Essays and Comment

  • The Only Critic by J.T. Barbarese

    J.T. Barbarese makes the trenchant claim in his essay “The Only Critic” that memory itself serves as the  “only critic” of poetry by virtue of its acumen for retaining what W.H. Auden called “memorable speech.” “Memory is what we remember…not a storage facility,” he writes. “It is a hoarder, so it isn’t choosey or tidy.” One must, therefore, work at

    Issue #120 August 2021
  • The Opposite of Silence: Poetry Interposes by T.R. Hummer

    The dream, in medias res, founders on the grinding of a garbage truck
    Issue #119 July 2021
  • The Solid Objects of Stagnant Empires by Irina Mashinski

    “The Myth” and “Jew” are two excerpts from The Naked World, a story of four generations of one family,
    Issue #118 June 2021
  • The Mind’s Meander: Indirection, Ambiguity, and Association in Poetry by Rachel Hadas

    I’ve been musing about the benefits of indirection – or call it obliquity,
    Issue #117 May 2021
  • Correspondence In The Air by Ilya Kaminsky and Twilight of the Theorists by Doug Anderson

    Octavio Paz once wrote that the modern poet “extracts his visions from within himself.”
    Issue #116 April 2021
  • Overdetermination (It’s Not as Boring As It Sounds) by David Kirby

    You want your poems to be like you: fully alive.
    Issue #115 March 2021
  • A Frozen Present: D. Nurkse on the Language of Fascism and “The Land of Magic”

    This timely essay, which is also a trenchant exegesis of Henri Michaux’s unfinished poem “The Land of Magic,” witnesses to the fascist forces that subvert reason in the euphemistic “land of magic,” the “land” that was France during the Dreyfus Affair that lasted from 1894 to 1905, as well as the “land” that was France and Germany during World War

    Issue #114 February 2021
  • Why I Make Poetry Comics by Bianca Stone

    I think some part of me that was always emotionally stunned beneath a tarp wanted to make poetry slide into art
    Issue #113 January 2021
  • THE LAND OF ULRO: Czeslaw Milosz on William Blake by Bill Tremblay

    When I taught, I’d occasionally walk from my office to the Art Department to view the latest exhibit
    Issue #112 December 2020
  • The Edson Letters by Peter Johnson

    As Russell Edson’s close friend and faithful correspondent during the last twenty five years of his life, Peter Johnson initiated and then sustained an affectionate conversation with his mentor and friend–“Little Mister Prose Poem.” Writing profoundly to each other from the periphery of the mainstream poetry world, or as both Johnson and Edson might say, from the peanut gallery of

    Issue #111 November 2020
  • A Hard Road by Charles Coe

    In July of 2016, I was on my way to the Chautauqua Institution, a summer cultural resort in southwestern New York
    Issue #110 October 2020
  • Out of Fresno—Poetry & “Career” by Christopher Buckley

    Philip Larkin—one of the most popular British Poets among my generation in the US—replying to an interview
    Issue #109 September 2020