Deborah Bogen’s Speak Now This Charm

In her latest poetry collection Speak Now This Charm, published by Jacar Press, Deborah Bogen explores grief, trauma, and vulnerability with concise and moving poems. Her collection is exquisitely succinct and profoundly gorgeous, with her poems ranging from one to three paragraphs, none longer than a page. Each word she chooses is necessary and stunning, and each poem stacks on top of the other like building blocks, creating a vast tapestry of experiences and states of mind that we rarely go looking for. In her poem “About Anesthesia,” Bogen finishes with the line, “That’s the beauty of the near- / death experience. You snuggle right up to / zero, but you’re not afraid.”

Ultimately, Bogen’s collection is a deep contemplation on how death impacts each and every one of us—whether it’s friends or family members’ deaths or our own. Her poems provide a strange sort of comfort for this inevitability of life: “Tonight, I will surrender this busy pulse and / accept their stagnant blood as mine.”

I loved reading “In Case of Sudden Free Fall,” Deborah Bogen’s beautiful and remarkable oneiric prose poem collection. A delicious gem, it takes the reader on a soulful and transformative journey. Under Bogen’s expert guidance, we travel from enchantment to melancholy, to surprising encounters with literary and artistic figures, to loss and death, and back to wonder. I’ll keep revisiting this collection time and again.

Hélèna Cardona, praise for In case of sudden free fall

To purchase Speak Now This Charm, go here.

Deborah Bogen is a poet and novelist. She has four prize-winning collections of poetry, including In Case of Sudden Free Fall, Let Me Open You a Swan, and Landscape with Silos. Speak Now This Charm is Bogen’s attempt to create her own form—the box poem—while including the box as a central image in the work. When she’s not making poems, she writes songs, plays guitar, sings in the family band and tries (with an ardent band of local activists) to elect ethical candidates locally and nationally. Bogen invites email responses at To learn more, visit her website.

Deborah Bogen’s poetry appeared in Issue 12 and Issue 21 of Superstition Review.

SR Pod/Vod Series: Poet Deborah Bogen

Deborah Bogen_portrait 11_for internet copy-2For several years, we have featured audio or video of Superstition Review contributors reading their work. We’re now establishing a new series of podcasts called Authors Talk. The podcasts in this series take a broader scope and feature SR contributors discussing their own thoughts on writing, the creative process, and anything else they may want to share with listeners.

Today we’re proud to feature Deborah Bogen as our fourth Authors Talk series contributor, discussing “what it’s like to be a writer while you are not in school” in her podcast “Try This At Home.”

Writing courses and MFA programs provide much-desired support and resources for writers. But for people who have left these things behind, Deborah offers advice on how to create a different kind of structure. With topics like forming writing groups and partnerships, immersing yourself in the broader world so that it still benefits your writing, and achieving financial survival, she works through them all with a level of specificity and detail that’s all the more admirable for a 7.5 minute talk.

This is a tightly focused how-to that doesn’t disappoint. Flecked with alternating bits of humor and poignancy, Deborah takes advice you may have heard before and adds new insight and depth. The most resonating example for me came towards the end of the talk: “In the end, one person is responsible for your work.” Somehow, she makes this daunting statement sound like the most wonderful thing in the world.

You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes Channel.

You can read Deborah Bogen’s poetry in Superstition Review, Issues 12 and 10.

More About the Author:

Deborah Bogen’s three books of poems are Let Me Open You a Swan, winner of the Elixir Press Antivenom Prize 2009, Landscape With Silos, National Poetry Series Finalist and XJ Kennedy Poetry Prize winner 2005, and Living by the Children’s Cemetery, ByLine Press Chapbook winner 2002. Her poems and reviews appear widely.

In addition to writing poems, Bogen is currently at work on a trio of novels set in 13th century. Book One, The Witch of Leper Cove, explores traditional herbal medicine, blind ambition and the early Inquisition in England. Book Two, The Hounds of God, is set in Paris where Church politics, the strict structure of the noble classes and the power of art collide.

She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, teaching occasionally, playing ukulele in the Highland Park Mini Band and writing lots of prose poems for a new manuscript, Prayer Flags.

SR Pod/Vod Series: Poet Deborah Bogen

Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature a podcast by Deborah Bogen.

deborahbogen_1Deborah Bogen’s poetry books are Let Me Open You a Swan (Antivenom Prize, Elixir Press, 2010) and Landscape with Silos (National Poetry Series Finalist and winner of the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, 2005.) Her YA Novel, The Wych of Lepyr Cove, was made available on Kindle and other E-book sites in Dec. 2013.

You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes Channel.

You can read along with the work in Superstition Review.