Lisa Spaar

Lisa Russ Spaar is the author of Satin Cash: Poems (Persea Books 2008), Blue Venus: Poems (Persea Books 2004) and Glass Town: Poems (Red Hen Press 1999), for which she received a Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Women Writers in 2000. Twelve of her poems appear in Exquisite History: The Land of Wandering: Poems and Prints (The Printmakers Left, University of Virginia Press 2005) and numerous anthologies, most recently in Best American Poetry 2008. She is the author of two chapbooks of poems, Blind Boy on Skates (Trilobite/University of North Texas Press 1988) and Cellar (Alderman Press/University of Virginia 1983) and is editor of Acquainted with the Night: Insomnia Poems (Columbia University Press 1999) and All That Mighty Heart: London Poems (University of Virginia Press 2008). Her work has appeared in many literary quarterlies and journals, including Denver Quarterly, Image, the Kenyon Review, the Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Slate, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. The recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Spaar is the director of the Area Program in Poetry Writing at the University of Virginia, where she is associate professor of English, an advising fellow, and the winner of an All-University Teaching Award (2009), a Harrison Award for Undergraduate Advising, and a Mead Honored Faculty Award. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2009.

All Books

Glass Town

Lisa Spaar

Publication Date: November 1, 1999

$10.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 1-888996-18-8


“American girlhood, with its anorexia and Girl Scout merit badges, piano recitals and razored self-mutilations, is the shattered ‘glass town’ of Lisa Russ Spaar’s magical poems. Setting out to ‘heal the old rifts– / heaven and earth, girl / and dream,’ Spaar records the rituals of a tribe we recognize chiefly by its fierce determination to survive—girls, bent first on perfection, then, on returning from the banishment of our preoccupation with their bodies, their beauty.

What a marvel this book is! In language that manages to be both ardent and elegant, Spaar gives witness to marvelous mythologies in which ‘the old story: / the world for my body, / my body for the world,’ is cancelled in a moment’s reckoning, and Rapunzel saves herself.”—Dorothy Barresi