Poetry Archive

How We Belong Somewhere

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How does a poet come to belong to a place? Who are the poets of our American places? As I travel in and around Boston I’m reminded of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His verses leap to mind when visiting Plymouth, the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, or the Old North Church

The Best Poem I Read This Month: Mia You’s “A Solar Visor And A Song To Sing, Preliminary materials for reunification”

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As a result of several wars fought by the United States, North and South Korea have been divided since the mid-20th century. A further division was implemented through the creation of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, which, in an epigraph to Mia You’s piece, is noted as a contemporary “viable

Review: TESTAMENT by G.C. Waldrep

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Testament G.C. Waldrep BOA Editions, 2015 144 pp, $16 Buy: paperback | Kindle | Nook An endnote to G. C. Waldrep’s excellent new book-length poem points out that it “originated as a exploration of and response to three texts,” Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip (2009), Carla Harryman’s Adorno’s Noise

NOTES ON THE STATE OF VIRGINIA: Journey to the Center of an American Document

This is the start of a monthly journey through Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia. I’ve loved this book for many years. It’s scholarly and luminous, unfolding a rich lexicon. Open its pages and whole rivers, chunks of amethyst, living birds, and secret mammoth skeletons tumble forth.

Angela Carter’s “Unicorn” and the Illusion of Empowerment Through Objectification

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“Q. What have unicorns and virgins got in common A. They are both fabulous beasts.” In the new collection of Angela Carter’s mostly forgotten, but viscerally affecting poetry, Carter perverts mythological symbols in order to subvert the mythology of femininity. Just as Simone De Beauvoir lamented that “one is not

The Best Poem I Read This Month: Cortney Lamar Charleston’s “I’m Not a Racist”

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Cortney Lamar Charleston’s “I’m Not a Racist,” published in One Throne Magazine, is an all-too-relevant rendering of “fair and balanced” evil. The poem, organized in couplets and single-standing lines, presents a mash-up of thoughts from a speaker who claims “I’m not a racist / I’m a realist,” in order

“What is the name of this monster? Poetry….”

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  In his excellent zombie novel, Zone One, Colson Whitehead writes: “We never see other people anyway, only the monsters we make of them.” This sentence encapsulates one of the novel’s themes, but it can also be applied to a current trend in poetry which brings monsters to the

Review: ROOMS FOR RENT IN THE BURNING CITY by Brandon Courtney

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Rooms for Rent in the Burning City Brandon Courtney Spark Wheel Press, 2015 74 pp, $12 Buy paperback In the days before Spotify and iTunes, rock bands faced a challenge known as the “sophomore album slump.” A new band typically had had a few years to compose and then

Destruction Modes: Sueyeun Juliette Lee’s Solar Maximum

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Solar Maximum Sueyeun Juliette Lee Futurepoem, Winter 2015 128 pp, $18 “Perhaps we continue in the wake of a disaster we hardly marked,” runs the last sentence of Sueyeun Juliette Lee’s endnotes for Solar Maximum. Or, the last sentence could be the italicized incomplete fragment: “((when the sun disappears”

Becoming-Citizen: A Review of NATURALISM by Wendy Xu

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  Naturalism Wendy Xu Brooklyn Arts Press, Nov 15 2015 42 pp, $5 – $15 Buy: pdf | paperback | signed bundle Wendy Xu’s Naturalism opens with a dedication: “To immigrant parents.” That’s one of the most direct statements in the chapbook, and the eleven poems that follow create such