Category / Essays and Comment

Essays and Comment: Piotr Flor…

                  The Miłosz Festival, which takes place in the city of Kraków over four days during the second week of June each year, prides itself on being the largest event of its

Essays and Comment: Mark Scrog…

Why Swinburne? (An Open Letter) Dear B——, The other night at the bar, when I had just gotten in from the street and we had barely started the first round, you asked, “Why Swinburne?” The long version of that question

Essays and Comment: Alexander…

Poetry, Sentimentality, and the Laugh Track Compulsion   The Anglo-Saxon world – many would say mercifully – never brought forth anything quite like Alphonse de Lamartine. Lamartine’s Méditations poétiques of 1820, a bestseller well beyond anything today’s poets could ever

Essays and Comment: Robert Arc…

The Poem in White Space   White space comes first, for the poet and the reader.  I don’t mean anything as interesting as the idea that poetry exists primarily in the space of whiteness, conceived as a racial identity, as

Essays and Comment: Amish Tri…

Taylor Swift is a Barbarian, or: Stephanie Burt’s Defense of Poetry   In November 2017, Cosmopolitan published an interview with Stephanie Burt in which Burt critiqued poems Taylor Swift had included in “magazines” packaged with her latest album, Reputation. In

Essays and Comment: T.R. Humme…

intr. Of an army, troops, etc.: to fall back or give ground, esp. when confronted by a superior force; to retreat.   As a poet, I’ve been a lot of people. I don’t mean that I have written from the perspective

Essays and Comment: Gerard Man…

What happens, then, when such a unique type of language is transplanted into a completely different linguistic code? In other words, how does the poetry of Hopkins manage to take flight—as vigorously as it does in its “original”—in other languages

Essays and Comment: Transatlan…

Transatlanticism is a rather quaint notion. Outmoded even. the transatlantic traffic between the UK and American that defined twentieth century poetics – the figures of T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden straddling the Atlantic like some sort of twin

Essays and Comment: David Woja…

AT THAT URGE FOR MORE LIFE: ADVENTURES IN LO-REZ  (Part 2) Let me now talk about what happens in one of my letters to students, beyond the anecdotes and exchanges of pleasantries. Typically, a letter first addresses questions students may

Essays and Comment: David Woj…

                AT THAT URGE FOR MORE LIFE:   ADVENTURES IN LO-REZ (PART ONE)                                                             Let me start with a poem by the late Galway Kinnell, a figure much revered among readers of contemporary poetry, although he

Essays and Comment: Michael G…

Angels on Second Avenue: The Lower East Side When Poetry Was the World   At the start of the 1960s, the Lower East Side transformed itself—from a Jewish ghetto that was still peopled with immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe—into

Essays and Comment: Kathy Lou …

Teaching African American Poetry in the Age of Trump   Poetry can’t change the world. The world where we witness horrors from the dismissal of every child’s right to receive a quality education and live in a safe environment, to

Essays and Comment: Mark Scrog…

Poetry as Wallpaper: In  (Ambiguous) Praise of Low-Intensity Poetics   There are many William Morrises. For Marxists, he is a central figure in nineteenth-century English radicalism, author of a number of still riveting essays on labor and art and the

The Golden Age of Poetry Blogg…

“Blogspot was our Montparnasse” – Robert Archambeau The era of poetry blogging was a brief one, more like a moment than an era. It was preceded, in the 1990s, by the SUNY Buffalo Poetics List, founded according to its archival