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Hal Sirowitz

Lightning bug -  
a flashlight  
with the batteries included  
  On Monday, two bugs -
  on Friday, ten more -
Lightning - bad family planning
a child turning  
the light on and off  
  Snow falling -
  nature repeating
The wind playing itself
with my hair -  
hoping she'd join in  
  The path
  of the storm not hampered
  by speed limits.

Hal Sirowitz is the author of two books of poems, Mother Said and My Therapist Said. He has two forthcoming books from Soft Skull Press: Before, During and After (September 2003), to be followed in the spring of 2004 by Father Said.

He is the recipient of a Frederick Delius Award and The Susan Rose Recording Grant for Contemporary Jewish Music. Mother Said will be released on CD with music composed by Alla Borzova, sung by Paul Sperry. John Flansburgh of the rock group, They Might Be Giants, has recorded him for Hello Records, and the group spoke about him during their interview for NPR's Studio 360. And Garrison Keillor has read his work on NPR's Writers' Almanac.

Sirowitz has performed on MTV's Spoken Word Unplugged, PBS's Poetry Heaven, and NPR's All Things Considered.

Awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Sirowitz is also the best selling translated poet in Norway, where Mother Said has been adapted for the stage and is currently being made into a series of animated cartoons.

Hal is the Poet Laureate of Queens, New York. He has poems in Garrison Keillor's anthology, Good Poems; in Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast (W.W. Norton); in Poetry After 9/11 (Melville House Publishing) and in 110 Stories: Writers Respond to 9/11 (NYU Press).

He works as a special education teacher for the New York City public schools and is married to the writer Mary Minter Krotzer.

Hal's website is

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