Michael R. Burch Bio and Curriculum Vitae
Michael R. Burch is an American poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his
wife Beth, their son Jeremy, and three outrageously spoiled puppies. His poems, epigrams, translations, essays, articles,
reviews, short stories and letters have appeared
more than 4,500 times in publications which include TIME, USA Today, The
Hindu, BBC Radio 3, CNN.com, Daily Kos, The Washington Post, The Brunei Times,
Elephant Journal, and
hundreds of literary journals, websites and blogs. Burch is also the
founder and editor-in-chief of The HyperTexts, a former columnist for the Nashville City Paper
and, according to Google, a relevant online publisher of poems about the
Holocaust, Hiroshima, the Trail of Tears, Darfur, Haiti, Gaza and the
Burch's poetry has been translated into fourteen languages and set to music by the
composers Mark Buller, Alexander Comitas and Seth Wright.
Awards and Achievements: Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The
HyperTexts; five Pushcart Prize nominations; winner of 49 awards in writing
contests; peace activist and author of the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative;
librettist for The Children of Gaza; former editor of International
Poetry and Translations for Better
Than Starbucks; Marquis Who's Who Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime
Achievement honoree; Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies
Violets for Beth (White
Violet Press, 2012);
O, Terrible Angel (Ancient Cypress Press, 2013);
Auschwitz Rose is in the chute but has been long delayed
Anthologies: Words That Burn (Amnesty International),
Blood to Remember (Holocaust),
Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, Famous Poets &
Poems, Life & Legends, Writer's Digest—The Year's Best Writing, Potcake
Chapbooks, The Bible of Hell, How
Sweet the Night (CD), Velvet Avalanche, Love Me Knots,
Voices Israel, Washing the Color of Water Golden (Hurricane
Katrina), The Best of The Eclectic Muse, Poems for Big Kids, Liberty's Vigil
(Occupy Wall Street), A Fancy of Formalities, several others
Textbooks: Several poems and translations have been included in
high school and college courseware, including a high school textbook published
by National Geographic Learning
Literary Journals: Angle, Asses of Parnassus, The Aurorean,
Black Medina, Blue Unicorn, Boston Poetry Magazine, Brief Poems, Byline, The
Chariton Review, The Chimaera, Contemporary Rhyme, The Eclectic Muse, Erosha,
First Things, The Flea, Icon, Light Quarterly, Lighten Up Online, The Lyric,
Measure, Nebo, Penny Dreadful, Poem Today, Poet Lore, Poetry Super Highway, The
Raintown Review, Romantics Quarterly, Southwest Review, Writer's Digest,
Writer’s Gazette, Writer’s Journal Unlikely Stories, Verse Weekly, and
Letters: Well over a hundred letters have been published by
major newspapers and magazines including TIME, USA Today, The Hindu, CNN.com,
Daily Kos, The Washington Post, The Tennessean, The Brunei Times
Most Popular Online Articles:
Epigrams and Quotes;
No Hell in the Bible;
Most Beautiful Poems in the English Language;
The Best Erotic Poems;
The Best Limericks
Poems Set to Music: "I Pray Tonight" by composer Mark Buller; "How Long
the Night" by composer Seth Wright; the lyrics of Children of Gaza by
composer Alexander Comitas (Eduard de Boer) including "Frail Envelope of Flesh," "Mother's Smile"
and "Where Does the Butterfly Go?"
YouTube videos by Lillian Y. Wong: "Ali's Song," "Something,"
"Survivors," "At Wilfred Owen's Grave," "Auschwitz Rose"
YouTube readings by Jasper Sole: "Moments," "Something,"
Most Published and Awarded Poems:
"Epitaph," "Frail Envelope of Flesh,"
"See," "Ali's Song,"
"In Flight Convergence,"
"Auschwitz Rose," "Abide," "Bible Libel," "Child of 9-11," "Flight
93," "Salat Days," "Passionate
One," "Redolence," "Love Has a Southern Flavor," "Discrimination"
Translations and Modernizations: Basho, Bertolt Brecht, Robert Burns, Caedmon,
Paul Celan, Thomas Chatterton,
Geoffrey Chaucer, William Dunbar, Ahmad Faraz, Atilla Ilhan, Allama Iqbal,
Ono no Komachi, Primo Levi, Plato (epigram), Miklos Radnoti, Rainer Maria Rilke, Sappho,
Sir Thomas Wyatt,
"Bede's Death Song", "Caedmon's Hymn," "Deor's Lament,"
in the Frith," "Lament for the Makaris," "Sweet Rose of Virtue," "Whoso List to Hunt," "The Wife's Lament,"
"Wulf and Eadwacer," Native American blessings and proverbs, Urdu love
Oxford University called The HyperTexts "dynamic and challenging" with
a "different approach" to poetry, on its ARCH resource page for the Arts &
Humanities. The full entry can be read here.
