poetry Archive

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.

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.”