Author Archive

School Shooting Poetry

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As poets and readers of poetry, we might ask ourselves how our poetry provides a kind of sanctuary from violence or else offers us a place to work through our fraught reactions to a world in which school shootings can happen.

The Violence Women Face

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The #MeToo Movement has opened up the public discussion around violence against women, especially sexual violence. In the last few years, many of our contemporary poets have written frankly and devastatingly about the many kinds of violences women disproportionately face.

Poets Turning to Nonfiction

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How do we tell our stories? What form best fits the autobiographical? For many writers, working in one genre is not sufficient, or else a single genre does not exhaust a writer’s obsession with their subject matter.

Privilege and Author Interviews

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The first literary interviews I remember reading were those conducted by my undergraduate poetry professor, a white man of a certain age. They were compiled in a collection published by a university press in 1983. White men were asking most of the questions, and white men were answering.

The Art of Telling

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Telling has the function of establishing authority, what our rhetorician friends call ethos, especially when the first-person point of view functions as a witness to an event or atrocity.

Writing Trauma and Tarfia Faizullah’s Registers of Illuminated Villages

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Two adjacent poems in Tarfia Faizullah’s new collection reckon with the ways in which others—readers, peers, and perhaps mentors—respond to and even challenge the traumatic subjects about which a poet writes.

The Poetics of Body Positivity

My earliest memories of the poetic representations of other cis women, like me, were highly sexualized. It seemed that women’s bodies, rather than the women, were (cis male) poets’ muses.

The Book Review in Review

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The ethics of reviewing poetry have recently reemerged as a hot-button issue in the literary community. Many writers have discussed the efficacy and aims of the “negative” review—how and if it impacts poetry and its readership in general.

The Poetics of Bewilderment

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Perhaps it’s paradoxical to want to define bewilderment, much less bewilderment as a poetics, given that the word generally refers to a state of confusion, an unmooring from the resolute signifiers that compose our comfortable, if not tidal and illusory, understanding of reality.

Repeat After Me

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Anaphora reiterates the musicality of language, pushing it beyond its status as a collection of signifiers and demands that we hear, not just understand, the poem.