Publications and Reviews



“A Practical Poetics.” The Paterson Literary Review 26(1997): 40. Print.

“Accident.” Apiary Blog. 19 Sep. 2007. Web.

“Again.” Voices International. 26.4(1991):20. Print.

“At Home.” Chronogram. Jan. 2009: 48. Print.

“Ellenville, NY.” Puerto Del Sol 30.1 (1995): 141. Print.

“Fractals of Rain.” Lifeblood: Woodstock Poetry Society Anthology. Ed. Trina Porte. Woodstock: Woodstock Poetry Society, 2011. 28-29. Print.

“Freshman Composition.” The Paterson Literary Review 32(2003): 82. Print.

“I Walked.” Celebrating William Carlos Williams and the Poetry of Place: North Jersey in Poetry. Ed. Maria Mazziotti Gillan. Paterson: Passaic County Community College, 2008. 75-76. Print.

“Kites over Havana.” Apiary Blog. 19 Jan. 2014. Web.

“Matryoshka”and “For Those Who Do Not Read Poems.” The Paterson Literary Review 28(1999): 60-61. Print.

“Past the Half-Life of Grief.” Lifeblood: Woodstock Poetry Society Anthology. Ed. Trina Porte. Woodstock: Woodstock Poetry Society, 2011. 30. Print.

“Philosophy.” Chronogram. Jun 2009: 50. Print.

“Seamstress.” The Chronogram. Jul 2007: 56. Print.

“Slow Truths Ripening.” Princeton Arts Review 2.1(Fall 1997): 75. Print.

“Snow Angels.” Newsmagazine of the Fulbright Commission. Winter 2002: 59. Print.

“Song of the Cranes.” “My City,” “Let Me Be You,” Exposed (Literary Magazine of Dutchess Community College). (Spring 2005):1. Print.

“Tattoos.” Chronogram. Oct. 2009: 56. Print.

“The Violence of Things Unnoticed.” Chronogram. Nov. 2010: 50. Print.

“There Should Be.” Chronogram. 21.4(2013): 77. Print.

“This Poem I Can’t Write.” Concourse (SUNY—Binghamton) 9(1992): 12-13.77. Print.

“Untitled” and “Ulster Heights, NY.” Riverine: an Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers. Ed. Laurence Carr. New Paltz: Codhill Press, 2007: 181, 282. Print.

“Winter Morning: Montclair.” Chronogram. Aug. 2010: 50. Print.

“Witness.” Chronogram Jul. 2012: 80. Print.

“Writing at the Center.” Associated Writing Programs Pedagogy Papers (1997): 110. Print.

“You Tell Me,” “Ask Yourself,” and “What Words?” Gulfstreaming (publication of Florida International University). Eds. John Dufresne and Cindy Chinelly. Spring (2003): 3. Print.

“Your Silence,” “Lost Language,” and “Munich.” Newsmagazine of the German-American Fulbright Commission. Winter 1983: 27. Print.


“Arthur Maynard: Artist and Mentor.” American Art Review. 27(1): 70-111. Feb. 2015.  Print.

“In My Dream.” (Autobiographical ). Laura Cheney Art Blog. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.

“Salt” (An autobiographical essay). Really: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction at Dutchess Community College. Ed. Carol Kushner. Poughkeepsie: Dutchess Community College, 2006. 9-11. Print.

“Train.” The Paterson Literary Review 26(1992): 163-165. Print.


“Music, Imagery, and Performance in First-Year Writing.” Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner, and New Methods of College Teaching. Ed. Clyde Coreil. Jersey City: Publications of NJ City University, 2003. 13-18. Print.

Review of The City in Which I Love You. Li-Young Lee. The Cream City Review 15.2(Fall 1991): 187.Print.


“Writing at the Center.” Associated Writing Programs Pedagogy Papers (1997): 110. Print.

“What I Saw.” Reading Objects 2008. Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art/State University of New York at New Paltz. New Paltz, NY: 2008. Print.

Reviews and Mention of Creative Work 

Denny, Scott and Ben Hodges. “Architecture,” by Christina Turczyn. Dir. Virlana Tkacz. Theatre World. 66(2009-2010):334. Print.

Froliak, Maria. “Re-Imagine Art Festival at the Ukrainian Institute of America.” Rev. of festival as a   collective work. New York Arts: The International Guide to the Art World. 21 Feb 2013. Print.

Grennan, Eamon. “Judge’s Introduction.” Rev. of Vanguard Voices of the Hudson Valley poetry submissions by Christina Turczyn. ” Ed. Nan Alderson. New Paltz: Mohonk Mountain Stage Company, Inc., 19 (2007):76. Print.

Petrovich Cheney, Laura. “Three Must-See New Jersey Exhibits.” Rev. of “Artpride NJ Facebook Friends Gallery”, including work by Christina Turczyn. Web.12 Aug 2012.

Review of “GOGOL/HOHOL : Contemporary Artists, Writers, and Performers React to the Master.”  Slavic and East European Performance. New York:  Institute for Contemporary East European Drama and Theater. 20.1(2000). Print.


