Confession time: it’s not always easy to introduce these Poetry Features. After all, nothing transforms me into a grinning inarticulate fanboy like great poetry. So as much as I want to honor the fantastic poets we’ve been privileged to host, it’s often tough to say something meaningful when all I really want to do is paste stickers and draw smiley faces all over the computer screen.  And to be honest, Michelle Bitting isn’t making this any easier. Her work hums with equal parts accessibility and wildness, a certain measured flintiness born from combining academic polish with proletariat wrath. These poems seem at home in sunny gardens, sure, but they thrive just as well in dark rooms scattered with broken glass. That’s because there’s a transcendent quality here, a secret power shared by so many other great poets who have graced our roster.


Little Red Car

Little Red Car by Michelle Bitting



"Odyssey" a poem by Michelle Bitting


Red Shoes

"Red Shoes," a poem by Michelle Bitting


When the Work Runs Out Again

"When the Work Runs Out Again" a poem by Michelle Bitting


Victorian Funeral Notice (Glass Coffin)

"Victorian Funeral Notice (Glass Coffin)" a poem by Michelle Bitting



Michelle Bitting’s third collection is The Couple Who Fell to Earth named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2016. She has recently published poems in The American Poetry Review, Narrative, The New York Times, Vinyl Poetry, Plume, Diode, the Paris-American, Thrush, Raleigh Review, AJP, Green Mountains Review, Verdad, Fjords and others. Poems have appeared on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes, and most recently, The Pablo Neruda, American Literary Review and Tupelo Quarterly Poetry contests. Her web site:


For photo credits, click through to the poem.