"Some of the best poetry on the web."―Vera Ignatowitsch, editor-in-chief of Better
"The HyperTexts reads like a Who's Who in contemporary poetry
today."—Michael Morton, Director of the Net Poetry & Arts Competition
The following timeline provides more detailed information about when poems were
first published, and how some of them came to be written; for instance, the
timeline explains how the phrase "Frail envelope of flesh!" (uttered by a super
villain in a comic book) inspired the poem with that title ...
Michael R. Burch Timeline and Extended Biography
Career highlights are
bolded and underlined.
1958: Michael R. Burch was born on February 19, 1958 in Orlando, Florida. His
English mother, Christine Ena Hurt, was a loving, compassionate
and selfless mother and homemaker. He wrote the poem "Mother's Smile" in
her honor; it placed first in a Penguin Books poetry contest in 2008. His American father, Paul
Ray Burch Jr., was a 20-year man in the United States Air Force.
1959: Burch and his mother lived with her parents, George Edwin Hurt and
Christine Ena Spouse, in Mattersey, England, while his father was stationed
at Thule, Greenland. Thus Burch grew up speaking with an English accent (long
since lost). Burch was talking nonstop at a very
early age. In fact, his grandfather got in a fight with a co-worker who called
him a liar, saying it wasn't possible for two-year-olds to say such things! But
Burch was evidently just getting warmed up ...
1960: When his father returned from Thule, the family was reunited in
Gainsborough, England. Burch lived in England for approximately five
years, altogether. His sisters Sandra Jane Burch and Debra Leigh Burch were both born
there. One of his earliest memories was going to the hospital to collect Debby
after her puzzling appearance. Where did babies come from—storks, really?
1963: The family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Burch attended
kindergarten. He still had an English accent,
because his teacher criticized him for
pronouncing "been" as "bin." But c'mon, who invented
the language? There are memories of his mother weeping over President John
F. Kennedy's funeral, and another little boy saluting ...
1964: First grade in Lincoln, Nebraska. The first book Burch fell in love with was
Charlotte's Web, read to the class by his teacher, one chapter per day. His favorite poem
was "The Highwayman" by Alfred
Noyes, which his mother sometimes recited from memory to her enthralled children.
1965: Second grade in Lincoln, Nebraska. The class practiced ducking under
wooden desks for "protection" against Russian nukes.
1966: Third grade. The Burches moved to Nashville, Tennessee. They would live for a time
with Paul Burch's mother, Lillian Lee, and her second husband, Eric Lee. The Lees
owned a small grocery store on Sixth Avenue South, close to downtown Nashville.
The Burches later moved into a house in Donelson, a suburb of Nashville. They
were joined there by Paul Ray Burch Sr., who was unmarried at the time. Burch
would later write "Salat Days" about his childhood discovery of the reason his
grandfather went hunting a noxious weed that had to be boiled multiple
times before it could be eaten! Grandpa Burch took the Burch kids to see their first
movie: James Bond in Thunderball.
1967: Fourth grade. The Burches moved to Roseville, California, a suburb of Sacramento.
It was very hot, so most time away from school was spent at the
community swimming pool. Burch was a small, often-frustrated perfectionist. If
he made a writing mistake, he would tear up the whole page and start over. He
was bullied by an older girl named Sarjanne and would later write a poem about the experience: "The
sky opens wide / in a land of no rain, / and who are you to bring me such pain?"
1968: Fifth grade. The Burches moved to Wiesbaden, Germany. They would live for two
years in a tiny German hamlet, Bischofsheim, while waiting for base housing.
Because there were no American boys to play with, and no English-language
radio or TV stations, Burch began to visit the base library,
taking out the maximum eight books, reading them in a few days, then taking out
eight more, and repeating. His English language skills zoomed far above the norm for his age. He tested at a college
sophomore reading level and was placed in a reading group of one, where he
studied writers like Austen, Dickens, Hardy and Twain. Around this time Burch
read a comic book in which a super villain screamed "Frail envelope of flesh!"
at a super hero. Burch was struck by the power of the words and never forgot
them. His poem "Frail Envelope of Flesh," composed thirty years later in 1998,
would become one of his more popular poems on the Internet.
1969: Sixth grade in Wiesbaden, Germany. The Burches watched Neil Armstrong set
foot on the moon at a friend's house (still no TV set). Burch developed his first crushes on girls: CM and MC.
He was also falling in love with music that would later influence his poetry: Bob
Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, The Zombies, Cream,
The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Animals, The Doors, Sly and the Family
Stone, The Bee Gees, Aaron Neville, CCR, Jackie Wilson, Frankie Valli,
1970: Seventh grade in Wiesbaden, Germany. Burch is six-foot-two, thin as a
rail, and has added a new passion: basketball.
1971: Eighth grade in Wiesbaden, Germany. By this time Burch has read hundreds
of books: Austen, Bronte, Chaucer, Dickens, Defoe, Joyce, Melville, Shakespeare,
Twain, Verne, Voltaire, Whitman, Wilde, et al. He has also read extensively
about subjects he finds of interest, such as nature, animals, dinosaurs, evolution,
ancient history, the age of chivalry, warfare and modern science. He doesn't
particularly like math, but is good at it.
