Lisa Silverberg Starr, founder of the Block Island Poetry Project, divides her time among a variety of interests, her family, and her passion for poetry.
The Poet Laureate of Rhode Island from 2008-2013, a two-time recipient of the Rhode Island fellowship for poetry, a former college instructor, waitress, freelance writer and publicist, Lisa has published three full-length collections of poetry: Days of Dogs and Driftwood (1993), This Place Here (2001), and Mad with Yellow (2009). Her individual works appear in journals and publications around the country. With her two children, Orrin and Millie (both high school students), Lisa owns and operates the Hygeia House, along with the love of a dog, Brother, and a cat, Jules.
The Block Island Poetry Project provides a way for her to combine her seemingly disparate vocations as poet and innkeeper with her love for the land and devotion to building community.
► Lisa's origami micro-chapbook and selected poem are below.
Not only are permanent goodbyes the worse,
but it is also one of the most horrible things
about life in general.
Excerpt from a student’s essay, written,
by the author’s choice,
on saying good-bye.
For A Student In My Basic Writing Class
May I just say that I love you, Lauren Lonucci
and that somehow your paper made me weep?
You will find the words, eventually,
you will learn to live with grief.
Surely, your diction will improve.
But your heart — your heart is home already.
My young friend, you got this sentence wrong
about eight different ways,
but that bit about permanent good-byes —
A+, A+, A+.
Lisa Starr © 2010