Keetje Kuipers

Keetje Kuipers is the author of Beautiful in the Mouth and The Keys to the Jail. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, West Branch, Painted Bride Quarterly, Willow Springs, and AGNI, among others. A Wallace Stegner Fellow from 2009 to 2011, she is now an assistant professor at Auburn University.

Outside the Refugium

The myths and folklore of traditional people the world over are replete with descriptions . . . of refugia, the inviolable strongholds of animals and plants of which the storyteller and her people steer clear . . . missing only the human, and holding out the promise of a less tumultuous future.
—Barry Lopez, Home Ground


The sparrow is an opened book, an angel

parted down the breast, head turned to the side
so one black eye can search the stippled sky