poetry Archive

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.

Notes on the State of Virginia: Journey to the Center of an American Document, Queries XVII-XVIII

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Here’s a confession. When I talk about NOTES ON THE STATE OF VIRGINIA, I sometimes refer to Jefferson’s “queries” as “cantos.” Like a poetic canto, which stands or falls on the music of its syllables, Jefferson’s queries must have enough tensile strength to contain his ideas, and space to

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

Contemporary Native American Poetry Essentials

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Some of the most interesting work in Contemporary American poetry is being done by American Indian writers. And yet, in the ongoing (and important) conversations about diversity and inclusion in United States literary production—especially in poetry—the work by Native Americans is often left out.

Lying in a Hammock

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Reader, I am having a bad day. I am having a bad day, and I can’t seem to write anything worth your time, and so I have flipped through my books and settled on James Wright’s “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota.”

3 Chapbook Reviews: Loving and Living in Louisiana

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Sometimes, place is an obvious theme or motif in a work, while other times it informs a work in a subtler but still necessary way.

It Might Be Lonelier Without the Loneliness: Poetry and Loneliness

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Poems, for me, are the epitome of Dickinson’s capital-L Loneliness, that loneliness that accompanies and keeps one from feeling utterly alone, its shadow-shape, its cameo presence.

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.