Poetry Archive

“If I could I would cut off my lovers’ heads” : Eunice De Souza’s Nine Indian Women Poets

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“Anthologists invariably make enemies,” Eunice De Souza notes in her introduction to Nine Indian Women Poets. This anthology is unlike most anthologies, as De Souza takes up her editorial role to rally against universality, mapmaking, and flattery. De Souza isn’t seeking to make enemies, but she realizes that all

Well-Traveled Verse: The Book of Poems You’ll Find Everywhere in India

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Indian bookstores come in wide varieties: street-sellers pitch copies of everything from tabloids to Freud, more upscale boutiques feature plastic-wrapped paperbacks in scholarly fields, and stuffed-to-the-brim cubicles at train depots deliver Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels beside worn editions of the Gita. But, without a doubt, I always came across copies

The Poetry of Subtle Movement

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In recent months, Farrar, Straus and Giroux has released two poetry collections that encapsulate much of what I love about poetry: James Lasdun’s Bluestone: New and Selected Poems and Devin Johnston’s Far-Fetched. Lasdun and Johnston are quite different in style and subject matter, but they are both masters of

THE NEUTRAL CORNER: Michael Hofmann’s “Where Have You Been?” And Gottfried Benn’s “Impromptus”

The neutral corner is one of the two corners of the ring not used by boxers between rounds. It is also the corner a boxer must retreat to after he has floored his opponent. The Neutral Corner was also a bar in Saratoga Springs, New York, that I frequented

When We Are Given a Feast of Flesh

How do I remember spaces? Bedrooms, beaches, backseats, bazaars. The time between dreams. Night. The no-man’s land of a twelve-hour flight. I remember the world as words. I spent my last few weeks in Delhi hunting for books. For relatives, for friends, but, finally, for my own sake: to

Naming as Paying Attention

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Names can be hard for the tongue to wrap its head around. I say this with the conviction of my full being as a male, a poet, a twin, and a slight stutterer. (Of course I stutter. My brother and I lived our early lives assuming that the world,

Review: TWENTY THOUSAND PIGEONS by Justin Bigos

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Twenty Thousand Pigeons Justin Bigos iO Press, 2014 1st edition sold out; inquire here When I think of twenty thousand pigeons, I think of Disney vacations and city park picnics from childhood—precious memories ruined by grey birds pooping in my hair and stealing my French fries. But when I

(Writing) Exercise: Self-compassion

I’m talking here of memory’s difficulty. Difficult not in the way I have to wrack my weak brain to remember what happened, but in the way I’m forced to face that time I let my brother, bleeding from the mouth, run the mile home alone. Difficult in the way

Review: AIMLESS LOVE by Billy Collins

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Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems Billy Collins Random House, October 2013 288 Pages $16.00 Buy: book | ebook Three thousand miles away from my library—most of it translated literature, most of it tortuously postmodern—I turned in a lonely hour to my dad’s hardcover copy of Billy Collins’ Aimless

Review: LIKE A BEGGAR by Ellen Bass

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Like a Beggar Ellen Bass Copper Canyon Press, March 2014 70 pages $16.00 Buy: book Exquisitely wrought in language and imagery, Ellen Bass’s third collection meditates on sequencing images. Her poems open in one place and close elsewhere. She signals this with titles that point toward the firsts and lasts,