A. graduate program and is a mentor and manuscript consultant with Cutthroat Journal’s mentoring program.

Lori Desrosiers photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz

Lori’s best poems are like snapshots, capturing the emotion and mood in a fleeting instant, and as in a David Ignatow poem each fleeting instant suggests something of the whole life and shakes the reader with its sudden intense light.” – Jeff Friedman

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Newest Publications

Keeping Planes in the Air    by Lori Desrosiers

Cover of Keeping front cover only 2.19.20

Keeping Planes in the Air, Lori Desrosiers’ third full-length book is now available from Salmon Poetry and on Amazon. Here’s the link to the publisher’s website:

About this Book

Poet Henrik Nordbrant speaks of “the glow which approaching death/ leaves on photographs of people who died young/ in the memory of those left behind.” Such is the aura of singular brilliance in the face of utter bereavement and forfeiture manifested in the verse found in Lori Desrosiers’ new volume of poems, Keeping Planes in the Air. The poetry tendered here widens from an insular grief toward “finding beauty in imperfection/ how skin stretches to accommodate/ bones their restless march towards death.” We glimpse the poet’s vision in a space where “the ghost of our intentions/ lingers in peripheral vision/ like the flash of light/ from a torn retina,” and in those glimmers of an afterlife “we are torn/ between staying put/ and taking flight.” Keeping Planes in the Air is for any of us who have witnessed the ambiguity of holding onto our lives and loves in the constant presence of an impending loss that leaves us (and the poet) with a wounded wonderment ‘which is/ more than [we] can fathom/ or just enough.
Christina Lovin
In this thoughtful and nuanced collection, Lori Desrosiers maps that country sometimes called the past, sometimes called memory, into which loved ones have gone or soon will be disappearing. It’s a space limned by nostalgia, which can be beautiful for the trace of what used to be, in the way that an armless goddess is lovely. It’s a place inhabited by spectral presences who don’t seem to realize they are going or gone— Such is the thrall and pull that this world still exerts over all of us. And so, the ghosts of those who perished in the tsunami in Japan hail taxis and reserve private rooms at hotels. The poet’s grandmother at 70 shoplift[s] at the five and dime. The ghost of Emily Dickinson speaks through her washbowl, her inkwell, her quill. In the ordinary calamity of our days, we seek their guidance and benevolence. Among those still with us, we realize we miss each other even while we’re still here. Love is a longing thrown across a bridge where someone is waiting on the other side: we call to each other, we wait for the answer. The poems in Keeping Planes in the Air live in both the waiting and the calling—but the poet gently reminds us that it is the work of our breathing that keeps things aloft.
Luisa A. Igloria

typing with cummings chap cover

typing with e.e. cummings, Lori Desrosiers’ new chapbook (2019) from Glass Lyre Press is available from Glass Lyre Press and on Amazon.

About this Book

Lori Desrosiers’ affectionate homage to e.e. cummings is a little like Mozart’s Haydn Quartets: she engages with a line or image of the original and creates her own piece. There are differences between the poets’ sensibilities, of course, but the point at which they meet is a sweet hybrid of Desrosiers’ sadness and Cumming’s playful eros. Desrosiers teaches much about writing in these poems, especially that we are all adrift in a long river of language, and are talking to each other.

 Doug Anderson, author of Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam: the Sixties and a Journey of Self-Discovery, and Horse Medicine                    


Like e.e. cummings, Desrosiers writes about love and death. There is such sadness in her poetry, but beauty in her memories. She is carrying on in this life without her mother, father, and many others she has lost, yet she reflects on her love for her husband and stays in the now. Reading Desrosiers’ poetry is like reading small odes. We all are eavesdropping on words that are delicate and private such as: You can put your sorrows down now Mother / It is your daughter’s turn to take / the concerns you carried for us. / I put your worries into this stone. / I carry it for you. Reading this book of poetry should be a pact we have with life. So beautifully written.

