Essays and Comment

  • 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
  • Inviting the Reader: Narrative Values, Lyric Poems by Sydney Lea

    Inviting the Reader: Narrative Values, Lyric Poems by Sydney Lea   The editor of an online journal recently asked 25 poets to complete the following in one sentence: “Poetry is…” Here’s what I wrote: “Nowadays, poetry consists of units of language that their authors call poems, and can range from conventional forms to prose poems and include anything in between.”

    Issue #108 August 2020
  • It’s Called the Renaissance, You Know, or The Soul Sibling Report by David Kirby

    “Lady and gentlemen,” said composer Dimitri Tiomkin in his 1955 Academy Awards acceptance speech
    Issue #107 July 2020
  • Rescuing Ourselves by Celia Bland

    I have been touring the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, via an online iPhone film.
    Issue #106 June 2020
  • “Getting Stabbed Kinda Takes the Fight Out of Ya” by David Kirby

    This month’s essay on voice by David Kirby emanates the confidence and tone of an accomplished poet who is also a master teacher. Astutely aware of the collusion that occurs between sight and sound in effective “voice,” Kirby cites one poignant example after another of the audible magic he calls “direct speech”— speech he claims that “keeps talking” for reasons

    Issue #105 May 2020
  • “But They Have Dwindled,” Rethinking Wordsworth’s “Resolution And Independence” As A Modern Day Cautionary Tale by Chard DeNiord

    In one of his most profound existential poems, “Resolution and Independence
    Issue #104 April 2020