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    >My new video "A HARD DAY'S KNIGHT," in which I don chain mail to find glory, donuts and spare change for my quest. BIGGER SCREEN ON YOU TUBE

    CLASSIC BOOK trailer! [bigger screen on YouTube]

    more videos here


    The winner of the Hobblestock Peace Poetry Competition and the Esmé Bradberry Contemporary Poets Prize, Gilsdorf has been awarded a grant from the Vermont Arts Council (1999) and residencies at the Millay Colony (New York), the Hall Farm Center for Arts and Education (Vermon), the New Pacific Studio (New Zealand) and Vermont Studio Center (Vermont).

    His poems can be seen in Poetry, The Southern Review, The North American Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Poetry London, plus anthologies like Future Welcome; Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry; Outsiders: Poems About Rebels, Exiles, and Renegades; Radio Waves: Poems Celebrating the Wireless; and In the Criminal's Cabinet. Gilsdorf was also the Paris regional coordinator for Poets For Peace/United Poets Coalition.  He also serves on the advisory board of the Massachusetts Poetry Outreach Project (MassPop).

    Ethan Gilsdorf was awarded a 2007 Fellowship from the Somerville Arts Council/Mass Cultural Council for a non-fiction book in progress.

    Some poems:

    Three poems on

    "Headlines From Childhood"

    "Notes of the Previous Users"

    "But Enough About Me"

    "System of Belief"

    "Icon" (warning: scary author photo)


    A collaborative project with a fabric artist named Bean Gilsdorf

    I can't quite exactly remember the story of how we "met" --- I think Bean sent an e-mail to me shortly after launching her website. I think she was in seach of other Gilsdorfs who might appear in a Google search. There aren't many Gilsdorfs in this world and it turns out we're not related. Anyway, we introduced ourselves --- Bean is a quilter and fabric artist who lives in Portland, Oregon (oddly, where my cousin Dennis lives). She saw my poem "Sacred Explosions" on my website and was inspired to create a work of art in response. It's called "Mareada" ("dizzy" in Spanish), and it's 33.5" x 42", cotton fabrics: hand-dyed, monoprinted, relief-printed, discharged; machine pieced and quilted. My original poem follows below. More on Bean at Enjoy!


    Sacred Explosions

    As today’s weapons of mass destruction go
    the human bomb is cheap—
    apart from a willing man, you need
    only such items as nails, a battery,
    gunpowder, a short cable, and a simple switch
    you might use to flick on the light
    above your sleeping child. Total cost:
    150 dollars. Less expensive than
    the bus ride to a distant Israeli city.

    Those who we turn away return again
    and again, pestering us, pleading
    to be accepted. We ask the young men why
    they wish so badly to become
    human bombs. To cause additional deaths,
    we ask, Can you wait, not flinching,
    for your fellow cell member,
    before exploding yourself?

    They become intimately familiar
    with what they are about to do—
    then they can greet death like an old friend.
    Fear? Fear derives from fervent desire for success.

    Don’t refer to their deeds as
    “suicide”— which is forbidden in our religion—
    “sacred explosions” is the preferred term.
    It is difficult to select only a few.

    Beneath the thumb lies the afterlife—
    where even the lowest in rank will have ten times
    the like of this world, and they will have
    whatever they desire and ten times like it.

    Pressing the detonator opens the shortest circuit—
    clearing the path, so the soul of a martyr
    can be carried to Paradise in the bosom of green birds.

    (Based in part on interviews with Palestinian “suicide bombers,” 
    their families and leaders, as reported in “An Arsenal of Believers” 
    by Nasra Hassan, The New Yorker, Nov. 19, 2001)