Poetry and PROSE


Charles Coe's poetry and prose have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, and his poems have been set to music by composers Julia Carey, Beth Denisch, and Robert Moran. Coe also writes feature articles, book reviews, and interviews for Harvard MagazineNortheastern University Law Review, and Best American Poetry. He is also a jazz vocalist, performing and recording throughout New England.


New Book!

Memento Mori

A meditation on mortality, change and loss, by turns somber, thoughtful, and humorous.
Momento Mori observes our human condition through a poetic kaleidoscope, with glimpses of irony and humor that offer a refreshing contrast to the more difficult moments. Coe is a storyteller who writes with compassion, insight and a razor-sharp eye for detail. 


Picnic on the moon

Known for his powerful readings and unusually warm and compassionate voice, Charles Coe's poems speak to the heart and mind as well as the ear. Combining subjects as diverse as Afro-American history, myth, jazz, and family as well as surprising observations of those unexpected moments of joy to be found in a work-a-day inner city life, Coe offers us poems as personal as the tale of a sister who opened his life to literature and closed her own with dope; as quietly momentous as the story of Rosa Parks. Here are poems for Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Mingus alongside a haunting homage to the 'guests' of a battered women's shelter. Above all, Coe's poems touch upon what is essential in us all and speak of life as a gift that is far from perfect but all we have.


All Sins Forgiven Poems for my parents

"Coe writes about his parents with warmth, insight, and grace . . . with celebration as well as regret. A collection that captures the tenderness and intimacy within the black family. His words construct a path from the innocence of childhood into the winter of aging. His book will outlive much of the poetry being written today."
—E. Ethelbert Miller


SPIN cycles

Brilliant, homeless and nearly invisible, a young man wanders through Boston, looking for meaning and hope. Extreme mood swings and an unusual outlook on life make it impossible for him to thrive in mainstream society. He finds comfort in laundromats, where he calms himself by watching clothes tumble round and round and round. And in the streets he finds other people like himself, below the radar, laboring to survive. Poignant and buoyant, Spin Cycles is a story of loss, discovery, and, just possibly, redemption.

The Gemma Open Door Series features storytelling by best-selling authors and important voices for new readers. A story doesn’t have to be big to change ‎our world‎.‎ ‎

Spin Cycles reminds us, as the best fiction always does, that every person has a story to tell. Touching and beautiful.
— William Martin, "Back Bay" and "The Lincoln Letters"