1972: Ninth grade. The Burches moved to Goldsboro, North Carolina, where Burch
finds himself far ahead of his classmates. It was around
this time, age 14 to 15, that Burch began to write poetry. It quickly became
an obsession. His first poem, never published, was titled
"Happiness." It compared happiness to a bubble that is always in danger of
bursting. His second poem, "Playmates," was about boys who grow up not foreseeing
the dark days that lie ahead. Ironically, that meant the young poet did. Other poems from this period include "Time," "Am
I," "An Illusion," "Have I Been Too Long at the Fair," and "Smoke" (the latter a
poem inspired by an ad for the movie Summer of '42.) His poems "Burn,
Ovid" and "Sex 101" were written about his experiences at Faith Christian
Academy in Goldsboro, although they were composed from memory later. Burch was the
starting center on the FCA junior varsity basketball team.
1973: Tenth grade. Paul Burch Jr. retired from the Air Force and the Burches relocated
permanently to Nashville, Tennessee. There Burch attended Maplewood High School, where
he was once again far ahead of his classmates. It was at
Maplewood that Burch began flipping through his English literature textbook,
reading poems independently. He found some of the poems to be quite magical
and decided that he wanted to produce similar magic himself.
Poets he found especially magical included William Blake, e. e. cummings, Robert
Frost, T. S. Eliot, A. E.
Housman, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas and W. B. Yeats. While at Maplewood, Burch
included some of his poems in an English project notebook. His teacher, Anne
Myers, wrote "This poem is beautiful!" beside "Playmates" and she also
complimented "Time." Other poems in the notebook included "Paradise" and "I
Remember You." Around this time, in a moment of frustration, Burch destroyed all
his poems. The ones in his project notebook were saved, along with a few others
that he was able
to recreate from memory. The rest were lost forever or remain incomplete. Burch
had his first dates, with MB.
1974: Eleventh grade. The first poem that made Burch think he
be a "real" poet was "Observance" (originally titled "Reckoning"), which he
wrote in the break room of the McDonald's where he worked to make spending
money for college. It would be published by TC
Broadsheet Verses in 1998, earning a whopping ten dollars, and also by
Nebo and Piedmont Literary Review the same year. "Leave Taking" was originally a stanza in a longer poem, "Jessamyn's
Song," written around this time. "Canticle" was written
surreptitiously in Ms. Davenport's class while her back was turned.
Burch was MVP of the Ewing Baptist church league team. Tricky Dick Nixon finally
resigned, due to Watergate.
1975: Twelfth grade. Burch had a number of poems published in
Maplewood's literary journal, The Lantern,
including "An Illusion," "Why Did I Go," "Have I Been Too Long at the Fair" and
"Smoke." Burch also wrote his
first "cummings-ish" poem, "i (dedicated to u)" during an English class. Burch was MVP of the Ewing Baptist church league team for a second time.
Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft.
1976: College freshman. Burch
graduated near the top of his class despite working 40+ hours per week
his senior year and thus not studying or turning in homework assignments
consistently. He still managed to earn the highest ACT and CLEPT scores in
Maplewood's history, with a perfect score on the latter. He also earned two academic scholarships and decided to
study computer science at Tennessee Technological University (TTU) in
Cookeville, Tennessee, which at that time had a top-ten computer science
program. At TTU the dean of the English Department, Dr. Warren, had Burch pulled
out of the freshman pre-registration line and brought to his office, where he
tried to persuade him to major in English or Journalism. However, not wanting to
be a starving writer, Burch stuck
to his plan to major in computer science. At TTU, Burch skipped a lot of classes and focused
his energies on mastering billiards and video games, including the original
Space Invaders. He
won TTU's straight pool tournament, qualified for the NCAA regionals,
but then partied, got drunk for the first time in his life, and missed the bus
to the next tournament! The girl of his dreams got mad at him for being too
drunk to perform, and he lost her to a slightly more sober graduate student.
Ouch! He also won Cookeville eight-ball and Space Invaders
tournaments. Poems from this period include "Infinity" (the second
poem that made Burch feel like a "real" poet), "Death/Styx"
and "These Hallowed Halls." The latter was written from his freshman dorm
window, as he watched students returning from rush week fraternity parties.
"Something" was the first poem Burch wrote that
didn't rhyme; it came to him "out of blue nothing." He also earned membership in the Alpha Lamda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor
1977: College sophomore. A highly Romantic poem from this time period is "Floating," which would be
published by Romantics Quarterly in 2002. Another is "Impressions of
Darkness in the Aspects of Light," a long poem Burch disguised as prose by
removing the line breaks for a creative fiction writing assignment.
"Smoke," "Stryx," "Gentry," "Jack," "When Last My
Love Left Me" and "With My Daughter, By a Waterfall" were published in TTU's
literary journal, Homespun.
