Essays and Comment

  • T.R. Hummer: The Poet Retires

    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 of various personae or characters, or even of “heteronyms” in Fernando Pessoa’s sense. I mean that, as a poet, I

    Issue #80 March 2018
  • Mario Murgia: Gerard Manley Hopkins in Spanish?

    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 like, say, Spanish? * In the sonnet “Let me be to Thee as a circling bird …,” Gerard Manley Hopkins

    Issue #79 February 2018
  • Sally Connoly: Transatlantic Poetics: An Autobiography

    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 Colossus of Rhodes– has, quite rightly, given way to a twenty-first century transnationalism. The approach allows for a far more

    Issue #78 January 2018

    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 have posed in their own letters, questions ranging from nuts and bolts stuff (“Could you please talk to me about

    Issue #77 December 2017

                    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 was a decidedly uneven writer. Kinnell is generally associated with the so-called Deep Image School, whose best known figures are

    Issue #76 November 2017
  • Michael Gregory Stephens: Angels on the Avenue: The Lower East Side When Poetry Was the World

    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 the East Village, a neighborhood of jazzmen, hipsters, alternative poets, ranting public intellectuals, drug addicts and winos and dropouts, students

    Issue #75 October 2017
  • Kathy Lou Schultz: Teaching African-American Poetry in the Age of Trump

    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 white racists toting semi-automatic weapons and the Nazi flag through the streets. The world where we wait to see what

    Issue #74 September 2017
  • Emily Grosholz: Do I write as a Woman Poet, or as a Poet who is a Woman?

    Do I Write as a Woman Poet, or a Poet who is a Woman? When I was a child, I thought of poetry as one of the common idioms of life. My mother’s father wrote sonnets, and she and her sisters wrote occasional verse for various occasions; my father’s grandmother’s father published a book of poetry, and my father edited

    Issue #73 August 2017
  • Mark Scroggins: Poetry as Wallpaper: In (Ambiguous) Praise of Low-Intensity Poetics

    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 memorable utopian socialist novel News from Nowhere. For readers in the fantasy and science fiction hinterlands, he is preëminently the

    Issue #72 July 2017
  • Joshua Corey:The Golden Age of Poetry Blogging

    “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 site by Charles Bernstein in late 1993. A simple listserv that predated widespread access to the World Wide Web, it

    Issue #71 June 2017
  • Ernest Hilbert: On Literary Relics

    Rare book collectors devote whole lives to finding and preserving books by authors they love, though the books alone may not be enough to satisfy them entirely. Those who pursue first editions are an uncommon breed, arriving in any number of amiable or maddening types, sharing a desire to acquire, organize, and shape expensive collections that embody their highest desires

    Issue #70 May 2017

    As a poet, essayist, and interviewer for the past twenty five years, I have struggled with a compound question that too few of my colleagues have felt emboldened, for understandable reasons, to address, namely, what is the state of poetry in America today and what is the best way to talk about it with potential readers who feel both lost

    Issue #69 April 2017