Maya Marshall, assistant professor of English and creative writing (left), and Robin Gow, MFA '20, adjunct professor of English.

The poet William Blake may have decried how the muses—the "Fair Nine"—have forsaken poetry, but the art form continues to thrive at Adelphi.

After all, our vice president of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, JD, is a renowned poet whose most recent collection, What Water Knows (TriQuarterly, 2021) was nominated for a 2022 NAACP Image Award.

For National Poetry Month, the departments of English and creative writing have held a series titled Poets Reading for National Poetry Month, in which poets read their works and then take questions from the audience. The next event is on April 26 and features José Olivarez and Cynthia Manick.

Two of our newest faculty members are Maya Marshall, assistant professor of English and creative writing, and Robin Gow, MFA ’20, adjunct professor. Work by both has appeared extensively in poetry journals and they have published their collections. In addition, Gow has written books for children and young adults.

We are proud to share a poem from each of them.

At the April 5 Poets Reading for Poetry Month event, Marshall read from this poem from her collection All the Blood Involved in Love.

“Why Don’t You Parent a Little?”

by Maya Marshall

The story is that there is so much loss
so much waste in a woman who does not make
a body with her body. Such sunk potential
in a sex that does not produce.
The story is that we have progressed.
The story is that the black woman is safe.
The story is that the black woman is safe
if she protects her king.
The king is dead.

(Read and/or listen to Marshall read her poem at And learn more about Marshall on her website.)

Bird Shadow Puppet

by Robin Gow

We were tied back to back and I wanted to walk across the ocean and you wanted to take me into the molten core. So, I drug you like a stone and we both plummeted in blue. Together, watching as the worms passed us by several times. Collision. A bird is an animal constructed with this urge—to take both directions at once. I might be a girl then a boy then a girl but at least always a bird. Shadows tear apart under this kind of pressure but not the bird. You didn’t know what you wanted, or, so I tell myself. Kissing your forehead with a blade. Is a wound to the shadow a wound to the skin or the underneath? I’m most terrified when I consider I am nothing underneath. The table-cloth trick. Grabbing the edge and yanking and there is no table at all. The plates and glasses and utensils hover before deciding to crash. I am one-handed in the sense that it only takes one hand to be half the bird. Is half enough? Sometimes. There are days when the journey to the ocean happens as easy as breathing. The shadow of a bird lands on the tree outside my bedroom window. There is no bird along with it. There is also, maybe, no tree

(Read and/or listen to Gow read this poem on Muzzle magazine and learn more about Gow on his website.)

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