Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Debra Bruce  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: Albany, New York

-- Debra Bruce on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Bruce is with the English Department at Northwestern Illinois University. She resides in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information


Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Pure daughter: Poems
ISBN: 0938626213

University of Arkansas Press. 1983

Book by Bruce, Debra

Sudden Hunger
ISBN: 0938626817

Univ of Arkansas Pr. 1987

This is a book about desire: hunger for food and for the sensuality of physical life, for emotional communion, and for an understanding of the full meaning of life. ln the opening poem, an Athenian wife in the 5th century B.C. speaks with both rage and sexual longing for her indifferent, philandering husband, in another, a woman breaks a family taboo in seeking to know why her aging aunt never married, in another, an old woman in a nursing home tries to ask a young priest why God keeps her alive, lt is also a book about forms the forms and rituals of the human body, of food, flowers, and weather, and the forms in nature that continually break out of themselves while our own emotional lives are held in check, while one by one wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and lovers experience sudden hunger to make contact, to under- stand. This book is about the tension be- tween that hunger and the forms that try to contain it‘ That tension, skillfully balanced by one of the most exciting po

What Wind Will Do: Poems (Miami University Press Poetry Series)
ISBN: 1881163180

Miami University Press. 1997

Debra Bruce writes about people holding tighter to what hasn't been stripped away. In the first poem, a woman tells her husband about her dangerous happiness as she survives another spring since breast cancer, taking pleasure in the season and in the renewal of their sexual intimacy. A sonnet sequence chronicles the exuberant and desperate efforts of a couple to conceive a child. An aging father considers the uncertain survival of a hundred-year old oak broken by a storm -- the damage done, what wind will do.These poems never stop trying to reconcile the unreliability of our lives with the certainty of what makes them worth living. Marriage, children, connection to other people, and ordinary pleasures become the heaviest counterweights we can offer.


Carl Sandburg Award for

Sudden Hunger

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)