Photo Credit: Joe Gaffney

Martine Bellen

Current City, State, Country

Queens, New York, USA

Birth City, State, Country

Brooklyn, New York, USA


Martine Bellen’s most recent poetry collection is An Anatomy of Curiosity (MadHat Press, 2023). She is the author of nine other books, including This Amazing Cage of Light: New and Selected Poems (Spuyten Duyvil), The Vulnerability of Order (Copper Canyon Press), and Tales of Murasaki and Other Poems, which won the National Poetry Series. Bellen is the librettist for the following operas that have been performed throughout the United States: Ovidiana, based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses (composer, Matthew Greenbaum), AH! Opera No-Opera (in collaboration with David Rosenboom), and Moon in the Mirror (composer: Stephen Dembski and text cowriter: Zhang Er). Bellen’s poetry has been translated into Chinese, German, and Italian, among other languages. She has been a recipient of the City Artist Corps Grant, Queens Art Fund, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Fund for Poetry, and has received a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation at the Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy.

What is the relationship between Judaism and/or Jewish culture and your poetry?

My grandparents migrated to Canada and the U.S. from Eastern Europe in the early 1900’s to escape anti-Semitic violence and poverty. I have always identified as culturally Jewish because of the stories and traditions that have been passed down through family. Presently, I am a Buddhist practitioner. Questions pertaining to how I can serve others is at the heart of my poetry, as it is at the heart of Judaism and Buddhism.

Published Works

An Anatomy of Curiosity (MadHat Press, 2023)
This Amazing Cage of Light: New and Selected Poems (Spuyten Duyvil, 2015)
WABAC Machine (Furniture Press Books, 2013)
Ghosts! (Spuyten Duyvil, 2011)
Further Adventure of the Monkey God (Spuyten Duyvil, 2006)
Magic Musée, Hans Balmes, trans. (Verlag im Waldgut, 2003)
The Vulnerability of Order (Copper Canyon Press, 2001).
Tales of Murasaki and Other Poems (Sun & Moon Press, 1999)
Places People Dare Not Enter (Potes & Poets Press, 1991)

Mothers, Daughters & Nightbirds, (Beard of Bees Press, 2009)
Malka’s Secret Delivery (G-O-N-G Press, 2005)
NYC Stories (Belladonna, 2005)
10 Greek Poems (Dim Gray Bar Press, 1996)
Paradox Box (A.K.A. Press, 1990)
Salt in a Saltless Land (Lines Press, 1989)

2X SQUARED (BlazeVox, 2010)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading


Bard College and Hunter College, B.A.
Brown University, Poetry, M.F.A.
Hunter College, TESOL, M.A.

Subject Matter