Meryl Natchez’ latest book of poetry, Catwalk, blurbed by Jericho Brown, Lynn Emanuel, and David St. John, is available now from Longship Press  and Amazon.

Natchez’ previous books include a bilingual volume of translations from the Russian: Poems From the Stray Dog Café: Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Gumilev, and Tadeusz Borowski: Selected Poems. Her book of poems, Jade Suit, appeared in 2001.

Her work has appeared in “Hudson Review,” “Los Angeles Review of Books,” “Literary Matters,” “Poetry Northwest,” “The American Journal of Poetry,” “ZYZZYVA,” “The Pinch Literary Review,” “Atlanta Review,” “Lyric,” “The Moth,” “Comstock Review,” and many others. Natchez founded and managed a technical writing business, TechProse, now owned and managed by the employees as FutureState. She was co-founder of the non-profit, Opportunity Junction, now in its 20th year, and raised four children. She is on the board of Marin Poetry Center.

To avoid suffocation from an excess of lit crit, Meryl took a leave of absence in her junior year of college. She barely survived with her love of poetry intact. It turned out there were a lot of intriguing things happening out in the world, and she has been cheerfully home schooling herself ever since.



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Click here to order Catwalk, my new book of poems, released on June 23. Beautifully produced by Longship Press, and selected as a BEST INDIE BOOK 2020 by Kirkus Review.  Here are the blurbs from the back cover:

In Catwalk, Meryl Natchez casts the kind of spells that amount to a more precise definition for the “changing same” of what lyric poetry really is. Yes, these poems show a gift for formal dexterity with haibuns and cinquains and nonce verse, but what I love about them is how much of the world—how much of a life—Natchez conjures in the space of a few lines.  From the biology of earthworms to the pitfalls of a forty-year love affair, there is no place this poetry won’t touch.  Or in Natchez’s own words: “It wakes me with its/interrogating light.”  This is a brilliant book. — Jericho Brown

The world of Meryl Natchez’s Catwalk reveals an elemental understanding of our place in the often conflicting dramas of the natural world and human impulses. There is an enviable muscle to these lyrical meditations on the ephemeral consolations of memory amid our ever-shifting, complex constellations of loss. — David St. John

Out of the ordinary, daily, material items of life, “newspaper or book or laptop, the ramekin of salt,” Meryl Natchez’s new book, Catwalk, forges a tapestry… As she writes,  “now being a confused elixir/of sun and fog and email…/random moments that can converge/into a ravishing pattern…” It is that pattern that a reader finds in Catwalk. —Lynn Emanuel




Kirkus Review
“Outstanding poetic musings that strike at the very core of human connections and contradictions.”

The Widening Spell
“My reading of Meryl Natchez’ Catwalk (Longship Press, 2020) has caused me to fall in love with poetry all over again.” Terry Lucas

Sorrow as a Matter of Perspective
Catwalk sings of life’s disappointments and consolations and reminds us that sorrow is a matter of perspective that tends to dwindle in the long rearview.” Rebecca Foust, ZYZZYVA

A Certain Uncertainty
“A skilled and versatile poet, Natchez works with ease within a variety of poetic forms and modes.” Maurya Simon, Poetry Northwest

Poems from the Stray Dog Café:
Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Gumilev

Translated by Meryl Natchez with Polina Barskova and Boris Wolfson

Includes an introduction describing the Acmeist poetic movement, a timeline, and an updated translation of “The Morning of Acmeism,” by Osip Mandelstam, as well as selected poems. Second printing. Email to purchase.


Jade Suit, Poems

Hardcover, 2001

hit & run press, Berkeley, California.

Email to purchase.






Tadeusz Borowksi: Selected Poems

Translated by Tadeusz Pioro, Larry Rafferty and Meryl Natchez, introduction by Stanisław Barańczak

Most of these poems were written while Borowski was a prisoner in Dachau, Birkenau and Auschwitz, during World War II. Borowski and other inmates memorized them and he reassembled them after the war.

hit & run press, Berkeley, California.

Email to purchase.


Poetry Publications (online)

A Single Bending Leaf

The Muses as Flamingos
Indolent Books

The Afternoon Before the Day of Atonement

Because I woke in a panic
Rogue Agent

Shelter in Place
What Rough Beast

Art and Matvei Petrovich Bronstien
(Finalist, Joan Swift Memorial Prize)

Women’s Voices for Change

Thinking about Einstein while waiting for the Big Blue Bus
The American Journal of Poetry

Made of Molecules and More About the Oak
Rappahonnock Review

Dawn in Monterey
Canary Lit Mag

Marai Sandor in San Diego
Winning Writers

Poem with a Line by Amy Clampitt

Equivocal Activist

Because I woke in a panic

Lying on the massage table at the mudbaths
Literary Matters

Full Circle, a Diptych
Literary Matters

Spoken Poetry

Prose Publications (online)

A Career Called Poet (memoir)
Harvard Advocate Blog

Interview with Robert Hass, Sharon Olds & Brenda Hillman
for launch of Why to These Rocks” 50 Years of Poems from the Community of Writers

