Brent Christiansen


Brent Christianson was born and raised in LaCrosse. He attended and received degrees from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa and Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. He has been the Director of the Lutheran Campus Center, Madison, Wisconsin, since 1993. He lives in Madison with his wife, Rebecca. He has won the first prize and the third prize of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Triad contest and is awaiting the day he wins the second prize, to complete the circuit. He has workshopped with Laurel Yourke, Paisley Rekdal, Terrance Hayes and Michael Dennis Browne.



for Tim

Men are killed.
At first it really gets you
but the longer in country
you learn not to look
There are other things
to see.

But I wish,
when a guy was dying, 
I would have held him
for a minute
to let him know
that life would survive,
that something
in this goddamned world
was okay.

I didn’t.

Published in Against Agamemnon 2009

Rhubarb Wine

If it is ‘just like chardonnay’
why don’t I just buy chardonnay
for four dollars less a bottle
without the fuss of the vintner
whose face lights up
like a freshman with a fake ID
as he tells me that the Blueberry Wine
is just like Merlot (which costs less too)
and the Black Currant wine
will remind me of a good Cabernet.
Everything is like something else.
I am like Brett Favre if you ignore
the flab and look at the whiskers—
if the angle is right, your glasses are off,
I am just like him.
And the fog and drizzle of March
is just like Edinburgh—
you can’t see the castle or Arthur’s Seat
because of the weather, but they’re there;
and the poem I’m writing
is like the one that won you the Fulbright,
what with the line divisions
and similes like raisins in the cake
and a metaphor that holds its own.

Published in Main Channel Voices Fall 2006