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Bay Poets

'The Grisham House' by poet Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win was El Cerrito's inaugural poet inaugural poet laureate. Her most recent poetry collection is Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn) was nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry, longlisted for the PEN America Open Book Award, and CALIBA's Golden Poppy Award for Poetry. Win's previous collections include Invisible Gifts and two chapbooks Ruins of a glittering palace and Score and Bone. Win’s Process Note Series features poets and their process. Win often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers and was recently selected as a 2023 YBCA 100 Honoree. Along with Dawn Angelicca Barcelona and Mary Volmer, she is a co-founder of Maker, Mentor, Muse, a new literary community. Her new poetry collection PERCUSSING THE THINKING JAR will be released by Omnidawn in 2024.

The Grisham House

for Adrian & Mark

it was velvet then noise

there was silence on sandpaper

I lived with an artist, a dancer, a sculptor

we drank Brown Derby beer

we lived by railroad tracks & talked to trains

sang among weeds & peach trees

my voice deepened an octave

the sculptor warmed up his explosion

we constructed a time capsule

buried it in the yard

I dropped in a poem, the artist a bottle cap

the dancer a polaroid of our house

yes, my octaves welcomed me

yes, I welcomed them back