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.
Johnson, Sholl, Moss, et. al.
Peter Johnson On “The Last Dance,” “Nice Socks,” and “My Friend,”: My most recent book is called Old Man Howling at the Moon. These three poems are from a new manuscript in progress titled, Old Man Still Howling at the Moon. In both books we find a first-person narrator, a frustrated Old-Guy Everyman, who’s navigating an absurd world where all
Dunn, Mabbitt, Slate, et. al.
Sally Bliumis-Dunn on “Northern Flicker” and “Where the Robins Took Me”: I wrote “Northern Flicker” near the beginning of the pandemic when I envied the animals and plants, the natural world that I at least hoped remained unaware of the virus. I landed on the Northern Flicker because I had never seen one before and was mesmerized by its plumage.
Armantrout, Skloot, Barger, et. al.
Rae Armantrout On “Blues”: This poem is an encounter between the ordinary objects and events of my morning and a couple of philosophical (or metaphysical?) problems that were on my mind. The first three lines rephrase (reframe) a famous question raised by both Heidegger and Wittgenstein: “Why is there something instead of nothing? Here, though, the question is more like,
Straumsvåg, Friman & Samaras, et. al.
Dag T. Straumsvåg on “The Barricade”: I started writing “The Barricade” on the night Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. It was 5 in the morning in Trondheim, Norway, and I was filled with a sense of dread, a feeling of the world coming apart. The prose poem, however, is not about Trump. I had no particular
Williams, Springer, Revell et. al.
Derek JG Williams On “Prizefighting”: Boxing’s an easy metaphor for writers, and writing. It appeals to the drama of our vocation—the struggle we internalize and idealize. This poem tries for the opposite of that. It’s a real poem. A realist poem. A poem! “Prizefighting” owes a debt to work by Philip Levine, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Joyce Carol Oates, Nick Tosches, Kerry
Richey, Clark and Olsen et. al.
Frances Richey on ‘Afterimage’: I wrote Afterimage last August after spending a cloudy afternoon at Lincoln Center with my dear friend, Michael Fisher. I hadn’t seen him in ten years, and our friendship spans more than twenty, including those first five when I was his yoga teacher. Michael is a gifted photographer. He took my author’s photo for my first poetry collection,