Essays and Comment

  • 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
  • Making, Spinning, Weaving Texts by Alfred Corn

    In Anglo-Saxon, the word for poet was “scop” (pronounced “shop”), which is related to the verb “scieppan,” “to shape.”
    Issue #139 March 2023
  • The Road Goes On Forever and The Party Never Ends by David Kirby

    As both an eminent, award-winning American poet and music critic, David Kirby has published more than two dozen volumes of poetry, criticism, essays, children’s literature, pedagogy, and biography, including the definitive biography of Little Richard titled Little Richard The Birth of Rock and Roll. A frequent contributor to such newspapers as The Wall Street Journal and  The New York Times

    Issue #137 January 2023
  • Doug Bytes: An unconventional essay by Doug Anderson

    Doug Anderson’s essay for this month’s issue of Plume consists of twenty four paragraphs that appeared first as posts on Facebook over the past several years. They include a wide variety of incisive reflections on topics that I have dubbed Doug Bytes for their engaging takes on everything from writers block, old age, doctors who don’t listen, the first Women’s

    Issue #136 December 2022
  • ROOM AT THE TABLE by Charles Coe

    A Sunday afternoon in fall, after a big lunch, sitting with my father watching football, our favorite way of spending time together.
    Issue #135 November 2022
  • Finding the Measure: Robert Kelly, Deep Image and the New American Imagination by Stephan Delbos

    Editors played a key role in American poetry after World War II
    Issue #134 October 2022
  • The Light That Shines Out of the Marble by Chard DeNiord

    THE LIGHT THAT SHINES OUT OF THE MARBLE       In his visionary classic, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake avoids the influence of Milton and Dante by undermining their theological tropes with the heretical conceit that wisdom emanates from, of all places, Hell. Rather than following the traditionally sublime avenue from Hades to Heaven, like Dante

    Issue #133 September 2022
  • So I Would Move Among These Things: Maya Deren and The Witch’s Cradle by Fox Henry Frazier

    “I am hailed by all the girls as a sure poet,” Maya Deren wrote to her mother as a young undergraduate student.
    Issue #132 August 2022
  • Sven Birkerts on “The End” by Mark Strand

    I don’t know why this should be, but I find that many important things—I think of them as personal messages—come to me obliquely.
    Issue #131 July 2022
  • Done with Desire Forever: Color Music Poems of the 18th Century by Rosalind Holmes Duffy

    Regardless of how much eighteenth-century French poetry you read, you may be unfamiliar with the miniscule canon of verse about color music.
    Issue #130 June 2022