1978: College co-op. Burch won TTU's R. H. Moorman Award and a cash prize (well,
actually a bond) for having the
highest grades in the TTU Math/Computer Science/Physics department. He was the
brightest of the bright, the nerdiest of the nerds! "A Pledge for Ignorance"
the first poem published in Homespun. "In Jerusalem" was also published
Burch chose to co-op for a year, which he did with South
Central Bell, in Nashville. At the time SCB was a division of AT&T, the largest
non-government organization in the world. Burch wrote a manual on IBM Binary
Synchronous Protocol for SCB. He also designed and wrote a network outage
tracking system on a Cromemco Z-28 CP/M computer system. This was one of the first multi-user
microcomputers. John Palmer, a division manager
at SCB, was impressed and hired Burch to work for
Surya Data Systems, where he designed and wrote a Property Management software
package. While working for SCB, Burch met
some serious pool players and started gambling with colorful sharks
like Andrew "the Gent" Gentry, Doug "Preacher" Almy, and players known to him
only as "Jew Baby," "Catfish," "Chicken Man" and "Mole." There
were days when
Burch made more money hustling pool than programming. He used the winnings from one match to buy a $700 pool cue. A highly Romantic poem from this
time period is "The Communion of Sighs." While working the midnight shift at
SCB, Burch put together a typed poetry collection, Just a Dream. Some
of the poems included were "Reflections on the Loss of Vision," "Shadows," "An
Obscenity Trial," "Sailor's Dreams" (later re-titled "Sea Dreams"), "Sanctuary
at Dawn," "There Is Peace Where I Am Going" and "Jessamyn's Song."
mostly poems written during his teens.) Burch wrote his bleak "Premonition" after
attending an SCB office party.
1979: Burch returned to TTU for his junior year. He joined the
Kappa Alpha fraternity but it was not officially recognized at the time and was mostly an excuse to have
a frat house and keg
parties. "Shadows" was published
Homespun. After completing his junior year, Burch dropped out to start his
own computer software company, Alpha Omega Consulting Group. He earned over 11K.
That was not bad money in
those days, for a college student working part-time!
1980: College senior drop-out. Burch became the lead software developer for Computer Consultants Inc.,
freelanced via Alpha Omega, and still found time to shoot pool, master video
games, and chase women. He had his first serious relationship
with MM, who would become the object of a number of his
early love poems. For the next decade-and-a-half Burch would write poetry with
few serious attempts attempts to publish it. During this period Burch designed and wrote software
for a record outlet and a publishing company.
1981: The only poem from this period appears to be "Tomb Lake." Burch designed
and wrote an Auto Dealership software package.
Burch went to Chatanooga with Doug "Preacher" Almy to watch the 1981 U.S. Open Nine-Ball
Tournament. "St. Louis" Louie Roberts won, beating Buddy "The
in the process. Burch dated MJ briefly.
1982: Burch designed and wrote a Job Cost accounting software system for
construction companies. He bought
a Camaro Z-28 Indy Pace car, his first sports car. He vacationed in England for a
month, staying with relatives at an ancient cottage called "Throstle's Nest."
He dated MC briefly.
1983: Burch dated MM. They decided to live together, but she
didn't tell her parents. Awkward! Burch buys his first house at 836 Beech Bend Drive in Bellevue,
1984: Burch, MM, DF and RF vacation in Destin at a swanky
$450,000 Edgewater Beach condo. Burch figures out from the owner list that
Nashville's mayor, the appropriately-named Bill Boner, had been "gifted" a condo
by one of Burch's well-heeled construction clients. Fraud is everywhere!
1985: Burch, MM, DF and RF vacation in Miami and the Florida Keys. They visit
Ernest Hemingway's and Jimmy Buffet's favorite watering holes. Burch begins playing pool
for a bar called Springwater. Later that year, his first dates with CC.
1986: Springwater's Busch pool
league team finished second in the city tournament, advanced to Memphis for
the regionals, won two rounds, then lost in the finals to Nashville's J.O.B.
A Memphis vacation with MM. Burch dated BM and wrote "Musings at Giza"
based on her recollections of a trip to Egypt. First date with SK at Julian's.
Burch very briefly dated Dan Fouts' sister.
1987: Oak Ridge trip with BM. First date with KT at Kobe, but she was weird
about her cat. One date with a young woman who later took her own life led to "For Rhonda with Butterflies."
Destin trip with KT, but more weirdness about her cat. First date with AO; she
was part Cuban, part Seminole, and part Italian. Very hot! Another England trip
with bed-and-breakfast tours of Wales, Stratford-on-Avon, Chesterfield, Chattsworth
Hall and London. On the return flight from Gatwick the pilot had
to jettison fuel and return for flap repairs. Panic! MM moves out.
1988: Back together with MM. Burch bought a second house in Bellevue at 7324 River Bend
Rd. Movin' on up!
1989: Destin trip with MM, DF, RF and two friends. MM moves out again.
