Alison Luterman | The Sun Magazine

Alison Luterman


Alison Luterman lives, works, and coaches other writers from a hundred-year-old house in Oakland, California. For the past few years she’s been learning basic music theory and how to play piano and sing. She’s slowly making progress.

— From April 2024

Pink Suede Boots

Decades old now, / but the leather’s held up, and the curve / of the instep is still elegant. / I gave them away to my goddaughter, sixteen / and blossoming.

April 2024
The Dog-Eared Page

Poetry By Sparrow And Alison Luterman

When I worked as a manuscript reader for The Sun, I didn’t always agree with founder and editor Sy Safransky about poetry. . . . But there were two poets whose work always appealed to both of us: the Bay Area poet and essayist Alison Luterman and New York City’s kindest oddball, Sparrow. . . . It’s my honor to introduce both poets, whose rewarding, divergent work has been crucial in shaping the voice and image of The Sun for decades.

— Ann Humphreys

July 2023


Because my car is twenty years old / and the gizmo that goes ding ding ding / when you leave the lights on / has been busted for at least a decade, / I’m always contending with a comatose battery.

September 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Hard Times

After that incident I sorted people into two categories: those who could sing and those who couldn’t. I was now relegated to the land of Couldn’t, an exile from the country of music.

April 2022

A Few Days After My First Vaccine

Walking by the lake, I lose an earring / and don’t even notice it at first, / overwhelmed as I am / by the strangeness of everything.

October 2021

Access Road

I don’t know if other people feel like there’s a life / running alongside their so-called real life like an / access road runs alongside the main highway.

June 2021

Being Wrong

One of the great / unheralded joys of late / middle age is the mind-popping / sensation / of how many things / I’ve been wrong about, / starting with sex, / my parents, / and the meaning of the word / bruschetta

April 2021
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Fire All Around

Even though we all breathed the smoke from the destruction of the town of Paradise in 2018 — breathed in their burning cars, homes, animals, and bodies — it was still happening “over there” to “other people.”

January 2021

The Debate

I’m listening to my father and his brother, / both in their eighties, debate their childhood / from adjoining La-Z-Boy recliners. / “We had no toys,” my father insists. / “What are you talking about, no toys?” / My uncle practically leaps from his chair

December 2020

Braiding His Hair

Here we are each morning: / my husband on our old kitchen chair, its upholstery / while I comb out his long / wheat-colored hair.

October 2020

Already True

A Selection Of Poetry For These Times

July 2020


I’m trying to work at this coffee shop / while a young woman with blue hair / and chiseled biceps, two tables away, / holds forth about how no one / should ever take medication / for anxiety and depression

March 2020
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