Block title

Work Samples

Girls Like You excerpt.doc

"Elizabeth Hazen’s poems very often begin in the realm of the personal, and by concentrating on particular details create a series of worlds that every reader can identify with. That alone is a significant achievement, and means Girls Like You is filled with touching and tender scenes. But what makes the book exceptional is the way it uses familiarity as a centre from which to expand into larger and more public spheres - places which are repeatedly darkened by a sense of threat, or by hard facts of confusion and violence. The result is a very rich kind of paradox:  poems that speak in a quietly meditative voice but are rife with terrors, describing a world we think we know but which turns out to be very strange." -Andrew Motion

Microsoft Office document icon Girls Like You excerpt.doc

Chaos Theories excerpt.doc

This sample includes three poems from the collection, Chaos Theories. Of this collection, Michael Collier writes:

When Elizabeth Hazen declares, “I want to understand our need/for headway,” it’s significant that she offers an image for progress, motion, or time, and it’s also characteristic of this poet’s “need” to ground her ideas in the body, which she tells us, “holds more mysteries/than the mouth can bring itself to speak.” And yet she does find speech for the mysteries and paradoxes of existence, speech she puts down in expertly cadenced lines that “produce the proper notes” of a restless imagination looking to find the “absent whole” in human experience.

Microsoft Office document icon Chaos Theories excerpt.doc


About Elizabeth

Baltimore City

Elizabeth Hazen's picture
Elizabeth Hazen is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared or forthcoming in Shenandoah, Best American Poetry 2013, Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, The Normal School, and other journals. She teaches English at Calvert School in Baltimore, Maryland. Chaos Theories, her first full-length poetry collection, was published in 2016. Her second collection, Girls Like You, is forthcoming in 2020.

Girls Like You - Poetry Collection forthcoming 2020

My second a poetry collection, Girls Like You, is forthcoming in 2020. Many of the poems focus on female identity and the contradictory personas women are expected to embody. The women in these poems both fear and provoke the male gaze, reconciling themselves to the violence that such attentions may bring, and they are in conflict with themselves about their own desires and self-destructive tendencie. Many of the poems also explore themes related to addiction and recovery.

Chaos Theories - Poetry Collection

"The poems in Elizabeth Hazen’s debut collection, Chaos Theories, spring from a unique collusion of science and art in one poet’s heart and mind. In these often elegiac poems, Hazen explores many forms of love – between children, parents and grandparents; between siblings and friends; between lovers who marry and who divorce. The losses depicted here are explored with a powerful use of poetic language and form, and survival becomes another form of understanding, a way of seeing ourselves and others not as guilty or innocent, good or bad, but as complex, sometimes thwarted beings who are always striving for more wisdom, more empathy, more light. Hazen’s language is elegant, her point of view unflinching, her voice mature and warm.

"Science in these poems is both information and consolation, a way of untangling chaos, of seeing more clearly and cleanly. Hazen is a poet who understands that we are all searching in various ways to make order of our lives and loves, and who crafts poems that can aid us in that search. This is an astonishing debut collection from a poet simultaneously tenderhearted and wise, who brings hard-won and beautifully wrought insights to every page."

Pair Shaped Collaboration

Pair Shaped is a project that puts artists working in different media together and asks them to collaborate. According to their mission statement: “We support art as a creative dialogue across all disciplines and mediums. Through critical engagement with each other’s output and practice, our contributors take part in developing original series of works for greater community discussion.”

For my collaboration, completed in 2015, I was paired with west coast visual artist, Brooks Dierdorff. The resulting project yields four poems and four works of art including photographs, a sculpture, and a painting. Inevitably my obsessions with visibility and invisibility, particularly relating to female identity, emerged as I meditated on and responded to Brooks’ work.


There are times when the medium of poetry isn’t quite right for what I want to say. In the past several years, I have turned to the essay form in these moments, usually writing and reflecting on themes similar to those that I explore in poems, but allowing myself more space on the page and fewer formal restrictions. These essays tend to be meditations on relationships, but also draw inspiration (as do my poems) from science and the natural world.

  • Thanksgiving on Mars

    Image from the launch of Curiosity, about which I wrote in an essay, "Thanksgiving on Mars." The essay describes the first holiday after my divorce and appears on Baltimore Fishbowl.
  • Lessons from a Turtle

    Image accompanying essay "Lessons from a Turtle," which appears on Baltimore Fishbowl.

Writers Under the Influence

Writers Under the Influence is a poetry series that I started with Benn Ray and Rachel Whang of Atomic Books. Since fall 2013, we have hosted poets from near and far, at the beginning of their careers and well-established as writers. They share recent work and discuss the influences -- other writers, artists, films, politics, pop culture -- that have had an impact on their poetic subject, style, and process. Poets who have read in the series include Mary Jo Salter, Tadeusz Dabrowski, Jane Satterfield, Ned Balbo, Carrie Fountain, and many others. Our goal is to bring poets together to support one another and collaborate, as well as to share their words with the people of Baltimore. The series continues to grow in popularity.

Connect with Elizabeth

Elizabeth's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.