1990: MM moves back in, then out again. A third England trip with a bed-and-breakfast tour of Scotland
and the northeastern coast: Loch
Lomond, Stirling Castle, Calendar, Edinburgh Castle, North Berwick, Lindisfarne.
Also visited the Lake District, Lake Windemere, York, Yorkminster Cathedral, Scarborough (stayed in a converted windmill!), the
Yorkshire Dales, and Alton Towers. It was the hottest English summer on record, with
temperatures as high as 99. Dates with KM, LA and
1991: Burch meets Elizabeth Harris on 1-5-1991 at the Natchez Trace bar in Bellevue,
Tennessee. She asks him to teach her to play pool and they invent "twister
pool." First real date with Beth at Sperry's on 1-11-1991.
Burch writes Beth the poems "Enigma" and "Is the Mirror Unkind" for
Valentine's Day. Another date at Sperry's. Met Beth's
grandparents at Justine's in Memphis. Things are getting serious for the
confirmed bachelor! Later, a May trip to Destin with Beth and Burch's parents,
sisters, aunts and uncles. Beth moves in. Chatanooga
trip with Beth and English cousins. Visitied Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls and the
Chatanooga Choo-Choo. Beth sang “Mockingbird” with one of the singing waiters.
A very daring girl! On 8-31-91 Beth asked Burch to marry her! A
very daring girl! On 11-07-91 Grandma Lee
died, a grand, very independent woman.
1992: Michael R. Burch married Elizabeth Harris in Warren, Arkansas on 6-27-1992.
1993: Michael R. Burch and Elizabeth Harris Burch have a son, Jeremy Michael
Burch. Burch's poems "The Desk," "Lullaby," "Passages on Fatherhood" and "A Real
Story," among others, would be written for his son.
Burch began submitting poems for publication after a long hiatus.
"Musings at Giza" was published by Golden Isis, "In the Whispering
Night" and "Moon Lake" by The Poetic Knight.
1994: "Lay Down Your Arms" was published by The Romanticist.
1997: Burch began to study the ancient Celtic legends that inspired the much
later, heavily Christianized legends of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of
the Round Table. He prefered the older stories and wrote a cycle of poems on the
subject, including "At Tintagel," "Truces" and "Isolde's Song." A number of
the poems were written on a single day, 7-13-1997. Burch thinks his poems are good
enough to be published, but where to submit them? Around this time he discovers
a book, Poet's Market, created by the poet Judson Jerome, that explains
which journals favor, rather than discriminate against, traditional poetry. He
decides to take another stab at publication ...
1998: Around this time Burch founds and creates
The HyperTexts, a literary website
which has had over 12 million page views, according to Google Analytics.
"Geode/Resemblance" was published by Poet Lore, "Righteous" by
Writer's Gazette, "Are You the Thief" and two other poems by Poetic
License/Monumental Moments, "Shadows" by Mind in Motion, "Enigma"
by mo jo risin' magazine, "State of the Art" and five other poems by
Tucumcari Poetry Review, and "Haunted" by The Laureate Letter.
"Keep Up" wins third prize and a medal in a poetry contest with
several thousand entries.
1999: "In Flight Convergence" finished in the top
ten of the big Writer's Digest
non-rhyming poetry contest (out of around 13,000 overall contest entries), then
was published by The Aurorean and
nominated for the Pushcart Prize. (Ironically, it was a rhyming
poem with eclectic line breaks that made it look like unrhymed free verse.)
"Once," "At Once," "Twice" and "The Leveler"
were published by The Lyric.
Jean Mellichamp Milliken, the editor of The Lyric, called Burch on the
phone to make sure his poems made the upcoming issue. Editors seldom call poets, so
that was a rare and encouraging event! "The Poet" was published by Icon, "Prophet" by
Penny Dreadful, "The Song of Amergin" by Songs of Innocence, "Ince
St. Child" by Piedmont Literary Review.
"Geode/Resemblance" was a finalist in the Penumbra poetry contest and
earned a special mention from the judge. "Salad Days" was published by
Lonzie's Fried Chicken. The poem would later be re-titled "Salat Days." Eight poems
published by Tucumcari Literary Review, including "For Rhonda, with
2000: "Abide" was published by Light Quarterly. "Tremble"
by The Lyric and later received an Honorable Mention in the 2000
Lyric Annual Awards, judged by Shakespearean scholar Caroline P. Chermside.
"Tremble" also won third prize in the Verses Magazine 2000 Nature
Competition. "Once" and "The Platypus" were published by Writer's Journal,
"Styx/Death" and "The Harvest of Roses" by The Raintown Review, "Loose
Knit" by Penumbra, "Moments" by Tucumcari Literary Journal, "Infinity,"
"Floating," "Mid-Summer Eve," "Shock" and "Nevermore!" by Penny Dreadful,
"At Tintagel" and "In the Whispering Night" by Songs of Innocence,
"Salad Days" by Harp-Strings Poetry Journal, and nineteen Celtic-themed
poems by Celtic Twilight, Celtic Lifestyles and
2001: Burch had the first five poems in the
inaugural issue of Romantics Quarterly,
which led off with "Goddess." Burch's villanelle "Ordinary Love" won the
Swinburne poetry award and a $100 prize, then was published and nominated for the Pushcart
Prize. Burch had seventeen poems in the first four issues of
Romantics Quarterly. "What the Poet Sees" and "The Locker" won Poem
Kingdom contests and small cash prizes. "Poetry" and "The Watch"
published by The Lyric, "The Composition of Shadows" by Iambs &
Trochees, "What the Poet Sees" by Byline, "Memory" by
Carnelian, and "Will There Be Starlight" by The Word (UK).
