Charles Harper Webb

Charles Harper Webb is the author of Shadow Ball: New and Selected PoemsReading the Water, which won the 1997 Morse Poetry Prize and the 1998 Kate Tufts Discovery Award; Liver, which won the 1999 Felix Pollak Prize; Tulip Farms and Leper ColoniesHot Popsicles, and other books. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American PoetryThe Pushcart Prize, and Poets of the New Century. He is the editor of Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology, co-editor of Grand Passion: The Poets of Los Angeles, as well as recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches at CSU Long Beach.


"The sky is full of ruddy ducks
and widgeon's, mockingbirds,
bees, bats, swallowtails,
dragonflies, and great horned owls.

The land below teems with elands
and kit foxes, badgers, aardvarks,
juniper, banana slugs, larch,
cactus, heather, humankind.

Under them, a dome of dirt.
Under that, the World's
Largest Living Thing spreads
like a hemorrhage poised

to paralyze the earth—like a tumor
ready to cause 9.0 convulsions,
or a brain dreaming this world
of crickets and dung beetles,"

- from Giant Fungus