• 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

    Issue #128 April 2022
  • 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

    Issue #127 March 2022
  • 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

    Issue #126 February 2022
  • 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

    Issue #125 January 2022
  • 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

    Plume Issue #124 December 2021
  • 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

    Issue #123 November 2021
  • 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

    Issue #122 October 2021
  • 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

    Issue #121 September 2021
  • 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 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

    Issue #120 August 2021
  • 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

    Issue #119 July 2021
  • 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

    Issue #118 June 2021
  • 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

    Issue #117 May 2021