CMarie Fuhrman reads "Beargrass"

CMarie Fuhrman’s poem “Beargrass,” performed by the poet. “Beargrass” is the seventh film in Above Strands of Earth: Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation at Tippet Rise, a film series produced in collaboration with and the Academy of American Poets.

Directed by Matthew Thompson and filmed onsite at Tippet Rise Art Center.


You cannot know this yet
but it is the last hike you will ever take
with your dog. She is old. And though
she will try to jump,
as she always has,
over streams, even fallen trees,
you will have to lift her,
challenging your own aging
body and carry both selves over.

When she is in your arms, at first
obstinant, then relenting,
pressed to your own beast heart, you bury
your face into the wilderness
of her and smell rain, soil, pine,
and the first time you saw her
and how she ran circles around you
and the other dog, the now buried
beneath the mountain ash dog,
to prove you were hers.

You remember
your joy bounding with her
though fields wet of spring camas,
her brave stance against bears, moose,
but not the badger. This should be harder.
Heavier. This armful of seventeen years
should seem like a burden to carry
these last few steps. When finally
you must put her down

she shakes you off like pollen
from the beargrass bloom nose high
you stopped to smell together. Once

released to the earth, she won’t look back.
It is as if she only ever wanted you
to feel needed, special.
Look at her, loping ahead as if there is nothing
to fear, as if there is nothing
you cannot overcome without her.

CMarie Fuhrman

Photo by Matthew Thompson

CMarie Fuhrman

Poet, non-fiction writer, and educator CMarie Fuhrman was born in Colorado. She grew up closely connected to the living world around her; as she told Western Colorado University, “When [her] parents told stories, nature was a character.” Fuhrman, who is of Southern Ute and Italian heritage, earned a BA in English and creative writing and an MFA in poetry and creative nonfiction from the University of Idaho. She also holds degrees in administration of justice, exercise physiology, and Indigenous studies.

Fuhrman is the author of the chapbook Camped Beneath the Dam: Poems (Floodgate, 2020) and co-editor of the anthologies Native Voices: Indigenous Poetry, Conversation, and Craft (Tupelo, 2019) and Cascadia: A Field Guide Through Art, Ecology, and Poetry (Mountaineers Press, 2023). Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in journals including Emergence Magazine, Poetry Northwest, Platform Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Cutthroat, Whitefish Review, Northwest Review, Broadsided Press, Taos International Journal of Poetry and Art, as well as several anthologies.

A recipient of the Burns Award for Poetry and a Grace Paley Fellowship, Fuhrman has taught and led workshops at many schools, universities, and institutions, including the University of Idaho, the University of Montana, Boise State University, Hudson Valley Writers Center, Blue River Writers Conference, and Hugo House. She has held residencies at Port Townsend Writers Conference, Bloedel Reserve, and Storyknife. She serves on the boards of Tupelo Press, Idaho Center for the Book, and Broadsided Press.

Fuhrman is a regular columnist for the Inlander, as well as translations editor for Broadsided Press and creative non-fiction editor for both High Desert Journal and Upstreet. She also directs the Elk River Writers Workshop. Currently, Fuhrman is Director of Poetry for Western Colorado University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, where she also teaches nature writing. She is the 2021–2023 Idaho Writer in Residence. Fuhrman resides in the mountains of West Central Idaho with her partner, Caleb, and their two dogs, Carhartt and Cisco.

Discover more on CMarie Fuhrman

Text: Read “Kokanee” by Fuhrman at Terrain
Video: Fuhrman performs at a reading for Great River Review
Audio: Fuhrman reads her essay “Coyote Story” for Emergence Magazine Podcast