poetry Archive

Numbers & Golden Ages: A Closer Look at the National Book Award for Poetry

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Last week, the National Book Foundation announced nominees for its annual awards in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. If we are, in the words of poet Kaveh Akbar, living in a “golden age of poetry,” what can a closer look at this year’s contenders tell us about

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.

Review: STOMACHS by Luna Miguel (Translated by Luis Silva)

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There are times for sadness and severity and all things bleak, and what do we do then? Luna Miguel might not have solutions but Stomachs reminds us that melancholy is not always destructive.

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.

Three Chapbook Reviews from the New-Generation African Poets (NNE) Box Set

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The chapbook box set New-Generation African Poets, edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani, is the fifth of its kind, an annual project of the African Poetry Book Fund, produced by Akashic Books. The set consists of chapbooks by poets either living in Africa or of African heritage.

“These Poems Wanted to be Written Without Titles”: An Interview With Allison Benis White

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Allison Benis White’s prose poems evoke a world of loss and wonder, in which the mysteries of our daily lives are illuminated as a story that finds its shape in the telling. She is the author of three books of poetry, Self-Portrait With Crayon, Small Porcelain Head, and, most

Imagining the Anthropocene: Evoking an Ecological Occult

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Human society is built on superficial impositions of order: government, religion, science, and language attempt to enervate chaos. But for Jane Mead, a poet entrusted with her family’s California vineyard in the midst of a historic drought, there’s no hiding from earth’s mists and windstorms.

“Living Imaginarily Under Truthful Circumstances”: An Interview With Elizabeth Powell

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Elizabeth A. I. Powell’s poems are adventures in language; they travel freely across the borderlands of genre and bring the reader along for an inventive, unforgettable ride.

The Alchemy of Poetry Plus Criticism

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What is the goal of poetry? Is it to make music with language? To express feeling? To make an argument? It’s likely, for any given poet, to be at least one of these things—and possibly all.

Confession, Communion: Three Poetry Chapbooks & Religion

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This month, I read work concerning religion in one way or another, though the chapbooks here are not dominated by or entrenched in it as a theme. Instead these three writers use religion and spirituality as a lens through which readers can view many aspects of their poetry.