Work samples

  • Baker Essay Sample.doc
    I concentrate on the force of the meat mallet as I pound the chicken breasts to half-inch thickness. My hands are gluey from dredging flour. The counter is a battlefield of eggshell shards and globs of trimmed fat. This preparation busies my hands and helps me focus my viciously cycling thoughts on a single achievable task. I wasn’t always like this, so obsessive about something as mundane as the daily meal. For years, dinner was sustenance and respite, a time to be with my son and watch cartoons together and forget about the troubles of the day. . .&nbsp;<br />
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  • Baker Portfolio Gloses.doc
    These five poems are gloses, a Spanish form that uses four lines from an existing poem as an epigraph. Each of the four lines becomes the final line of a ten-line stanza. The sixth, ninth, and tenth lines of each stanza rhyme.
  • Baker Portfolio Poems.doc
    The day we drove across Wyoming, I pinned
    my fears on home; your children’s resentments
    followed me west, shadowing me like bad weather.

    The geology itself was an aftermath,
    wind-scarred and cragged like an enduring face—
    that kind of beautiful. From Riverton

    to Hell’s Half Acre, I brooded; your confusion
    blurred the periphery. I wish I could
    explain my anger, the menace of my dread. . .

About Elizabeth

Baltimore City
Elizabeth Hazen is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in EPOCH, Shenandoah, Best American Poetry, Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, The Normal School, and other journals. She taught secondary school English for twenty years at independent schools in Baltimore before leaving her role as an educator to work with the team at The Ivy Bookshop and Bird in Hand on book curation and events.

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The glose is a form that takes four lines from an existing poem and uses them as the final lines of four ten-line stanzas. I fell in love with this form about a year ago, drawn to the way it allows me to pay homage to other poets and develop my own ideas and language in concert with theirs. Additionally, I find the formal constraints an effective way to create tension in poems that have a strong emotional charge; working within the confines of form forces me to use the analytical part of my brain and helps me avoid falling into sentimentality. 

I hope to write enough gloses for a chapbook, ideally with the poems that provide the epitaphs printed on the facing pages.
  • oxford panel.jpg
    Oxford Literary Festival panel with Marlene Hauser, moderated by Rose Solari

Better a Serpent

Over the last year, I have continued to work on my third collection of poems, Better a Serpent (working title). The poems explore family and the complications that come with a second marriage. Many of the more recent poems also examine the challenges of raising a teenager in this complex and often indifferent world. One of the underlying questions that connects many of the poems is, "How do I convince my son to persevere and embrace the world, when I myself struggle to find meaning?" Ultimately, it is through the act of creation -- poems, music, art -- that we find redemption, and that is the message I hope the collection will convey.
  • Ivy reading May 22.JPG
    Relaunch of Girls Like Us at The Ivy Bookshop, May 2022


Some of my ideas and experiences are better suited to prose than poetry, and I have recently been experimenting more with creative nonfiction. The process of writing an essay is similar to that of crafting a poem, but I do enjoy the differences, as well. I love the freedom that comes with more space, and I love figuring out the arc of an essay. There is room in an essay to tell a story as well as to reflect on the significance of the experiences, and I find that I use a slightly different voice in my prose writing that has been exciting to develop.
  • ivy group may 22.jpg
    Reading at The Ivy Bookshop with Rose Solari and Jessica Blau, moderated by Kathy Flann