— Gloria Mindock, editor of Červená Barva Press,  author of Whiteness of Bone




Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak, Lori Desrosiers’ second full-length book is available from Salmon Poetry and on Amazon. Here’s the link to the publisher’s website:

About this Book

“Lori Desrosiers’ Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak enfolds in an origami of memory the poet’s life and the lives of her family and others.  As with any fine poetry, the poems mostly transcend clock-time, soaring to a Blakean cleansing of the “doors of perception.”  In vignettes alchemized from everyday experiences, the poet gives us an “eternity in an hour” of music-laced memoir.  Here is an immersion in the dance of a woman who shakes off the shackles of domestic oppression; here is a gentle dreamer who embraces the liberation of being a daring writer.”


– Susan Deer Cloud, Author of Hunger Moon


“Opening this new book by Lori Desrosiers you will find of memory and search, of second-thoughts and playful indecisions, poems that go back in time to retrieve music and mend heart.
    Indeed, the reader will find all kinds of music here:  there is a violin that lacks music and there is a brother’s voice that speaks like father’s – but not when he sings.  There is a reveille at 7.15am, and there is a young baby whose voice is known by her singing. And it is music that brings half-deaf father back from the dead. Page after page the reader will come to learn that it is memory – that beautiful, final chord, which reveals us to ourselves, and yet is unwritten by us.”


– Ilya Kaminsky, Author of Dancing in Odessa
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Lori Desrosiers’ Upcoming Readings

Upcoming Readings:

Reading new full length book of poems by Lori Desrosiers:
Keeping Planes in the Air
from Salmon Poetry, March 2020.

Thu. December 17, 2020, 7pm
Wintonbury Library Poetry Series
On Zoom!
Wintonbury Library is in Bloomfield, CT

Other readings / book tour schedule to be posted soon.

Booking now!

*Note to festivals, workshops and poetry venues:
To book Lori to read or conduct workshops throughout the year,
please contact her at

Keeping Planes in the Air    by Lori Desrosiers

Cover of Keeping front cover only 2.19.20

Lori Desrosiers’ third full-length book is now (or soon) available from Salmon Poetry and on Amazon. Here’s the link to the publisher’s website:

typing with e.e. cummings   by Lori Desrosiers

typing with cummings chap cover

typing with e.e. cummings, Lori Desrosiers’ new chapbook (2019) from Glass Lyre Press is available from Glass Lyre Press and on Amazon.

Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak  by Lori Desrosiers


Lori Desrosiers’ second full-length book is now available from Salmon Poetry and on Amazon. Here’s the link to the publisher’s website:


The Philosopher’s Daughter by Lori Desrosiers 


Lori Desrosiers’ first full-length book of poetry is available to order from Salmon Poetry:

(also available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and everywhere)

Chapbook: Inner Sky from Glass Lyre Press and Amazon March 27, 2015
Inner Sky Cover Prototype 2 (1),

Booking now! or

*Note to festivals, workshops and poetry venues:
To book Lori to read or conduct workshops throughout the year,
please contact her at

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Interviews and Reviews

Here are some links to interviews and reviews for Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak, followed by others for The Philosopher’s Daughter and Inner Sky:

Review by Lisa C. Taylor of Keeping Planes in the Air on Mom Egg Review Jan. 2021

Review by Karen Craigo of typing with e.e. cummings on Better View of the Moon. 

Review by Lennart Lundh of typing with e.e. cummings, on Goodreads, 1/5/2020. 

A thoughtful and well-written review by Christine Salvatore in Mom Egg Review, of Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak. 5/28/17

Television interview from Poet to Poet with Doug Holder of Lori Desrosiers: “Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak”.

Review of Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak, in Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene, by Dennis Daley

Charlie Rossiter interviews me about Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak, from Salmon Poetry. It includes a terrific segment with Sarah Browning of Split This Rock.

Nancy Chen Long interviews me about my chapbook, Inner Sky, from Glass Lyre Press:

Interview with me based on “That Pomegranate Shine” from The Philosopher’s Daughter, by Trevor Conway at Poems in Profile.

Review of The Philosopher’s Daughter, by Cort Bledsoe in Coal Hill Review 10/22/13
Donna Fleischer interviews me about The Philosopher’s Daughter:

Jessamyn Smyth interviews me about my inspiration and my poems: 

Review of The Philosopher’s Daughter, by Robin Stratton Boston Literary Magazine, 8/11/13

Review of The Philosopher’s Daughter, by Barbara Bialick, from Doug Holder’s Boston Area Poetry Scene:

Interview where I got to discuss the publishing climate, narrative poetry, sex and society from VIDA.

