Paula Raimondo

2008 Poet Laureate

Paula Raimondo studied poetry at Sarah Lawrence College, Oxford University, and the Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y.  She has taught poetry workshops in local and regional elementary and high schools and has been a Visiting Writer in Arcadia University’s M.F.A. program.  Presently, she teaches at Bucks County Community College and lives in Newtown with her husband and two children.  Her poems have appeared in the Sarah Lawrence Review, Poetry Daily, and the Beloit Poetry Journal, and she won the 2011 Robert Fraser Award.

The Lightning

The voice blinks on, a neon dot
on the soundboard, the recorder chases
an imperceptible second behind the reading.

The library is dressed up like a theme park.
Here’s a day when I just can’t follow a word of it.
The Consul pours rich red wine to celebrate

the five Slovenian writers as the tape winds on
around the party, capturing the discussion of freedom
on its spools in at least three different languages.

Laughing, Wendy tells us her nightmare of the lightning
suspended in the sky.  The lightning uncoupled,
no thunder, just the sky’s mouth wide open

as, in dreams, the words won’t follow
and no one speaks.  We’ve assembled on the lawn,
still the horrible sheet of light will not recede.


(Published in The Beloit Poetry Journal and Chapbook #23: Poets Under Twenty-Five, and was also a Poetry Daily feature).