Rachel was certainly one of the finest poets of my generation, and it was a great honor to appear in the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets with her. I was scheduled to read with her at the Grolier Club earlier this month, but she had the flu and was unable to appear. I only just heard this morning about her death, which may have been a suicide. More information will be posted as it comes available.
Here is a link to Adam Kirsch’s review of her last book, from the Contemporary Poetry Review. I understand that she was just made poetry editor at the New Republic and has a new book scheduled for publication. She will be dearly missed.
“Gold Leaves” by Rachel Wetzsteon
Someone ought to write about (I thought
and therefore do) stage three of alchemy:
not inauspicious metal turned into
a gilded page, but that same page turned back
to basics when you step outside for air
and feel a radiance that was not there
the day before, your sidewalks lined with gold.