Interview on The Philosopher’s Daughter, by Donna Marie Merritt

This is a meditation on my chapbook, Three Vanities, by Donna Fleischer. It’s not specifically about my recent book, but is important to The Philosopher’s Daughter because the chap shows much of the evolution of thought and image that led to writing the book:

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Where to Find my Work

Here are some links to find my poetry online or in print:

“We Keep Being Born” and  “To My Daughter, A Dream” in the inaugural issue of The Banyan Review Spring, 2020.

“I Dream of Wind” at Straw Dog Writers Guild’s Pandemic Poetry, July 4, 2020

“Trying to Sleep During the Apocalypse” in The New Verse News, April 8, 2020

“Cuddling With Mom” in The Mom Egg, March, 2020

“Of Alleys and Men” in What Rough Beast, Dec. 5, 2019

“Sometimes I am alive because with” in Ms. Muse, Feminist Love Poems, interview by Chivas Sandage, Ms. Magazine, May 2019

“At the Scattering Garden” in SWWIM Every Day, August 24, 2018.

“Stuck at the Atlanta Airport, or what we did for our 17th anniversary” (non-fiction) in Nixes Mate Review, July 2018.

“Poem with a Line from e.e. cummings” in Cutthroat a journal of the arts, issue 23 Finalist in the Joy Harjo Poetry contest 2018.

“I See my Grandmother Bella’s Face” in The Worcester Review,  Vol. 38, November 2017.

“Blur” in Pirene’s Fountain 10th anniversary issue.

“Song for the Earth” in Carrying the Branch, Poets in Search of Peace.

“about the body” in Skin Deep, from Pirene’s Fountain.

“Google Search for my Parents’ First House,” “Ceremony,” “Beth with Hummingbirds,” “Words are not Enough” and “Before the Split” in Peacock Journal, July 23, 2017

“How Small” and “Mother on the Beach” in Writing in a Woman’s Voice, July 2017

“For Now” in New Verse News, April 4, 2017

“The King of Television” on Nicholas Kristoff’s Blog in The New York Times

“Elephant of Mortality” on Split This Rock’s blog.

“Found” in The Valley Advocate article, Selected Poems from the Mass Poetry Festival

“For Gary” in First Literary Review-East.

“I Dream of the Bus to Hell” and “Since I’m Awake Listening to You Snore in the Other Room” at Alexandria Review.

“I Find Myself Craving Wings” and “Mother Said” at New Mirage Journal.

“Grandmother’s Hands” in the Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish-American Poetry

“Pressure Cooker” and “In Shadows of Cathedrals” in Pirene’s Fountain

“The Balance Stone”, The Bar Where the Physicists Drink”, “Guitars” and “Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak” in Contemporary American Voices.

“She Wore Me Out” in Pirene’s Fountain

“Anniversary” in the inaugural issue of String Poet

“Les Cigales” in Pirene’s Fountain.

“At the Tea Tasting” in Pirene’s Fountain.

“That Pomegranate Shine,” “First Marriage” and “Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak” on International Journal of Psychoanalysis’ Blog

“Sandbar Piano” at the New Verse News.

“Clyde” and “Neon S_ns” in U.M.Ph.! Prose

“The Day after the End of the World” in New Verse News

“Real Wrestling” and “Wrestling the Poem” in Clattery Wrestling Anthology

“Thinking Rock” in The Smoking Poet

“Reverie Obscura” and “Some Answers” in Chickenpinata:

“Conducting in Thin Air” in New Verse News

“Water Lust” a series of 5 poems is part of Gold Wake Press’ mini-chapbook series at

“Parts in a Box” in New Verse News:

“Twinkle” in New Verse News:

“Jalopy” and “The Gearhead’s Wife’s Lament” in Appleseeds, an Anthology of Americana

Appleseeds Anthology on Google Books

“Hudson” in Big City Lit:

“From the Porch” in November 3rd Club:

“Mother’s Tongue” (5 poems) Gold Wake Press mini-chapbook series:

“New Jersey Nights” in Love Poems and Other Messages for Bruce Springsteen, an anthology by Pudding House Press.

“Waltz” in Chopin with Cherries, an anthology from Moonrise Press – Feb. 2010

Contact Lori Desrosiers at for readings and workshops.

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