Winter 2006 • Vol. XXVIII No. 1 Writing in Code: Literature and the Genome |

Gene Mapping

Imagine recovering a box of letters addressed to your father.At first, the language is lost, written in the code of old lovers:nicknames, allusion, errors in the script. The woman, with her closed ovals and counterstrokes,has something to hide. She will not offer the easy detailsof initial encounter—small talk, skirted vision, hemlines—but if you read her movement, bookmarkthe pattern, you'll trace the message for the placementof the heart, the blueprint for blue eyes.

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Photo of Beth Bachmann

Beth Bachmann is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and author of three books in the Pitt Poetry Series: Temper, winner of the Association of Writers & Writing Program’s Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and Claremont Graduate University’s Kate Tufts Discovery Award; Do Not Rise, winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award; and CEASE, winner of the Virginia Quarterly Review’s Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry (fall 2018). She lives in New York City.

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Roots

By Beth Bachmann

Imagine recovering a box of letters addressed to your father.At first, the language is lost, written in the code of old lovers:nicknames, allusion, errors in the script. The woman, with […]

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