Cherry Pickman (June 2017) received her BA from the University of Florida, where she studied English, with a focus in poetry writing. In 2009, she received her MFA in poetry writing from Columbia University, where she worked most closely with Timothy Donnelly, Mark Strand, and Lucie Brock-Broido.
Her work is detail-oriented and focused in the specific. While, for the most part, she eschews traditional forms, her poetry is highly governed by sound—not typically through end rhymes, but often internal half rhymes and the overall rhythm of the poem. She sometimes invents and adheres to certain forms—usually when working on a series of poems—in order to push and explore the efficacy of the line (and line breaks). These invented forms act as both a way of unifying and intentionally disrupting the poems. Although her poems are not narrative, they do contain persistent themes, such as isolation versus connection, claustrophobia, and temporality. Other unifying elements of her work come from recurring images, particularly stemming from nature: the ocean, geological formations, birds, and specific flora.
Her work has appeared in 32 Poems, American Poetry Journal, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Dossier, Indiana Review, Jai-Alai Magazine, The Laurel Review, Maggy, and West Branch, among others. Her collection, Theory of Tides, was chosen by Lucia Perillo for the Poetry Society of America’s 2012 Chapbook Fellowship. Her work was featured in Jai-Alai books’ anthology, Eight Miami Poets (2015). Additionally, Ms. Pickman has been shortlisted for the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and has been a finalist for the Snowbound Chapbook Competition, The Missouri Review Editors Prize; and, most recently, her full-length collection, Islanders, was a semi-finalist for the Alice James Book Award.