Betsy Fagin is a New York-based writer.  She conspires with everything that is to make sense of place—this particular urban context within a multidimensional physical reality—without limiting the intricacies and complexities of our relationships as sentient, interdependent beings.  Her book publications include

the science seemed so solid (2011); Poverty Rush (2011); Belief Opportunity (2008); Rosemary Stretch (2006); and For every solution there is a problem (2003).  Her journal publications include Critical Quarterly (2012); The Brooklyn Rail (2012); Upstairs at Duroc (2012); The Recluse (2011); and Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days (2010).

Fagin has been invited to perform at The Poetry Project, NYC (2012), Zinc Bar, NYC (2011), City University of New York Graduate Center, NYC (2011), and Sycamore, NYC (2011).  She received her B.A. from Vassar College, M.L.S. from the University of Maryland, and her M.F.A. from Brooklyn College.

Photo credit: courtesy of the artist


Two poems from the manuscript Graceful Degradation


yarrow stalk oracle


waking magnetic, dashed

from lightning: air behaving as fire.

wolf into dog, intoxicant night blind

to all minor infractions

ruled approach swift, resolute.

deceptively involved form

disengaged, balance debased,

rebalanced to a foundling situation of

irradiated joy. palpable harmony’s raw

obstacle–intricately charged

atmospherics’ central design.


not an error of the oracle


well water joined freezing to rise up

as island. forbid pleasure-indulged

pain: thorned, barbed– blurred, lost.

ignited to receive and inflict. eating

through constellations reignites the

brilliantly vicious. torment bound to-

morrow morning’s slippery infiltration:

multiverse expands. if a bond of live

exists, no distance keeps. captivated

by a flat land incapable of more.