Poems by Christina LilianTurczyn–“Ask Yourself”

Copyright Christina L. Turczyn 2016

Ask Yourself

This is all I have, a poem,                          If you want to get to know

spokes of pine turning in sunlight          how a woman in another country

cirrus spines of sky                                     braids bread, or how bodies of sand

leaves of shadow falling–                         blow away in war, you need to leave

people I knew, who almost                        your hotel. You need to stand

made it. This is all I have: a page              in the middle of an open square,

of earth, a tree, sky, body, names             watch pigeons huddle under

carved on bark, dunes of jazz,                   a bench, hear shops stop breathing

wood, grasses,                                               in the dark. Ask yourself what

syncopated consonance of love,                you came for, if you would

words shaking off the rain                         live with a local woman, learn

of music until only sinews                         the words for cobblestones and fear,

of rhythm are left, until words                 watch the flower of a winter sky

are bone-dark flint striking stone.          break into snow, ask yourself

This is all                                                        if you would try to pronounce

I am–everything pared down                  her name, at least that much,

to words, a woman saying                         eat berries,

“This is all I have. No more, no less.”         syllables, her life.

–First published in Gulfstreaming, Florida International University, 2003

Poems by Christina Lilian Turczyn: “I Could Have Told You”


Copyright Christina L. Turczyn 2016

I Could Have Told You

I could have told you that it should

not be this hard, that everything our parents

warned us about did not stretch

from the continent of one dream to the next.

Perhaps we should not have put so much

aside, the fear of loss so great

that we shored up moments

as though they were stones.

Perhaps we should have lingered

just a little longer at the place

where birches, suffused with watery

green light, settled quietly into dusk

at the river’s edge.

The stories we heard, of relatives beaten

into the dark wine of silence,

of icons left in places

where no one would

ever pray to them again,

were enough to make us think

that time remained only for those

who did not know how to count.

Still, we lingered,

played bad records on our porches,

made trips to the Catskills,

stood unafraid while wind

blew in our faces, and caravans

of planets moved behind our backs.

We had to stop thinking, we had to live,

just live, feel the way that thin leaves do

as they lean into this thick rain of stars.

–Received first prize in the Vanguard Voices of the Hudson Valley, Mohonk Mountain Stage Company, 2005

Poems by Christina LilianTurczyn: “Lena Speaks–A Persona Poem”


Copyright by Christina L. Turczyn 2016

Lena Speaks: A Persona Poem

one day I fail an exam and no one knows why no one knows the phone calls I’ve been getting and the looks and the walks to my car and the lectures on why I’d rather talk theory than roses and no one knows why I don’t have a heart for these things why I don’t have a mouth for them either no one no one knows why I drop out of school and lose years to dull work and quarrel with male shrinks who suggest that I always want to be on top no one no one picks me up when I fall when I crawl on the ground and my life writhes under silence like a snake of false words no one listens to my silence to a tree that grows behind my back year after year soon its apples are beyond my reach and its shadows become my spine no one listens to my gestures speak to the way I cry behind your back like a leaf turning in a windless sky cry like the bone-white skin of a star twitching in space no one

so I have lived and I have done these things and more and I have carved my words out of the silence of my bone and I have dripped white rain of song and I have taken every word from the black earth of my thought and I have taken every word from my children never conceived and I have written down hope in braille and followed blindly its staccato path and I have lost everything once and then again and I have been proud and crescent thin–almost invisible

so tell me how I should theorize these things because I feel that those who theorized my academic decline did not think it would ever really happen if they did they would have used different words used words I understood and I would not have failed have failed with a nearly perfect academic record so tell me how you theorize the sound of your life falling stillborn through your body and the way that you bend to pick it up and the way that you bend and the way that you bend and the way that you rise because you simply choose to do so because you simply were that close to dying because you found there was a mortal cost to saying I read paul celan because I love his work I love it and no more no less than that

–Finalist in the Salem College Center for Women Writers Rita Dove National Poetry Awards

Poems by Christina Lilian Turczyn: “What I Saw”

Copyright Christina L. Turczyn 2016

What I Saw—A Persona Poem

(In response to a Burial Mask before 1960-Ibo People of Nigeria)

What I saw presses against my memory—thin cell between life and death,not wider than hope, but essential to hunger. I remember wars and their aftermath, trees and their droughts. I recall the hissing sound the rain made in the leaves on hot days, the way it fell into your hands, like grief…

I recall your face, the way your eyes knew currents, the way their shadows dissolved in fractured light when my words skipped stones across your pain. I still think about our lost daughter, who crossed the threshold of sleep and closed the door behind her.I recall music: Leaves of night opening to dream. I recall wounds—stories silently unraveling, grass-tips moving in quiet currents, intuiting wind.

I wrote. I sang from the well of home, carried in the innermost words.I sang from where I had been torn, and from where I learned to laugh. I was proud.I heard centuries gathering in layers of rock. Stones of recollection. Stones of language buried by false history. Stones that made white water scream.I lived, an artist—I carved. Wood became speech in my hands, as my palms moved over ribs of time. Love was like that, moving before it understood, moving like water beneath the skin’s breathing lake. My eyes were always open.

