Elyse Fenton



Elyse Fenton is the author of Clamor (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010), selected by D.A. Powell as winner of the 2009 Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize. Winner of the 2008 Pablo Neruda Award from Nimrod International Literary Journal, her poetry and nonfiction have also appeared in American Poetry Review, Pleiades, Bat City Review, The Massachusetts Review, and The New York Times. In 2010, she received the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize for Clamor. Born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, Elyse Fenton received her B.A. from Reed College and her M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. She has worked in the woods, on farms, and in schools in New England, the Pacific Northwest, Mongolia, and Texas. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

“From the smoldering wreckage of a battle-scarred Iraq to ‘the last unmuzzled throatful of air,’ Elyse Fenton’s debut collection clamors with such exigency that it drops us right into the danger zone. Her art is precise, persistent and volatile when deployed to the front lines. But also, sparing: a ‘human camera’ embedded within a relationship tested by the distance from battlefield to home. This book certainly has its disquietude but how else to measure the brutality of the world? The recompense of it, though, is Fenton s passionate eloquence; her unfaltering fidelity to the word.” –D. A. Powell

“Elyse Fenton’s Clamor connects the forward operating bases in Iraq with the home front here in America. It is a necessary poetry which brings us ‘the work of shrapnel;’ ‘the thing that, trying and trying / you can never spit out’ (while continually recognizing that there is always more to give). In keeping with the best traditions of war poetry, the underlying subjects of Clamor are love and loss.Clamor is a book that refuses to turn away. It exists within the deeply personal, the deeply private, and yet as the poems finish within the reader it is a work which ultimately speaks to the universal.”–Brian Turner

“With lines that show an unyielding dedication to craft, these poems are not afraid of meaning or the meaningful. More and more every day, the thinking American asks how she is to believe in love when there is war all about her, and in each of her deeply felt lyrics, Elyse Fenton confronts this question with the kind of tenderness one lover reserves for another. If every poem is indeed a love poem,Clamor is indeed a debut worth reading and about which we must make noise.” – Jericho Brown

More Information:

Elyse Fenton Website

PSA New American Poets

First Book Interviews

How A Poem Happens



Publication Date



Cleveland State University Poetry Center