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verses of Muhammad Kijuma were collected under the category “political songs” in Mohammad Ibrahim Mohammad Abou Egl’s unpublished thesis “The Life and Works of Muhamadi Kijuma.”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
Dunphy-Lelii, Armantrout, Johnson, et. al.
Sarah Dunphy-Lelii on “in common” and “gentrify”: I spent five months tent-living at a field site in western Uganda, hiking much of most days, and during the hours devoted to body respite I would craft emails to friends and family. These could not be written “live” – internet connectivity was too unstable – rather I created documents of compilations (Dear
Richey, Tobin, Dower, et. al.
Frances Richey on “The Seven Secrets of Our-Lady”: When my son was serving in Iraq (2004-2006), I wrote some short ekphrasis poems from Madonna and Child paintings after visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. There was a section of religious paintings in a hall at the top of the main staircase, and I spent hours looking at those
Mort, Silano, Friman, et. al.
Jo-Ann Mort on “Destinations”: This poem began exactly as I write it. For some unknown reason, I flashed on to an earlier time of travel, when flights to Israel were kept undercover in European capitals, due to fear of terrorism. Upon arrival in Israel, you were scrunched into this completely overstuffed old terminal where everyone grabbed for their luggage to
Seaton, Hadas, Sholl, et. al.
Maureen Seaton on “Heretical Physics”: “Heretical Physics” changed shape dramatically several times before it landed on the pages of PLUME. Maybe I shouldn’t give it away, but I kind of want to because it’s the first time I ever wrote a sestina only to refashion it completely out of its form. Why? Because my little weekly writing group doesn’t like
Guinzio, Fuchtman, Hartman, et. al.
Carolyn Guinzio On “PIER”: PIER is from a long poem sequence called V. The piece enters the interior universe of a widow who sings for funeral masses. It follows her through the first months and years after her husband’s death as she continues to live in the same house situated near a great lake. V keeps herself tethered to life,
Greenbaum, Collins and Dolin, et. al.
Jessica Greenbaum on “Why I Started Writing a Novel”: One of the voices in my poems might be the abandoned lecturer, walking alone in the house, explaining theories and mounting an argument through the echoing hallways and empty kitchen, adding up complaints that have been banging around like odd appliance parts in the reverberating cookie tin of the brain.