–First published in Reading Objects, The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, 2008

Poems by Christina Lilian Turczyn: “Kites Over Havana”


Copyright Christina L. Turczyn 2016

Kites Over Havana

(After hearing Paquito D’Rivera’s piece, as performed by the Imani Winds Quintet)

As a child, the composer

dreamed kites over rooftops

their atonal,

ribbons of music loosed from string.

If rivers could fly, they would

look like this:

winding without thought, and hungry,

orchestras tuning flutes before rain.


Was freedom the weightlessness of dreams

drifting closer to clouds? Their paper


Was freedom

Billie Holiday’s voice let go

from grief? Was it everything she knew

but could not speak, the slow

climb of

note after note out of the body,

hand over hand, open danger

over tide?


Freedom? Green leaves struck

through with light,

thought without banks,

a woman dancing pain.

The body’s rooms of compassion?

The currents that carved their dimensions?

Was freedom recognition?

Here, a man lifted

a branch of shadow from his

lover’s face and saw his own, released

from geometries of silence.

Or was freedom the kite’s


through gradations of sky—

resembling water’s ripening


merely this imperfect life?

This life, a wing, a dress cast off

somewhere between air and earth

war an its telling,

thorn and skin?

–First published in Apiary Magazine Online, 2015

Poems by Christina Lilian Turczyn: “Thinking”

Copyright Christina L. Turczyn 2016


It would be like kneading dough, except that you would knead in the sky and the grains of shadow that collect in trees. You would knead in the cry of a man about to leave his country, the stars that turn in his body and lead him out of the forest at night. You would fold in fruits of darkness and rinds of sunlight. You would remember hunger, black holes for weight. You would add in bits of the morning paper for leavening. You would watch light bend at your table. You would watch your lover’s arm repeat the motion of light. You would think. You would love. You would braid the rivers of the earth.

–First published in Christianity and Literature,

Re: Poems by Christina Lilian Turczyn: “Matryoshka”

Copyright Christina L. Turczyn 2016


The outer woman dresses well, with impermeable patterns and bold red prints. Enamel flowers are all she can offer, painted as she is by other hands. This is a poem about the way things go unnoticed, about the way you are taught to dress well against all of life’s daily questions, not a thread hanging frightened from your hem. A poem about the way you memorize long lists of words, year after year, a kind of beaded amulet against the draft of other languages and their hints of prisons and spells. This is a poem about the precision of your speech, the affected pronunciations of an English grammar afraid of its own body, a wooden tongue afraid of its own roots.

The next woman listens. She can hear daydreams tick in quiet bones; can grow a huge belly full of the world’s complaints. It is a commonplace that women were born to listen, and they do. But who hears the riffs of rain blowing through their bodies? Who hears the silence, the sadness, the thorns? This is a poem about putting your grainy nature aside, opening yourself up until the many parts of you are scattered on the table because it is the only way you know to share your innermost self.

And you cannot even get to the outer woman from the innermost one, because they have not painted hands on your body. The next woman is closer to the center, and you will notice, in the world’s eyes, she is smaller. The woman within the woman within the woman does begin to write and sing and talk a great deal more than before, but this disturbs the outer shell. The outer woman is thin and easily broken. This is why men like to hold her. Yet the woman within the woman within the woman has been trapped so long she has a great deal to say. She is a nuisance at board meetings. She is not sporting designer poppies. If you stand closer, you will notice that she is not small; she has been stooping all her life in order to accommodate this idea of largeness. She is not small.

The woman at the center is wise and unpainted, difficult to grasp. Yet she rattles in all of the others like a thorn, so that no one in the city can sleep. She has no clothes. No one will hire her, though they take her apart to see what she is made of. Though she tries to warn the others, they do not understand her language. Sometimes she is thrown out for her vigilance. So she finds herself young or naked or homeless or crazy, a saint, a witch, a poet on the subway, a root without a tongue.

–First published in The Paterson Literary Review, 1999

Poems by Christina Lilian Turczyn: “You Are”

Copyright Christina L. Turczyn 2016

You Are

You speak at the level of bone; you are

political. You know the growing poem in a woman’s

throat is not far from her silence, thick as it becomes

with rape in wartime, buried manuscripts, inner rain.

You are in the place where a woman is. Her shadow

fits your body, and her shadow-arm is yours. Whenever

she moves, you move– whenever she dreams you,

you exist. You are political, you read her body’s

letters without claiming them, you know

there is no owning another’s voice. There is no

speaking a foreign language unless you have loved

in that language, unless you have made it familiar

by accepting the one untranslatable word as a word

that will never be yours, but the grain around which

your life will grow. You are political, you hear

the voice of sand, the black sand of forgotten tongues.

Without exposing her pain, you recover a woman’s history.

You stand inside her silence like slow music darkening.

–First published by Passaic County Community College, 2003