poetry Archive

“A Poet of the Intimate Spaces”: An Interview with Gbenga Adesina 

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The poems of Nigerian-born writer Gbenga Adesina speak to us across not only geographic distances, but also the vast expanses of the heart. His poems embody what he calls an “inexorable tenderness” that is often surprising, often moving—a voice that startles us awake to the possibilities of language.

Review: FAIL BETTER by Beyza Ozer

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Fail Better is expansive, moving across great distances to share with readers wholly intimate moments, but it is not a book that could be called timeless. Two poems in particular, “When I Kiss You, A Casket Opens” and “I’ve Watched Myself Die Twice This Week,” compel readers to reckon

Serious Subjects

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I learned that I could respond to poetry with a thousand times a thousand micro-emotions. I soon began to wonder what I even meant by “serious” poetry, and what constituted a poem’s artfulness. I reflected upon the fact that those initial ideas were narrow, even elitist, and they are

“These poems are extroverts”: An Interview with Emily Izsak

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Emily Izsak is one of the sharpest young poets I’ve seen in some time. She is currently in her second year of U of Toronto’s MA in English and Creative Writing program. Her work has been published in Arc Poetry Magazine, The Puritan, House Organ, Cough, The Steel Chisel,

Chris Pratt, Blue-Collar Poetry, and the Relatability Problem

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As Chris Pratt got dragged across the internet, I thought about poet friends who have told me they don’t see their own “average, blue-collar” stories reflected in what gets published. For many reasons, this is hard for me to believe.

I Forgot to Remember to Forget: Three Poetry Chapbook Reviews

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For National Poetry Month this year, I read three poetry chapbooks that revolve around memory. Childhood memory, historical memory, the body’s learned memory, how place or sound or smell or language or popular culture evokes memory—the chapbooks here all touch on one or more or many of these themes.

Wanda Coleman, Colin Kaepernick, and The Refusal to Prioritize Patriotism Over Blackness

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The gravitational pull of reading any of Wanda Coleman's work is as elusive as it is startlingly raw and cathartic—the unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles has always teetered between nuance and nihilism, between and distraction and destruction.

Nothing Doing

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It might be the case that either our understanding of the brain or our grasp of the cosmos recapitulates the other, and it’s language that pushes us further into both—if we can bend, torque, and look behind it for what it’s concealing, we might discover how it’s holding us

Narrative and Anti-Narrative in the Poetry of Sexual Assault

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In the brief back-cover description of Lauren Berry’s The Lifting Dress, we read: “Set in a feverish swamp town in Florida, The Lifting Dress enters the life of a teenage girl the day after she has been raped.”

“Becoming A Parent Made Me A Ruthless Editor of My Own Work”: An Interview with Elizabeth Onusko

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Elizabeth Onusko’s poems are sharp-edged, sometimes bleak, but also very funny; they feel timeless, but also of the moment in their portrayal of the complicated emotions surrounding infertility, pregnancy and impending parenthood. We caught up to talk writing, editing, parenting, and how that third activity reshapes the other two.