Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Tessa Rumsey

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Name  Tessa Rumsey
Education  University of Iowa
Role  Poet
Tessa Rumsey httpspicslibrarythingcompicsizes8b448b443
Books  The return message, Assembling the Shepherd: Poems

Tessa Rumsey is an American poet.



She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and of the Visual Criticism department at California College of the Arts.

Her poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, The New Republic. She lives in San Francisco.


  • 1998 Contemporary Poetry Series Competition, for Assembling the Shepherd
  • 2004 Barnard Women Poets Prize
  • Works

  • "Everlasting Gobstopper", Slope 10
  • "June Inside You", Electronic Poetry Review, Spring 2001
  • "April Fools", Electronic Poetry Review, Spring 2001
  • Assembling the Shepherd. University of Georgia Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0-8203-2168-4. 
  • The Return Message. W W Norton & Co Inc. 2006. ISBN 978-0-393-32913-1. 
  • Bulletproof. University of Iowa. 1994. 
  • Ploughshares

  • "Wilderness Is Everywhere". Ploughshares. Winter 2001–2002. 
  • "Copperopolis". Ploughshares. Winter 2001–2002. 
  • "Headset". Ploughshares. Winter 2001–2002. 
  • Review

    In The Return Message, Tessa Rumsey composes herself in the aftermath of “a love affair that ended badly.” Behind every lyric is a debris field of emotional wreckagebetrayal, miscarriage, broken engagement. Even the “cherry blossoms” are “caught. / Inside the static loop of loss.” If “all forms of landscape are autobiographical,” as Charles Wright once suggested, then what we have here in the “mountain streams of No-Where” is the poet at an impasse. But bleak as that seems, The Return Message is not mired in the morbidly confessional; whatever her personal losses, Rumsey investigates the idea of love from a philosophical perspective. Rather than croon about heartache, she seeks ontological answers: if romance is only a biological impulse, then why, after intercourse, do I still long for my partner? “Does the soulexist?”


    Tessa Rumsey Wikipedia