Four poems each appeared in The Bible of Hell,
Poetry Magazine and Unlikely Stories. "Flight 93" and four other
poems were published by Poetry Super Highway. Two poems appeared in
Ironwood, two in Poetic Reflections, three in Poetically
Speaking, four in Poetry Magazine.
2002: Burch wrote a how-to book for Practicum Strategies that earned
nearly $3,000 in royalties. "Pan" and "Imperfect Sonnet"
were published by
Poetry Porch. Four poems were read on the How Sweet the Night
poetry CD, published by Romantics Quarterly. "Redolence" appeared in
The New Formalist and "She Gathered Lilacs" in the Neovictorian/Cochlea.
"The Watch" and two other poems appeared in Carnelian. Burch
spotlight poet for and had eight poems in Triplopia. Four poems appeared in
The Eclectic Muse; editor Joe M. Ruggier recited one of the poems over
the phone to another editor. (Another rare event.) "Warming Her Pearls" and two other erotic poems
appeared in Erosha. Burch was the first featured poet with five poems in
Poetic Ponderings. Eight poems were published by the Net Poetry & Art
Competition, which asked Burch to serve as a judge. "She Was Very Strange, and
Beautiful" was published by Numbat (Australia). Nine poems appeared in two
issues of The Lyric, including "Frail Envelope of Flesh," "The Wonder Boys" and "Roses for a
Lover, Idealized." An early prose version of "Salat Days" won an honorable
mention in the 2002 Writer's Digest personal essay contest.
2003: "See" placed third out of 18,000 overall entries in the big Writer's
Digest poetry contest, while "At Wilfred Owen's Grave" placed seventh,
winning $475 together. Both poems appeared in Writer's Digest The Year's Best
Writing. "Distances" and "Fair Game" appeared in Verse Libre.
Seventeen poems and two reviews appeared in Romantics Quarterly. "At
Tintagel" was published by Fables.org, "Ordinary Love" by
Poetic Voices. "At Wilfred Owen's Grave" by Rogue
Scholars, "Violets" and four other poems by Muse Apprentice
Guild. Four poems appeared in the anthology The Birth of Crystals.
"The Peripheries of Love" earned second place in a poetry
contest, winning a silver medal. "She Was Very Strange, and Beautiful" placed
third in a People's Poet reader poll.
2004: "Auschwitz Rose" appeared in the Neovictorian/Cochlea. The poem
made Joe Ruggier jump out of his bus seat when he read it! (Yet another rare
event.) "The Composition of
Shadows" appeared in Contemporary Rhyme, "Neglect" and four other
poems in Mindful of Poetry, "The Folly of Wisdom" and five other
poems in Romantics Quarterly, "Neglect" and "Epitaph"
in Voices for Africa, "The Highest Atoll" in
IBPC News and Useless Knowledge, "Fahr an' Ice" in Light Quarterly,
eight poems in Poet's Haven,
three poems and a review in The Eclectic Muse (Canada).
2005: "Pan" and five other poems appeared in The Chariton Review, "Pity
Clarity" in Contemporary Rhyme and the Columbus Dispatch
newspaper, "Myth" and three other poems in the anthology There Is
Something in the Autumn, "Pfennig Postcard, Wrong Address" in the
Holocaust anthology Blood to Remember, "Ali's Song" and four other
poems in Black Medina, six poems in Nutty Stories
(South Africa), three in Triplopia, eight in The Eclectic Muse
(Canada), eleven in the Neovictorian/Cochlea. "Melting" is voted the best poem in
2006: "Isolde's Song" is published by
The Raintown Review and nominated for the Pushcart
Prize. "Excerpts from 'Poetry'" places fourth in the Margaret
Reid poetry contest, winning $100. A number of Burch's poems are translated into
Farsi and published in Iran. "Tremble" and "Brother Iran" appear in Farsi
translations by Dr. Mahnaz Badihian on MahMag (Iran). Six poems are
published by Kritya (India). Poetry Life & Times begins to
publish Burch's poems in volume. Thirty of Burch's poems are featured at
Famous Poets & Poems. Sixteen poems appear in Sonnetto Poesia
(Canada). "The Effects of Memory" is read as part of the Candlelight Reading
Series, on Valentine's Day. "U.S. Verse, After Auden" is published by
The Barefoot Muse, "Salat Days" as flash fiction in A
Flasher's Dozen, "Learning to Fly" in the anthology The
Book of Hopes and Dreams. Burch has three poems in The Centrifugal Eye,
five poems in Barbitos, four poems in a Katrina Anthology
and six poems in The Journals. "Indestructible, for Johnny Cash" is
published by Strong Verse. "Flight 93" appears in My Beautiful New
York. Four poems appear in the anthology Somewhere Along the Beaten
Path. "The Secret of Her Clothes" appears in the Velvet Avalanche
anthology. "The Composition of Shadows" is published by Candelabrum.
