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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
How might the practice of scansion as a tool toward understanding and crafting poetry become more equitable and expansive so as to allow for poets’ and readers’ different fundamental orientations toward language?
There are a number of practices and resources that can encourage the practice of reading generously or introduce one to new writers.