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Author Archive

Space: Renegotiating Rhetorical Boundaries

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In the aftermath of this election, it’s undeniable this country is a contested space, and that its citizens are hungry for new language to describe its landscape and reshape its boundaries. Within contemporary poetry, many writers of color are responding to this desire by renegotiating the rhetoric of the

The Long Gaze: When Poets Write Memoir

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With many contemporary poets publishing (sometimes multiple) memoirs, there’s clearly a desire for these writers to share their worlds in a form other than poetry. Is it as simple as the appealing arc of a compelling narrative? What other issues might come to bear, particularly in our current social

Against Epigraphs

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A poem’s epigraph does more than set the tone—it raises the stakes before the poem even begins. Almost every poem could have an epigraph, if inspiration and interest were the criteria. But I’d like to propose the opposite. Let’s put a moratorium on epigraphs.

Poetry as Dialogue: Some Thoughts on Chapbooks

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There's never been a better time for poetry chapbooks, with hundreds of presses publishing excellent, innovative examples each year. This proliferation invites a closer look into the chapbook's history as a medium for more direct engagement and dialogue between writers and readers.

Urban Pastoral: American City Poets and Poems

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American poetry has a rich tradition of creating space for the full truth of our cities in poems and drawing connections between the interdependent worlds of American city life. Thinking about this tradition in formal terms, we might call it the urban pastoral.