2007: "Break Time" finishes third in a Sonnet Writers poetry contest,
winning $50. "Leaf Fall" earns high distinction in the Tom Howard poetry contest
and wins $100. A children's poem "The Aery Faery Princess" appears in Whimsy.
Another children's poem, "The Dromedary," appears in Umbrella/Bumbershoot.
"For All That I Remembered" and "The Peripheries of Love" are translated into
Russian by Yelena Dubrovin and published by Gostinaya. Burch has three
poems in Thanal Online (India), four poems in the Anthology of
Contemporary American Poetry, four poems in the anthology Captivating
Poetry, five poems in Strange Road, three poems in Triplopia,
three poems in Freshet, and six poems in Other Voices International,
including the Holocaust poems "Cleansings" and "Auschwitz Rose." Poets for
Humanity publishes "Epitaph for a Darfur Child." Voices Israel
publishes "I Pray Tonight." (The poem will later go viral.) Deronda Review publishes "Leaf Fall,"
"Autumn Conundrum" and "Piercing the Shell." Nine poems are published by
homeless advocate, poet and artist Judy "Joy" Jones as part of an On the
Road with Judy interview. "Poetry" appears in the anthology Sailing in
the Mist of Time.
2008: "Discrimination" is published by
Trinacria and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
"Mother's Smile" places first in a Penguin Books (UK) Valentine's Day poetry contest and
appears in the anthology Poems for Big Kids. Comasia Aquaro translates
"For All That I Remembered" and "Isolde's Song" into Italian. "Homeless Us" is
published by Street Spirit. Fullosia Press publishes "Flight
93" and two other poems. Jewish Letter publishes Russian translations
by Vera Zubarev of "Leaf Fall" and other poems. Two poems appear in Deronda
Review and Voices Israel, three in Freshet and The
Eclectic Muse (Canada), four in Trinacria, six in Poetry Life
2009: Burch's letter opposing torture is published
by TIME and quite possibly read by millions.
Burch publishes Richard Moore's last essay, "A Life." Burch's tribute poem "Kin
(for Richard Moore)" is published by Able Muse. The Boston Globe
cites Burch's interviews with Richard Moore in his obituary. "Auschwitz Rose" is
published by Verse Weekly. "Leaf Fall" appears in The Raintown
Review, now being edited by Anna Evans. Burch begins writing letters to the
editor of The Tennessean; three of his first four letters earn three
stars (the highest rating). He will have over a hundred letters published by the
the next decade. He also has a letter in one of the world's largest-circulation
newspapers, The Hindu. Burch has two poems in Light, two in
The Lyric, two in The Chimaera, three in Freshet,
three in Lucid Rhythms.
2010: Burch authors the Burch-Elberry Peace
Initiative for Israel/Palestine and it is published by United Progressives and
the National Forum of India, among others. Burch has five
letters in Nashville's City Paper and is invited to become a regular
columnist, which he accepts. He has one letter in USA Today, three
in The Washington Times, and 35 more in The Tennessean. Burch's
essay on Formal Poetry is translated into Vietnamese and published by Ai Huu
Ninh Thuan. His poem "Epitaph" goes viral and is published 400 times before
he loses track. Stremez publishes five Macedonian translations
by Marija Girevska. Fullosia Press publishes twenty poems and essays.
Litera (UK) publishes seventeen poems. Poems About publishes thirty
poems. Burch has three poems in Freshet, six in Trinacria, and
six more in The New Formalist.
2011: "Just Smile" is published by
Victorian Violet Press and nominated for the
Pushcart Prize. This is Burch's fifth Pushcart nomination.
Fullosia Press publishes 29 poems and articles. Six letters are published
by the Knoxville News Sentinel. Forty letters and articles are
published by the Nashville City Paper. Twenty-seven poems are published
by Inspirational Stories, six by Trinacria, six by
Victorian Violet Press, five by The Eclectic Muse (Canada), three by
The Flea, two by The Lyric. "For Rhonda, with Butterflies" is
nominated for a Best of the Net award by Victorian Violet Press.
2012: Burch's first poetry collection,
Violets for Beth, is published by White Violet
Press. Burch has two poems in the first issue of Angle.
Six poems are published by Poem Today, six by Victorian Violet
Press, eight by Artvilla, eight by Poet's Corner
including a translation of "Caedmon's Hymn," ten by
The Eclectic Muse (Canada), fifteen by Fullosia Press. Five
letters appear in the Knoxville News Sentinel, eight in The
Tennessean. Burch's "bowlers" joke is published by the Washington Post.