Interview with Rebecca Foust

Interview with Ellen Bass
Poetry Northwest

Interview with Dorianne Laux, March 2019
Poetry Northwest

Interview with Forrest Gander
Poetry Northwest

Interview with William Brewer

Interview with Maurya Simon
Poetry Flash

Interview with Joyce Jenkins

Book Reviews

An Ordinary Live by B.H.Fairchild
Tupelo Quarterly

Coral Bracho translated by Forrest Gander

Amanda Moore, Requeening
Tupelo Quarterly

Katie Kitamura, Intimacies

Forrest Gander, Twice Alive
LA Review of Books

Diane Seuss, frank:sonnets
Rain Taxi

Heather Altfeld, Post Mortem

The Selected Letters of John Berryman
Hudson Review, Winter 2021

Mark Jarman, Dailiness

Ellen Bass, Indigo
LA Review of Books

Jericho Brown, The Tradition

Jane Hirshfield, Ledger

Dorianne Laux, Only as the Day Is Long

Francesca Bell, Bright Stain

A. E. Stallings, LIKE

Forrest Gander, Be With

Tony Hoagland, Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God

Tony Hoagland, Recent Changes in the Vernacular

In the Shape of a Human Body I Am Visiting the Earth: Poems from Far and Wide (Anthology from McSweeney’s)

Mary Ruefle, My Private Property

Troy Jollimore, Syllabus of Errors


Rappahannock Review
Contributor Spotlight
Issue 5.3

2018 Project

Prose poems inspired by Carlo Rovelli’s Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

More about the oak

It dominates the view its branches so inviting that the first thing we did was make a treehouse inside them not worried about the oak not thinking about the way each leathery leaf turns air and sunlight and water into food and draws another nanometer of water up through the channel of xylem from roots so deep that the trunk becomes a great reservoir and during the eight dry months of a California spring and summer and fall lets gravity pull some of its aquifer back to nourish the shallow roots around it, not considering the network of rhizomes this small ecosystem of hillside where we’d plunked ourselves, not really seeing the oak at all except as ornament, as tool for our human pleasure and it tolerates us still as the treehouse falls into disuse and the squirrels and crows the sentinel hummingbirds survey their territory from its branches as the small humans who played there move on

2019 Project


Work in progress. 

Cut up sonnets inspired by Jericho Brown’s essay on the Duplex.

Read all about it in this PDF  or watch Looseplex on the video page.

Looseplex 31-Losing Patience

How many years was my path obscured by junk
My ungovernable heart, pocked with grievance?

Microorganisms effervesce
Starting from something simple, like milk

Push up bras, slim jims, and cheese doodles
Endlessly stitching snags in the sky.

Remember being crazed with desire?
Seeds release in heat, the ground charred clear for them.

We talk after dinner, wine glasses refilled.
The monks who touched the match to their own dowsed robes,

What I believed was the absolute truth, no
The fluorescent, merciless present.

The earth gearing up to shrug us off.
These are the stamps on the final envelope.


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Video & Audio

Poets for Science reading with Forrest Gander, Kimiko Hahn, Jane Hirshfield & Meryl Natchez (there are about 12 minutes of introduction)

Poetry Flash reading with Dean Rader at Art house. Reading starts at about minute 7:30.

An online Salon, hosted by Marin Poetry Center & Mill Valley Library:







A reading and conversation with Jane Hirshfield sponsored by Osher Marin JCC and Marin Poetry Center. This video unfortunately doesn’t start at the beginning, but about half of our hour together: Recorded here




Performing and reading from Catwalk with the marvelous Marquis Engle as part of Virtual Art in the Park:

Three sessions of Partners in Confinement, hosted by Meryl Natchez. Click on the banners to watch.



Radio interview with Dion O’Reilly, the Hive







Natchez rerading from Catwalk, from

Copperfield’s reading with Heather Altfeld, Troy Jollimore and Terry Lucas (note: you have to “register” after selecting the link)

The link below takes you to a video of a presentation on Poetry, Memory and Tyranny with Jacob Howland at the University of Tulsa. There is an eight minute introduction which you might want to skip.  Select the URL below and start at minute 8:

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Poets for Science (video here)

Jane Hirshfield & Meryl Natchez Reading, Thursday November 19 @7pm PST

Osher Marin JCC & Marin Poetry Center present two poets to read their work. They will talk about their experiences as writers during a time of crisis, the importance of community, and their shared sense of reverence for the natural world. Jane Hirshfield is an honored and distinguished poet, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Meryl Natchez is a poet, translator, and reviewer, and chair of the Marin Poetry Center. They both have new books, Ledger from Knopf for Jane, and Catwalk from Longship Press for Meryl. You can purchase by clicking on the links above (they make lovely gifts). This video unfortunately doesn’t start at the beginning, but about half of our hour together: Recorded here

Salon Undone

September 11, 2020

Recorded here





You can watch the  recording as part of this series.


Sunday, October 25th

Sadly, my reading with Ellen Bass at AWP
was cancelled due to virus, but…

We will do our best to reschedule for someplace in whenever…

Adam Jay Morris & Meryl Natchez
The Right Word Poetry Weekend

Vallombrosa Center
250 Oak Grove Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Poetry Weekend focuses on poems that center on language. The Saturday afternoon workshop examines multiple translations of two very different poems. Guest speakers, Forrest Gander and Meryl Natchez, will guide us through the challenges of translation and answer your questions.


Saturday, November 2 at 2pm
Poetry Reading with Amanda Moore

Gearbox Gallery
770 West Grand Ave, #B
Oakland, CA




Friday, October 11, 7-9pm
Poetry Reading with Francesca Bell
Poetry Connection at
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin
240 Channing Way, San Rafael, CA 94903
Venue Website

Saturday, October 19, 6:30pm
Poetry Reading with Sandra Cross, Rebecca Foust and Amanda Moore
Faye’s Video, 3614 18th Street
San Francisco, Phase 2, Litquake

Linda Gregg Memorial
Please watch the video, which is in two parts.

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Please contact me using the form below…