A family recipe, a childhood memory, a Depression-era handout
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Steve Kowit was the author of In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop and seven poetry collections. A critically acclaimed poet, he died in April 2015 at the age of seventy-six. His most recent posthumous collection is Poems That Speak to Us.
Out there, in the dark, they could have been / anyone: refugees from Rwanda, slaves pushing north. / Palestinians, Romani, Armenians, Jews. . . . / The lights of Tijuana, that yellow haze to the west, /could have been Melos, Cracow, Quang Ngai. . . .
Steve Kowit was a gifted poet and a compassionate human being. He was enthusiastic and outspoken, both on and off the page. (He described himself as an “all-around, no-good troublemaker.”)
Kowit once said that he wanted to “move the reader with memorable tales that celebrate the whole inexplicable business — this strange, unspeakably marvelous life,” and that is exactly what he did.