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Her poems, with their constantly surprising delicacy and their language rich with insight and a sensuous music, radiate real power and authority and animal presence.” W. S. Merwin (U.S. Poet Laureate, 20102011)
He is best known for his Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, but among filmmakers Roget is better known for his explanation of the optical illusion that still bedevils them: Why does a wheel moving forward always seem on film to be running backward? For Linda Bierds, the illusion also refers to our relationship to language, to our belief that words hold something more than their definitions. Why do we strive to articulate the world even as we know this is a shifting and illusory pursuit? Why do we continue to seek perfection, pursue beauty, yearn for immortality? Roget’s Illusion offers no answer. It simply shows the striving.
Linda Bierds has been awarded fellowships from the MacArthur, John Simon Guggenheim, Ingram-Merrill, Wolfers-O’Neill, and Rockefeller Foundations; and has received the PEN West Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Consuelo Ford Award, the Virginia Quarterly Review’s Emily Clark Balch Poetry Prize, and two National Endowment for the Arts grants. Her work has appeared widely, in publications such as The Atlantic, Field, The Kenyon Review, The New Yorker, Parnassus, and The Virginia Quarterly Review, to name a few. She lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.