When Thomas Lux died on February 5th, I thought a lot about what made his poems so resonant. Although there are numerous craft elements I could point to, it seems to me that their central quality is so often a large-heartedness that is difficult to describe, but unmistakable to
Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist, performer and art journalist who ran a write-in candidacy for president twenty-five years ago when the bulk of our presidential candidates were straight, white, male, and wealthy. But you wouldn’t know any of this from their Instagram page, where their bio reads, simply,
As a commemoration and celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks’s work, the University of Arkansas Press released The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks. Editor and Chicago high school educator Peter Kahn explains the importance of the anthology and the transformative nature of poetry.
The Black Maria, Aracelis Girmay’s intricate epic of black survival, enraptures the reader in a gaze that looks simultaneously backward and forward, toward past and future that are impossible to see yet crucial to imagine.
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.
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
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” 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.
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 do we do after something terrible happens? Is there any way to find hope in a world gone dark?