Nacida en 1952 en Troy, Nueva York, Alice Fulton asistió a escuelas católicas en su ciudad natal. Comenzó a escribir poesía durante los años setenta. En 1978, obtuvo una licenciatura en escritura creativa en el Empire State College de Albany, Nueva York y, en 1982, una maestría en artes plásticas de la Universidad de Cornell, donde estudió con AR Ammons. Se casó con el artista Hank De Leo en 1980.
En 1983, se convirtió en profesora asistente de Inglés en la Universidad de Michigan, donde permaneció hasta 2001. Fulton también ha sido profesor visitante de escritura creativa en Vermont College; La Universidad de California, Los Ángeles; Universidad del Estado de Ohio; Y la Universidad de Carolina del Norte, Wilmington. Durante la década de 1990, Fulton fue juez de muchos premios de poesía, incluyendo el Premio Nacional del Libro, la Selección de Poesía Lamont, el Premio de Poesía Akron y el Premio Walt Whitman. En 2002, se unió a la facultad de la Universidad de Cornell, convirtiéndose en la Ann S. Bowers Profesor de Inglés en 2004.
Anchors of Light, Swamp Press (Oneonta, NY), 1979.
Dance Script with Electric Ballerina, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia), 1983.
Palladium, University of Illinois Press (Urbana), 1986.
Powers of Congress, David Godine (Boston), 1990; reissued by Sarabande Books (Louisville, KY), 2001.
Sensual Math, Norton (New York), 1995.
Felt: Poems, Norton, 2001.
Cascade Experiment: Selected Poems, Norton, 2004.
Barely Composed, Norton, 2015.
The Nightingales of Troy: Stories of One Family’s Century, Norton, 2008.
Feeling as a Foreign Language: The Good Strangeness of Poetry, Graywolf Press (St. Paul, MN), 1999.
Contributor to magazines, including New Yorker, Poetry, and Georgia Review. Author of short stories, song lyrics, and critical essays.
Cúspide, de Alice Fulton [trad.]
«Yo», la cúspide erógena
de la mente y el mundo, ve la rosa
revistiendo el pico de un ave
y llama al amanecer azul eclesiástico.
Pero Yo necesita lecciones de comportamiento.
Cómo, a las 3 de la mañana, hallar el silo
por su más denso cilindro en la oscuridad,
refracta la cáscara hasta que crece
en el contraste más profundo de la noche
y la noche se vuelve un positivo
junto al faro apagado.
“I,” the erogenous cusp
of mind and world, sees the rose
lining of a bird’s beak
and calls the dawn a churchly blue.
But I need lessons in deportment.
How, at three a.m., to find the silo
by its denser cylinder on dark,
refract the husk until it grows
in deeper contrast to the night
and night becomes a positive
beside the lighthouse without light.
Alice Fulton, from “Cusp.”
After the Angelectomy
And where my organ of veneration should be—
wormwood and gall. Grudge sliver.
Wailbone, iron, bitters. I mean to say the miniature
waterfalls have all dried up in this miniature
place where day is duty cubed, time is time on task
and every mind optimized for compliance.
Time to delint my black denim traveling stuff.
The flourescent major highlighter has dimmed
to minor. I'm so dying I wrote
when I meant to write so tired.
And when I sleep I dream only that
I'm sleeping. Please see my black stuff's
dusted off. Night has no dilution anxieties,
but only the infinites are happy:
Math. Time. Everything happy goes
to many decimal places
while flesh passes through
gradations of glory. I visualized it,
the nurse said of the bedsore. Everything exists
at the courtesy of everything else.
Please see that my grave is kept clean.
Beloveds, finite things
in which the infinite endangered itself,
excarnate to memory and the divine substance
has limited liability. You're kind,
I tell the infinite. Too kind.
Aunt Madelyn At The White Sale
Here is the kingdom of irregulars,
land of no-two-alike,
I hunt furiously
useful towels. Closets simmering with
terry, linen, beach or tea
can never be full
enough to stop these sprees.
Hoarding is relative
to love or fear, but not to need. Mother stockpiled
soap in step-on cans.
When the lid snapped back,
instead of grinds, grease, skins, it was good
to get a whiff
of the bars, neat and brightly wrapped as gifts.
Waving us off on dates, she'd yell "Be back by twelve
and don't come home
if you get killed." But I wasn't killed,
easy as that seemed. I hadn't figured on
how the breath and pulse are triggered by a hardwon
inability to unexist. How death is
tightfisted. I thought
at first there'd been a car crash: my voice soared, brilliant
and bubbling with drugs: oh, that that too too
stutter should be mine!
Then, with a coziness worse than constraint, they
spoke of the cerebral pinch I'd been in, praised
the luck that chucked me
back to sanitized light. Where towels absorb their weight
in chaos. Where I am serene.
Like those damn orchids—
vivid, blizzardy sprays Tom and I trucked
out West that time, and, one by one, heat or dark
got them: my brainwaves.
The last was that dendrobium...or is
that my medication? See? Last week I went
and rang the wrong bell
after twenty-odd years of visiting
my beaming, well-meaning sister.
I worry now
about another sister who manages neither
smiles nor meaning. Those years I coaxed her through
if not for her thanks or love, then what?
Nothing...but the nothing I've received
has me shuddering.
Rage makes my blood astringent as witch hazel.
I'll pretend not to see them pretend not to
see my infirmities:
My restless hands. Idling. Pilling the spread.
Of course, you can get killed at home and that's something
Mother never mentioned. My mind drifts
to my friend Miriam, that deadly fire—I see again
her pleasant, stocky face. "Mada, we're sharp
as ever," she said last time,
but she was fooled. With luck she slept right through.
Outside snowflakes lift, float sideways, and seem
to say "ground has nothing
to do with me!" But this is silly.
Though I can't trace one among the calm bustle
of shoppers, I tell myself
they are falling, they do touch earth, and they
never rise at all.
Because We Never Practiced With
The Escape Chamber
we had to read the instructions as we sank.
In a hand like carded lace. Not nuclear warheads
on the sea's floor nor the violet flow over the reactor
will outlive this sorrowful rhyme. Vain halo! My project
becalmed, I'll find I've built a monument
more passing than a breeze. It will cost us,
Pobrecito. We can't buy a prayer. Did you call
my name or was that the floorboard
wheezing? These memories won't get any bigger,
will they? I think something is coming that will
vastly improve our quietude. I'm growing
snow crystals from vapor in anticipation and praying
for the velvet-cushioned kneeler that I need to pray.
I made this little sound for you to wait in.
It befalls us. An exchanged glance, reflective spasm.
Is it a fantastically unlaminated question set in flesh
or valentine that wears the air as its apparel?
If you cut a heart from parchment, is it still
a heart? A nontrivial knot, where turns of every gradient
may kiss and tell. Does the vessel have edges?
Or is it all connectedness, an embedding to be stretched
or bent. Imagine being simultaneously alive,
bound in both directions with a bow! Is it diachronic,
a phenomenon that changes over time? Without ardor
theory suffers. That’s why I’m stuck on you with wanton glue, per-
severing, styling something blobbish and macabre
into something pointed, neat. Love is a gift
that springs from an unlit spot. Resin and rue.
Even when I’m in the dark I’m in the dark with you.
– Alice Fulton (from ‘Barely Composed')