Author Archive

Daedalus and Perdix, Bill and Ted, Crabs and Buckets

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I began this week by writing about compost…and that, if you’re just breathing a sigh of relief, is still to come, probably next week.  Compost, however, has been preempted by word of a minor scuffle back in the northeast, of the type all too familiar in academic circles.  It’s

Good Poets You’ve (Probably) Never Read, Part I: Buckram and Burning Birds

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Everyone has them—the books that we loved that got only cursory critical attention, if any.  The friends who managed to get the books finally, finally into print, only to hear a few grains of sand shifting in the long silence as they drive to the liquor store to buy

The Pit Bull

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It feels as though every posting starts somewhere else, and this is no exception.  I’ve been reading one of Angela’s “Why I Reread…” postings, in the midst of state and federal budget cuts which, far from rereading much of anything, seem designed to keep the world from reading most

Step Away from the Tab Key…or Don’t

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As a change from the didacticism and mostly-benign aesthetic dictatorship of my recent posts, and before I review anything (though that’s coming), perhaps it’s time I ask a question instead of attempting to answer any. Within recent memory I had cause—or thought I had, anyway—to post a link on

For the Young Who Want To

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That’s the title of a poem by Marge Piercy.  It begins, Talent is what they say you have after the novel is published and favorably reviewed. Beforehand what you have is a tedious delusion, a hobby like knitting. It ends, The real writer is one who really writes. Talent

“No Orangutan”

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I began my public blogging career (brief though it may be) last week with “Start with A”, suggesting that teachers of poetry—who are frequently poets—might want to begin at a more basic level than many of us do. That included beginning with the literal level of a poem, because

Teaching Poetry: Starting with A

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Our third guest blogger, Catherine Carter, is a poet whose poem “Arson in Ladytown” appears in our Spring 2011 edited by Colm Toibin.  Catherine will post on Fridays through August. Hello, Ploughshares readers—it’s my pleasure and privilege to be blogging here for the first time, and as you might