Essays and Comment

  • Sexy Beast: The Song of Solomon by Barbara Hamby

    Barbara Hamby combines exemplary exegetical skills with colorful commentary in her analysis of the biblical poem, The Song of Songs in her essay  titled “Sexy Beast, The Song of Solomon.”
    Plume Issue #150 February 2024
  • On Reading with an a Open Heart by Alpay Ulku

    The Cold War was very much a presence and so was the Second World War.
    Issue #149 January 2024
  • Why I Write; An essay by Dorianne Laux

    I am still hard at work on this project of the self.
    Issue #148 December 2023
  • Girl Talk: How a Sumerian Princess Jumpstarted Poetry by Barbara Hamby

    When I was a girl, I’d fantasize about the lives of biblical women—Queen Esther, Ruth, Jezebel, Bathsheba, the Queen of Sheba, Mary Magdalene.
    Issue #147 November 2023
  • Rhythm Benders: The Musicality of American Poetry by Michael Simms

    A poem is rooted in the rhythms of pulse, breath and movement.
    Issue #146 October 2023
  • Emanuel’s Elegies: “Something about art/ And its opportunities” by Deborah Bogen

    Emanuel’s Elegies: “Something about art/ And its opportunities” Lynn Emanuel is the author of three books of poems, none of which can be described simply as “a collection of poems.” They are poems making an argument, a triptych with a project. What that project is has been the subject of inquiry, essay and interview, a discussion complicated not only by

    Issue #145 September 2023
  • Conjuring the Last Gleeman by Steve Kuusisto

    There's a curious essay by Yeats called "The Last Gleeman" wherein he details the life of a Dublin street poet named Michael Moran.
    Issue #144 August 2023
  • Syntax by Jessica Goodfellow

    I teach writing to international graduate students, who regularly charm me with their wildly inventive word order.
    Issue #143 July 2023
  • Strangers at the Door: Robert Gibb, Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Jose Padua by Michael Simms

    I’ve always loved poetry that has a clear voice, a strong reliance on craft
    Issue #142 June 2023
  • The Poetic “Engine” in Flannery O’Connor’s Fiction by Chard deNiord

    After reading and teaching Flannery O'Connor’s stories for decades, along with having grown up myself in the South in a town not that dissimilar from O’Connor’s hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia, I developed a deep appreciation for both the creative and theological genius in O’Connor’s fiction, particularly her incisive use of irony and paradox in rural, unsophisticated settings.
    Issue #141 May 2023
  • Cassandra Atherton, “The Life and Times of Big Mr. Prose Poem”: While the Undertaker Sleeps: Collected and New Prose Poems by Peter Johnson

    Self-confessed “wise guy of the prose poem” and also its unofficial laureate, Peter Johnson is one of America’s foremost practitioners and critics of prose poetry.
    Issue #140 April 2023
  • Two Essays on Charles Simic by Donovan McAbee and Chard deNiord

    Two Essays on Charles Simic by Donovan McAbee and Chard deNiord   Charles Simic: An Appreciation from Donovan McAbee   “This is not poetry…. It’s just words cut up into lines!” that was his assessment, anyway, though I disagreed vigorously and with some volume. The closest I’ve come to a screaming match in public, in the last few years at

    Issue #138 February 2023