Llyn Clague
About Llyn Clague
My commitment to poetry began, perhaps curiously, by working my way through poems, word by word – even syllable by syllable – in foreign languages, rather than in English. The early impact of the great German, French and Russian poets has been a lasting influence on my work. My career has been in the corporate world, rather than academia.

Mornings I walk a golden retriever whose nose does far more thorough research than I ever did as a graduate student, and I play tennis with the hopelessly optimistic attitude of actually getting better even as I get older. Thus, nose as it were to the ground and imagination soaring, daily I receive powerful stimulants to poetic thinking.

I live and work in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and in summers on Lake Winnisquam in New Hampshire, always overlooking woods and water. In addition to contributing poems to literary magazines, for 5 years I was co-managing editor of Inprint.

My Poems have appeared in Main Street Rag, New York Quarterly, Ibbetson Street, Wisconsin Review, and other magazines.

Books in Print

 Selected and Edited
 Published 2007

On Becoming a Poet Full Time
 Published 2008
 Painting Sin
 Published 2008

Mali Poems
 Published 2009

Glass Door Knob
 Published 2010


The I in India and US
 Published 2012

Hard-Edged and Childlike
 Published 2014


Clague’s Confessions is a delicious six-course feast. As a poet, he’s approachable; readers can relate to Clague and the life experience he shares. As a man, he’s vulnerable, humorous, and self-effacing. As a reader and reviewer who enjoys poetry, I found the combination of humor and vulnerability to be delightful. -Review by Laurel Johnson, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Comments from Readers on CONFESSIONS

“ … incredibly written. I hung on every word. I am filled with awe and respect for your ability to write as you do”

“a deliciously available, humorous and often poignant look at the process of ego and how we catch glimpses of ourselves in relation to our Universe”

More comments . . .

In Llyn Clague’s second book of poetry, he continues the explorations begun in the first. Inward visions expand outward to include the world, the universe.

To Clague, poetry represents a new-found philosophy, a way of life, a creative process that soothes the frazzled edges of our human rat race.
-Review by Laurel Johnson, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Llyn Clague devotes his fourth book of poetry to memories of a trip to Mali. He’s carried these poetic images back with him in his heart: the fragrance of bamboo and jasmine; roads mauled by rains and baked by sun; the wide smiles of a beautiful, joyful people. The eloquent “Prologue” poem brings readers into Clague’s creative thought process:

Ask at the outset:
why a passel of poems
about a trip to Mali?
Isn’t it about the grit and flower of the world,
not the acrobatics of language?
…the essence of a trip abroad
is in the soft implosion at a child’s smile,
the needle-like eureka! at the why
of a strange custom, and the hollow in the belly
at how some fellow humans pass their lives –
what happens when the external world
hits us.

Clague accompanies the fortunate readers of this book as our poetic guide through scenes that vibrate like shimmering sunlight. The delightful giggle of a Malian child, the spinning of colorful garments and communal firing of pottery, the cacophony of open air markets, all come alive through Clague’s skillfully woven words. If you’ve never been to Mali, these poems will transport you there. 

-Review by Laurel Johnson, Senior Reviewer,
Midwest Book Review

Comments from Readers on Glass Door Knob

"This collection is Clague at his best."  

"His poems are, by turn, whimsical, euphoric, poignant, and wistful."  "

A must-read -- and what a joy!"

Comments from Readers on 
The I in India and US

"Llyn Clague's India poems show his keen and often irreverent powers of observation that evoke both the sensory and spiritual aspects of that fascinating culture." 

"The vitality, even visceral quality of Clague's writing shows through in every verse."  

"An adventure of discovery -- of the other, of the self."

Review of Hard-Edged and Childlike

“America’s poetry is hard-edged and childlike;

it is passion with critical intelligence –

it is poetry of the spirit.” 

I’ve quoted the last three lines of the last poem in Llyn Clague’s latest book for a reason, because every word preceding them proves that final point.  Brilliantly, he carefully constructs each memory and metaphor with heart and spirit.  The results are sassy, sexy, sardonic, and sumptuous.

The poems here are intense and intimate as Clague contrasts ancient and modern sorrows – such as endless cycles of unimaginable poverty and greedy elitists – or casts a critical eye at war, politicians, hypocrites, and himself. For example: “God Resigns” is satirical humor at its best; “America and World Were One” is a sad, nostalgic view of life as it has become; and “The Checkout Girl” is a modern litany of struggle and determination.

Clague pulls no punches here.  He poetically pokes and nags at politicians, rips and tears at human foibles large and small, and happily besmirches iconic idols of our day.  While reading, my spirit alternately wept and laughed, raged and sighed in tandem with Clague’s.  This is a modern commentary that poetry lovers will appreciate on many levels.  Highly recommended.

-Review by Laurel Johnson, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review