Poems by Colleen J. McElroy

*Bronze Finalists in Poetry, ForeWord Magazine's 1998 Book of the Year Awards

"Based on her journeys, both physical and cerebral, Travelling Music, eloquently showcases McElroy's grace, her unbending vision, and her sassiness, encrypted within language's lyrical sound...If you haven't yet met Colleen McElroy, this collection is a terrific place to start." ---Susan Swartwout,

"Keenly observant, McElroy explores foreign travel, taking in contradictions, ironies and displacements. Richly narrative, these poems take us across borders that transcend geography." ---Maxine Kumin

"This is a black woman's engrossing odyssey, from skinny bad-girl with high heels, tight girlfriends and jazz dreams to grown woman, world traveller, and verbal virtuoso, improvising dazzling riffs on her ongoing voyages and polyglot encounters." ---Marilyn Hacker

"In this brilliant collection, Colleen J. McElroy writes of travel in the broadest sense: the migrations of sleep, mortality, time, and imagination...The result is a poetry of kickass similes and mentioned unmentionables. In an age of well-behaved poetics, such an uncompromising stand is as necessary as it is refreshing." ---Alice Fulton

We become adults with only a toehold

On fantasy like shapes in the corner

of the eye vanishing upon inspection.

I can turn a phrase or bend a letter

under until o becomes e or 3

evolving to 8 and simpler numbers.

No easy girl into gril but loan

into god and home into bog ...

--Colleen J. McElroy

Excerpt from her poem : Caution: This Woman Breaks for Memories

Travelling Music | Biography| Long Way from St. Louis | Over the Lip of the World | Page to Page | Sleeping with the Moon | Home