“You can tear a…

“You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick…. You’re back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps… so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in.” ~Dylan Thomas, Poetic Manifesto, 1961

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My poem, “A Note” published in Boston Literary Magazine

“A Note” concerns the loss of Rob Isaacson, a fellow teacher at Central Bucks West High School, Doylestown, PA a number of years ago.  Rob taught me that being unconventional in the classroom was an asset, not a liability.  Rob will be forever remembered for his irreverent methods of teaching, his humor, his wacky Halloween costumes, and most of all, his friendship.


A Note
Marie Kane
The black scrawl
on the scrap
of paper’s
thin, blue lines
was familiar—
(the ampersand a cross,
the dot over the i a slash,
the T slanted)—
your fingers had
touched this paper.
It was April when you died.
You were on the phone,
(who were you talking to?)
the black cord stretching,
the conversation ending
with you on the floor,
your hair still damp
from a recent swim.
What did you think
when your breath
hurt to take it?
When that Herculean
heart of yours stopped?
You—who advised me to tell
almost all the truth, to not
soften the rage,
to desire the intangible.
What did you think when
the thought of not doing
was unthinkable?
When the foremost thought
on your mind was “No”?
How did you step away
from that brief glance
out the window of daffodils,
and their yellow?

Marie Kane

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My poem, “Radio Interview” translated into German in December issue of Wordgathing

My poem, “Radio Interview” translated into German in December issue of Wordgathing

The German author, Claudia Vesterby, chose my poem, “Radio Interview” to translate into German in the December 2012 issue of Wordgathering. 

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Survivors in the Garden nominated for a Pushcart Prize

Recently received from my publisher:
“I am going to nominate Survivors in the Garden for a Pushcart Prize. It’s such a fantastic collection. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve ever nominated one of my chapbooks – but it’s a third nomination for you!” ~~ Robin Stratton, Publisher, Big Table Publishing Co, and Editor, Boston Literary Magazine; author, Of Zen and Men. (Big Table, 2012)

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Survivors in the Garden

Survivors in the Garden is just that—a collection of poems about survival: of the garden and the gardener. In “Morning Wish” Kane says of her first lover she forgave him “as the incision forgives the knife,” an image cuttingly double-edged given her and her family’s struggles and the equally difficult nature of redemption. Of her, survival demands courage and grace. Poem after poem demonstrates both, which, aside from its sheer beauty and formal dexterity, is what this reader values most about Marie Kane’s work: courage and grace, her necessary armor in a fallen world, and she reminds us, ours.
~George Drew, The View from Jackass Hill

Poetry is sorely in need of a collection that portrays the multi-faceted life that individuals with multiple sclerosis face, yet one that still maintains a high level of artistic integrity. Marie Kane’s Survivors in the Garden more than rises to the occasion. What you won’t find in Kane’s poetry is self-pity or passing the baton to God. What you will find is unflinching self-honesty and a great capacity for tenderness. It’s an important book.
~Michael Northen, Editor, Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability

“Everything Must Count for Something” is the title of one of Marie Kane’s poems in her brave and beautiful Survivors in the Garden. In Kane’s book everything does count; that’s why we keep turning back to its pages. Here is a poet who reminds us what matters and she does so—fiercely, gently, indomitably, intelligently—in words as valuable as anything we cherish.
~Chris Bursk, The First Inhabitants of Arcadia


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Welcome to the web site of Marie Kane

Marie Kane’s poetry has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, U. S. 1 Worksheets, Wordgathering, The Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Delaware Valley Poets Anthology, The Poet’s Touchstone, The Meadowland Review, the Boston Literary Magazine, Adanna Journal, and many others. Her work has been anthologized, most notably in Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets, (Texture Press, 2013, 2019) edited by Valerie Fox and Lynn Levin, in The Liberal Media Made Me Do It, poetic responses to NPR and PBS stories, edited by Robbie Nester, and in Touching MS: Poetic Expressions: an anthology edited by Jennifer M. Evans.

Marie Kane was named Bucks County Poet Laureate in 2006; her work was judged by renown poets George Drew and Meg Kearney. Her poetry has won prizes in other competitions, including. the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, Inglis House, and the Robert Frasier contest. She has read her work at various locations, including Musehouse, the Manayunk Arts Center, and the International House, all in Philadelphia, the Princeton NJ Library, Bucks County Community College, the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA, and at numerous bookstores and libraries.  In 2020, she was selected as the Featured Poet for the summer edition of the Schuylkill Valley Journal.

Diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 1991, she is now living with secondary progressive MS. She has published three poetry collections: a chapbook, Survivors in the Garden (Big Table Publishing, 2012), which largely concerns living with multiple sclerosis,  a full-length collection, Beauty, You Drive a Hard Bargain (Kelsay Books, 2017), and another chapbook, Persephone’s Truth (2018), which includes art by her husband, Stephen Millner.

Kane retired from Central Bucks School District (PA) after twenty-years of teaching. She received a recognition award from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, and a Gold Award for her teaching of young writers from The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She continues to be involved in scholastic poetry. She is on the board and a judge for the Bucks County (PA) Main Street Voices Poetry Contest, grades K-12, and adult, and since 2009, has been the final judge for the national Sarah Mook Poetry Contest, grades K-12.

She lives in Yardley, Pa with her husband and their two rescue cats, Casey Jones and Emma Peel.

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