Author Archive

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.

Scansion and Contemporary Poetry

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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?

Generosity as a Social Justice Reading Practice

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There are a number of practices and resources that can encourage the practice of reading generously or introduce one to new writers.

Song for My Foe

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Hayes and Moss offer us a very different kind of engagement with literary forebears; their responses perhaps recognize how those forebears have unequivocally shaped contemporary poetry, but they also identify the canon as an imperfect, exclusionary artifice and insist that there is not a single literary tradition.

What Is Poetry?

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The question arises often in bookstore readings and writing workshops, cultural commentary and book clubs, and yet the answers remain slippery and incomplete, sometimes biased toward a particular aesthetic, other times umbrella-ed into compromising vagaries, all of which equally frustrate the long-haul poet and the beginning reader.

The Poet and the News

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More than ever, I seem to imbibe the news, allow it to become a part of me, choke my obsessive subconscious like invasive kudzu. No wonder then that I feel tempted to write about these events and their consequences.

Serious Subjects

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I learned that I could respond to poetry with a thousand times a thousand micro-emotions. I soon began to wonder what I even meant by “serious” poetry, and what constituted a poem’s artfulness. I reflected upon the fact that those initial ideas were narrow, even elitist, and they are

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not: the Love Poem and the Elegy

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All of my attempted love poems sound like elegies, and so I’ve given up trying to write them for my beloved, lest I give the wrong impression. Occasionally, however, one will come to me like a windfall, a speck of gold in the pan.

Earing the Clink of Chisels: An Imperfect Love Letter to Reading Literary Magazines

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Every time I pause in front of a stack of lit mags at my house, I find myself flipping through one for a morsel. Gimme something good. I find myself re-reading things I’ve already read and feeling surprised by them again and again, as if the magazine keeps