Featured Selection

  • Max Ritvo: Rococo Doodad Shop

          Before I became acquainted with the late Max Ritvo’s poetry, which poet Louise Glück writes, is “marked by intellectual bravado and verbal extravagance,” I first heard of this gifted young poet from a mutual friend, beloved to both Max and me. Our friend would light up as she spoke of Max’s prodigious talent, contagious joy, humor and

    Issue #63 October 2016
  • Dore Kiesselbach: Albatross

    I recently re-encountered the 9/11 Commission report. It’s a good, if politically-simplified, document—a useful, painful, reflection of its times: just when you thought you’d never hear the names Paul Wolfowitz and

    Issue #62 September 2016
  • Jean Valentine: To Stay Open

    Interview with Jean Valentine, Saturday morning, June 4, 2016, Schumaker Pond, Salisbury, Maryland.   Our conversation began the last morning of Jean’s four-day visit to our house in Maryland. Because we spent most of our time in the company of water, canoeing or walking forest paths along the river, our clear, cool, blue-skied days had the dreamy quality of reverie,

    Issue #61 August 2016
  • Our Back Pages

    This month marks a departure both from the usual format (interview with the chosen poet and its content of new work from him or her. Instead, to celebrate our five-year anniversary – 60 issues! – we cast a glance backward, over those issues as well as the four print anthologies, to offer again almost an alphabet’s worth of the poems that

    Issue #60 July 2016
  • Ira Sadoff: “…an attentive laboring.”

        Ira Sadoff with Michael Hafftka painting 2011.     Mitchell: Ira Sadoff, you’re one of American Poetry’s most distinguished senior poets, of whom the esteemed, elder poet Gerald Stern has said, “Nowhere else in American poetry do I come across a passion, a cunning, and a joy greater than his. And a deadly accuracy. I see him as

    Issue #59 June 2016
  • Thomas McCarthy: The Sacred Hours

                Thomas McCarthy is an Irish poet, novelist, and critic, born in Cappoquin, County Waterford, and educated at University College, Cork. Along with Maurice Riordan, Gregory O’Donoghue, Theo Dorgan, William Wall, Gerry Murphy, and Greg Delanty, he was part of a resurgence of literary activity under the inspiration of Sean Lucy and John Montague. He

    Issue #58 May 2016
  • Lawrence Matsuda and Tess Gallagher: “Blue Cocoon”

    “Blue Cocoon” is a collaboration between Tess Gallagher and Lawrence Matsuda. The entire book (three sections), entitled Boogie-Woogie Crisscross, is the first production of Plume Editions – for more details see the Editor’s Note in this issue, and/or the April Newsletter. Below is a brief introductory exchange between the poets, moderated by Associate Editor for Special Projects Nancy Mitchell – who

    Issue #57 April 2016
  • Cynthia Cruz: “Duras, the Mystic”

      NM:    Hi Cindy. I don’t want to spoil our readers’ pleasure in your graceful and convincing argument that Marguerite Duras was a mystic, and how the act of writing established her in the long tradition of spiritual practice so I won’t say too much about the particulars in your featured essay “Duras, the Mystic.” However, I’d like to chat

    Issue #56 March 2016
  • Emmanuel Moses A Mutual Rêverie

      NM:  Good Morning Emmanuel.  Your beautiful poems have emboldened me to suggest that we transcend this sensually impoverished cyberspace and meet this morning on my pond dock for a version of My Dinner with Andre; perhaps Coffee with Emmanuel and Nancy? The aroma of coffee—or is it espresso, for you? —hovers the dark elixir of fallen, damp leaves and

    Issue #55 February 2016
  • Dick Allen: Of Mountains, and Bird’s Nest Soup, and Charles Lindberg

        Of Mountains, and Bird’s Nest Soup, and Charles Lindberg   Someplace in my life, in the back of my mind where there’s a small kitchen, I began to notice similarities between names of Chinese paintings and names on Chinese menus.  Here are some of these actual names:   Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains Seafood with Bird’s Nest Loquats

    Issue #54 January 2016
  • Christopher Buckley: The Half-life of Revolution—Particle Physics, History, Baseball and Baby-Boomers.

        NM:    Chris, I can’t tell you what a kick of pleasure, as well as a kick in the gut, this boomer is getting out of The Half-life of Revolution—Particle Physics, History, Baseball and Baby-Boomers. The upshot, so unabashedly bleak, is somehow redeemed by your unique perspective, wit and craft.  Against Carl Sagan’s mellifluous lullaby “We are made of

    Issue #53 December 2015
  • Marc Vincenz: SIBYLLINE

        NM: Marc, I’m amazed by the prodigious imagination, intelligence and skill that permeates so much of SIBYLLINE. The narrative arc of this poem spans the emergence of the Italian Renaissance out of the darkness of the medieval era: the Black Death to the Baroque period, which marked its end—O, the arcs & the swirls.  You’ve impressively managed a dual

    Issue #52 November 2015