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CM Burroughs

Years: 2004, 2006, 2008


CM Burroughs has been awarded fellowships and grants from organizations including Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Cave Canem, Callaloo Writers Workshop and the University of Pittsburgh. She has received commissions from the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Warhol Museum to create poetry in response to art installations. A graduate of Sweet Briar College and the MFA program at the University of Pittsburgh, she lives in Chicago where she is the Elma Stuckey Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poetry has appeared in journals including Ploughshares, Callaloo, jubilat, VOLT, Bat City Review, La Fovea and Eleven Eleven. 

CM's first book, The Vital System, will be published by Tupelo Press and released in 2012.


In The Personal Camp, Eroticism


Once I find the maze opening to the canebrake, I see we

are still quite removed from Escape.  You are black under 

the chassis…detergent and oil puddling across your black

skin.  You are so beautiful I say it, You are so beautiful.  


I join you, stick my fingers into the organs or engine, everything

so warm so dark I can’t tell.  I move my hand in to the wrist, fix it

when your mouth opens with sight.  Your own wrist, rotal against

some metal; one of us, man/machine/ovary, guns to life. I feel that

we will get away.