"Come!" earns fifth place in the 2012 Writer's Digest Rhyming Poetry
contest, winning $50. "Hiroshima Shadows" is translated to
Thai and published in Thailand, Japan and New Zealand.
2013: Burch's second poetry collection,
O, Terrible Angel, is published by Ancient
Cypress Press. Burch's translation of Rilke's "Autumn Day"
appears in Measure, along with his translations of the Anglo-Saxon poem
"Wulf and Eadwacer" and the Middle English poem "How Long the Night." Eight poems appear in Boston Poetry Magazine, eleven in
FreeExpression (Australia), twelve in Complete Classics, twelve in
Poems About, fourteen in Poetry in Progress, five in
Fullosia Press, four in Shot Glass Journal. "Willy Nilly" appears
in The Road Not Taken, "Lean Harvests" in The Rotary
Dial. Thirty letters and/or
articles appear in the Nashville City Paper. Ten letters appear in
2014: Burch publishes his translations or modernizations of Scots dialect poems
by Robert Burns, and they quickly go viral. By now Burch's poems are going viral so frequently that he seldom bothers to
submit poems to traditional publishers. "Epitaph," "Neglect," "Something," and
"Auschwitz Rose" are among his most popular poems on the Internet, along with
his translations of Basho, Bede, Bertolt Brecht, Robert Burns, Caedmon, Thomas
Chatterton, Deor, William Dunbar, Ahmad Faraz, Atilla Ilhan, Allama Iqbal, Ono
no Komachi, Rainer Maria Rilke, Sappho, Thomas Wyatt, and various Urdu and
anonymous Anglo-Saxon poets.
2015: Jasper Sole does YouTube readings of "Something," "Moments" and "Enigma."
Promosaik (Denmark) publishes six poems. Poem Today publishes
four poems. Life & Legends publishes three poems. Asses of
Parnassus publishes "Nun Fun Undone" and a Sappho translation. Brief
Poems publishes a Sappho translation. AZquotes publishes fourteen
Trump jokes and epigrams.
2016: BBC Radio 3 publishes fourteen Sappho translations. Two of
Burch's Trump jokes are published on CNN.com. A number of other jokes go viral
and are published on various "best Trump joke" pages. Asses of Parnassus
publishes six poems. Better Than Starbucks publishes four poems.
Brief Poems publishes six poems. "Conformists of a Feather" wins first
place in the National Poetry Month Couplet Competition. "Pilgrim's Fealty"
finishes second in a quatrain contest. "Isolde's Song" is published by The
Orchards. Comasia Aquaro translates four poems into Italian and publishes
them in La Luce Che Non Muore. Glass Facets of Poetry
publishes five poems. "Child of 9-11" and an essay appear in Elephant
2017: Burch's mock "Trump Inauguration Speech" is published by the
Washington Post, earning some raves and a special mention by the editor in
charge of the competition. Burch is the Spotlight Author of the bilingual
literary journal Setu for the month of March, 2017. "I Pray Tonight" is
set to music and played at a benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane
Harvey, helping to raise $8,000 in aid.
2018: "Auschwitz Rose" is published by the European Union Erasmus Project and is
studied by advanced students from multiple member nations. "Ebb Tide" appears in Southwest Review, earning $50. Burch's googleyup "Does your virginity grow back?" earns second place in a
Washington Post contest. (This had more to do with "thinking outside the
box" than writing.) AZquotes has now published more than 40 poems
and epigrams. Brief Poems publishes 15 poems, including translations of
Sappho, Basho and Ono no Komachi. Better Than Starbucks publishes five
original poems and five translations, including a translation of Adi Wolfson's
environmental poem "Bureaucracy." Blue Unicorn publishes "Styx"
Possible Argument for Mercy" is accepted for publication by First Things.
2019: Better Than Starbucks publishes "Salat Days" and three Native
American translations. Bewildering Stories publishes five poems,
including Holocaust poetry translations of Paul Celan's "Death Fugue" and "O,
Little Root." Poem Today publishes three haiku translations. Six poems
are translated into Hungarian by István Bagi and published by Versforditas
(Hungary). "If You Come to San Miguel" is published by Muddy River Poetry
Review. "Excerpts from the Journal of Dorian Gray" is published by Dusk
& Shiver Magazine. PoemSeeker.com publishes 32 poems. Engpoetry.com
publishes 25 poems. Oxford University called The HyperTexts "dynamic
and challenging" with a "different approach" to poetry, on its ARCH resource
page for the Arts & Humanities. The full entry can be read here.
"How Can We End Ethnic Cleansing Forever?" is studied by a class taught by
Michael Seeger. More than a
hundred Burch poems have gone viral at this point. YouTube videos by Lillian Y.
Wong of "Ali's Song," "Something" and "Survivors" have several thousand views
Michael R. Burch Related Pages:
Epigrams and Quotes