Biography

Poetry travels.

When traveling, the cart cannot go before the horse, and poetry likes it that way. The sun comes up, and it is time for breakfast. At the café, poetry listens to the languages it doesn’t understand, syncopated rhythms for Hello, the way a mouth sucks on a vowel or chews a consonant, the way the sinuses become a Greek amphitheater. Some sounds have no vocabulary, and you have to be a child to duplicate them. Poetry shivers with fascination: how many ways there are to say, Excuse me, or I’ll have coffee thank you, or Hey that’s my book, or I don’t love you anymore.

Now it is late afternoon, with sunlight making its way in ribbons through the leaves of the lindens. Exhausted from walking, seeing the blue and white library, the painted mural of the wars, poetry sits on a bench in front of a store. The store sells vinyl records. But poetry has a handful of ticket stubs and an empty water bottle. It cannot tell whether the store is an homage to a bygone method of preserving sound, or an ongoing journey into a future that already resonates with the waves on the very large lake along the banks of which the people of this country worship. Poetry joins them; its clothes dripping, poetry cools off.

The cart, pushed by an elephant, clatters into the alleyway, its large red wheels chattering on the stones. The returning singers nod half asleep, embracing with arms braced against the cart’s wooden slats, each other.


Poetry sits in the car, listening to the radio—love songs, hip hop, concertos. And now the news, has something been stolen? On the other side of the street, a man with a peach in his hand and a woman with a gun in her purse pass each other on the sidewalk.

A policewoman comes up to the car and taps on the window with a pen, a ticket book in her other hand. A bus passes, close and loud, and the cop turns. Poetry puts the car in gear.

It’s an apartment building. Poetry opens the wooden door set with frosted glass and, stepping over the threshold, walks across the foyer to the stairs. Slowly placing one foot placed above the other, poetry walks up the stairs to the first landing, goes to the door on the left, and stands still.

On the other side of the door, breathing. My breathing. Fast, steady. On the other side of the door, poetry. My poetry? Not mine. Poetry. Who will put a hand on the doorknob first?

Because of the window, the curtain. Because of the fire, the ashes. Because of the seed, the tree. Also, because of the shouting, the wings. Because of the crash, the elephant. Because of the button, the lilac.

Because of the calendar, the mask. Because of the starfish, the calculator. Because of the toe, the siren. Because of this, poetry.

  • Books include From the Other Room, winner of the Slate Roof Press Chapbook Award, published 2017, and the chapbooks Horizon and Smoke and Stone.

  • Poems in literary and multidisciplinary magazines, including The Sun, Harvard Review, The Madison Review, The Mind’s Eye, Phoebe, Poiesis, Wild Earth (environmental science and advocacy), West, Views (photography journal), etc.

  • Wrote the introduction for the anthology, Kiss Me Goodnight, Poems and Stories by Women Who Were Girls When Their Mothers Died, a Minnesota Book Award finalist, with several poems included with the voices of 50 women whose mothers died too young.

  • Work with grief using poetry to shape the facets of grieving and loss includes a seminar for hospital workers; lecture and discussion with social workers and nurses in training; adult education seminar. 

  • Five Somerville Arts Council Fellowships and Project Grants; Robert Penn Warren Award, Cumberland Poetry Review; mss. finalist with The Writer's Voice Capricorn Award, Bluestem Poetry Award; semifinalist with Brittingham Poetry Prize, Cleveland State University, Peregrine Smith Press; semifinalist at Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center; Alternate for American Antiquarian Society Visiting Fellowships for Historical Research by Creative and Performing Artists and Writers.

  • Taught poetry classes to the elderly, college students, and teenagers.

  • “Remembering my mother’s face” inscribed in the bricks of the Davis Square MBTA platform (Somerville, Mass.); became an inspiration for a dance by Lesley University faculty member Jeryl Ann Owens.

  • Poems set to music by the contemporary chamber music ensemble Row Twelve, performed at the Boston Museum of Science’s Hayden Planetarium, and as part of a classical song cycle for tenor by composer Wes York.

  • In writing and editing career, op edspublished by The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Selected Events

  • The Poet, The Artist, The Printer: Book Arts and the Small Press
    At the Amherst Poetry Festival on September 16, 2017, Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst MA. Slate Roof Press poets Anna. M. Warrock, Cindy Snow, and Janet MacFadyen were joined by painter Christin Couture to discuss opportunities and restraints for poets, artists, and printers working together to produce the physical book—the first thing a reader sees. How do the choices for the physical object and artwork guide and enhance the text within to make a book more than the sum of its parts? What technical restraints does a bookmaker face, such as page count, typeface and line length, or art reproduction? What do authors contribute, and learn in the process? Slate Roof poets are fully involved in book design, including cover choices, papers, typeface, artwork, die cuts, etc., and we had a lively exchange with questions from the audience.
  • Persephone & Loss: Poetry, Music, Dance. Row Twelve concert, Sharon, MA. March 13, 2016. Karen Henry, poet; Anna M. Warrock, poet; Andy Brewster, bass; Katherine Keiitz, flute; Marc Lauritsen, piano; Caryl Sickul, dancer; Jeffrey Wu, saxophone. Program includes works by Claude Debussy, Frederico Mompou, Richard St. Clair, and others, along with poetry by Joan Aleshire, Rita Dove, Louise Gluck, Alicia Ostriker, and others.
  • At the seventh Massachusetts Poetry Festival May 1-3, 2015, in Salem, a full house joined my panel with Patrick Donnelly, Director of the Frost Place Poetry Seminar; Danielle Legros Georges, Poet Laureate of Boston and professor at Lesley University; and Frannie Lindsay, whose four books have won several awards, on“Grief and Poetry: Crafting Loss,” Sunday morning, May 3. We discussed what makes the craft of poetry so appropriate for reshaping the experience of death and sorrow. We used our own poems and those by other to explore the ways poems allow people to find solace in such work. Our presentations were followed by a lively discussion with the audience.

  • Greenfield Annual Word Festival, Friday Oct 24, 2014, 7 pm, at GCTCV Studio, 393 Main St., Greenfield, MA Slate Roof Press poets Jim Bell, Trish Crapo, Abbot Cutler, Susan Middleton, Susie Patlove, Ed Rayher, Janine Roberts, Anna M. Warrock See the video here.

  • EDGE STATES: Anna M. Warrock's poetry was partnered with a gallery exhibit of watercolors, "Edge States” by Amy Fleischer, in May 2014. The poems included "My Father Waves," The Window," "Remembering My Mother's Face," Isolde Defines Love," "Silver," and "The Near Horizon," which can be found on this website. For pictures of the gallery installation and art, follow this link.