Rosenthal, Stratton, Aizenberg, et. al.
Mira Rosenthal on translating Tomasz Różycki: The poems “A Room” and “Wild Strawberries” come from Tomasz Różycki’s tenth book, Litery, forthcoming in my English translation from Archipelago Books in 2023. The collection builds like a detective novel, following a lieutenant on the hunt for any clues that might lead 21st-century human beings out of a sense of emptiness and despair. Set against a
Hongo, Hirshfield, Andrews, et. al.
Garrett Hongo on “To a Soldier in Ukraine”: Like everyone else, I’ve been horrified by the invasion and killings in Ukraine. I thought of soldiers and innocent civilians having to face death without notice and I was reminded of the poetry of Tadeusz Rozewicz, the great Polish poet who wrote lyrics of humane sentiments, direct statement, and faith in the
Rhodes, Shapiro, Moldaw, et. al.
Martha Rhodes on “Embraced”: It’s awkward (for me) to talk about my own poems — I can just say that this particular poem was written about 4 years ago, the first poem written for the collection I am now working on — and very different tonally from the poems that have come since– so I am not sure I have
Brown, Kress, Waldrop, et. al.
Fleda Brown on “Someone is Walking a Pig”: There were the ordinary days. We call them that, now, since the multiple catastrophes, the apocalypse over the horizon. So the pig appeals to me, the simplicity of her. Might as well write about a pig in the hallway. I haven’t seen her for some time. I hope she’s okay. At the
de Voogt, Sadoff, Mitchell, et. al.
Alex de Voogt on translating Cavafy: In 1915, Constantine Cavafy wrote a poem with hemistiches, a set number of syllables per half-line and a particular meter. It was this new verse form with historical antecedents that he would use for eighteen of his poems. The last one, from 1929, was composed only a few years before his own death in
Kanchan, Burns, Scopino, et. al.
Virginia Konchan on “Liquidation”: “Liquidation” was written at the height of the pandemic, after reading a list of products made obsolete by technology; I thought of how ideas and social formations (even socializing itself) too, could be rendered obsolete by historical forces, some irrevocably so. The narrative litany that resulted concludes with a challenge to the quote that “elegy is endless,” which
Buckley, Ramspeck, Johnson, et. al.
Christopher Buckley on “Existential” and “Refugee”: Both of these poems are from a new book, The Consolations of Science & Philosophy, due from Lynx House Press in 2022, the title pushing a heavy cart of irony. . . . “Existential” is a subject I’ve taken up in the past, but beyond the facts and historical bits, I revisited
Prins, Andrews, Barbarese, et. al.
Richard Prins on Translating Muhammad Kijuma: These verses of Muhammad Kijuma were collected under the category “political songs” in Mohammad Ibrahim Mohammad Abou Egl’s unpublished thesis “The Life and Works of Muhamadi Kijuma.” Here Kijuma offers the porcupine as a metaphor for Kenya’s colonial government. His compatriots learn to make due with the sheddings of this pernicious creature, much as
Pastan, Hanzliček, Nazarene, et. al.
Linda Pastan on “Truce”, “Class Notes” & “On Rereading the 23rd Psalm”: I was an adolescent when I first read Browning’s lines “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be…” and I was skeptical even then. Now that I’m old myself, I see that the poetry of aging is almost a genre itself, and I often find
Duckler, Pelizzon, deNiord, et. al.
Merridawn Duckler on “Gonzalez-Torres at the Solstice” and “Why they Revere the Alcoholic Neighbor”: I once thought I’d be an art historian and now I’m the sole writer-member of a cooperative art gallery so the ekphratic.is my autonomic impulse. A foundational text for me in that genre is Auden’s Musee des Beaux Arts with his grand truism that opens the
Escude, LaFemina, Buchinger, et. al.
Alejandro Escude on “A Streetcar Named Panera”: I wrote “A Streetcar Named Panera” pretty much as I was going through the divorce process, while “Elements” was written nearly two years later. Read together, you realize that the narrator has made little progress as far as healing goes. The anger is still there, the grief that divorce leaves one with, especially
Hawkins, Withiam, Cooley, et. al.
Hunt Hawkins on “To the Poets Dropped from the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry”: In addition to creative writing, I taught literature for many years, including courses in “Modern Poetry.” Like many teachers, I assigned the Norton Anthology as the most comprehensive and authoritative, almost conferring immortality on the included. Then over the years as the Norton progressed from