poetry Archive

“your long, dark time”: Aracelis Girmay’s THE BLACK MARIA

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Resistance to the fact of human-caused climate change remains rampant. If we are to preserve our species by reversing humans’ catastrophic impact on earth systems, we must facilitate a deeper cultural understanding of our relationship with the planet. This series presents books of poetry that imagine humans’ impact on

From Start-up to Incubator: Kundiman Means Business (of Innovative Writing)

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Citizen Dispatches is a monthly series featuring people, organizations, and initiatives that are making American letters more plural and vibrant. We’ll look at how writers support other writers, build wider audiences, and sustain their creative communities.

Thirst Trap: Desperation in Kaveh Akbar’s PORTRAIT OF THE ALCOHOLIC

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I carried Kaveh Akbar’s Portrait of the Alcoholic around for weeks before reading it. I do this from time to time when I know a text is going to challenge me beyond the ways in which poetry is always challenging; I like to prepare for a confrontation.

“Hyperconsciousness of the Historical Instability of Words”: An Interview with Monica Youn

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Monica Youn’s poems are precise, sharp-edged and fleet-footed; they always seem to be moving in three different directions at once. She is the author of three books of poems: Blackacre, Barter, and Ignatz, and her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. A former attorney, she now teaches

The Learning Curve: Fact, Fiction, and What I’ve Learned

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This ability to slip in and out and between voices has been crucial for my style of work. I’ve always been involved in multiple projects at a time, and while I typically finish translating one book before moving on to the next, there are always edits coming back from

“I was a house / I was a witch” : Muriel Leung’s “A House Fell Down on All of Us.”

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“I was a house. / I was a witch” declares the middle stanza of Muriel Leung’s “A House Fell Down on All of Us” from the newest issue of DRUNKEN BOAT. This poem, in my reading, functions to present intermingling transformations that perform whatever an opposite of distillation forecloses.

“Always on the Lookout”: An Interview with Allison Joseph

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The poems in Allison Joseph’s recent chapbook Mercurial are wise and clear-eyed, charting moments of tenderness and emotion in everyday life. Her work encompass a number of different themes—from personal and family history, to self-image and style—and embody formal approaches as well as conversational yet musical free verse.

What’s Left?: Poetry after disaster

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What do we do after something terrible happens? Is there any way to find hope in a world gone dark?

Baltimore School Students Write in Protest and Celebration

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Writers in Baltimore Schools, the creative writing organization I run for Baltimore youth, has developed a protocol for mobilizing safe spaces for writing after trauma. We were unfortunately ready when Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. On Thursday, fifteen of us gathered to write

Against Solace: Interrogation in the Work of Three Trans Poets

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Lately, I have been thinking a lot about interrogating gender in poetry, and I’m especially interested in the work of three trans poets that use a wild arsenal of strategies to unsettle notions of gender and sexuality.