Author Archive

Richie Hofmann’s Ekphrastic Poetry

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It is commonplace wisdom that our enduring ekphrastic poems do not merely transcribe or represent their source material. Like all poems, they enact an experience for their readers. This particular experience happens to be guided by one’s own transformation while encountering a visual work of art.

Jana Prikryl, From the Fields of a Calendar

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The poems that imagine photographs, the making and distribution of images to one or many friends, to strangers, revisit a figurative injection posed in Jana Prikryl’s first collection: a poem is not functional, a poem is something to be experienced in time.

Philomath and Lyric Knowledge

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Do the people of Devon Walker-Figueroa’s 2020 collection love to learn? Do we watch them learn in change while reading this book, and do we, in the process of reading these poems, learn anything?

Oppen on the Unfinished Voyage

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Facing George Oppen’s “shipwreck of the singular” positions one to reconsider a problem with the act of naming, of not remaining silent: to name our own singularity ignores the material of the wreck, the end of one’s own life equivalent to the end of the world.

A Poem for Children

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The poet of Dan Chiasson’s poems is a father and a son, often both at the same time. The poet of Dan Chiasson’s poems, since his first collection was published in 2002, reveals more about himself, his being a father and a son, through the way his poems are

An End, Always Happening

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In the hyperbole of “apocalypse,” in the rhetorical design that anticipates a time predicted forever, a poem that meditates on the end of the world situates itself somewhere between prophecy and historical memory. An end has been ongoing—and changing—since the first mention of the end.

Considering the Wedding Poem

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One does not take notes from the epithalamium for instructions on how to arrange a wedding, how to make a marriage successful, how to communicate with a loved one. The wedding poem anticipates its continued listening, sometime in the future.

The Garbage of Our Time

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A. R. Ammons's 1993 book-length poem, a meditation on excess and waste as the defining trait of our species, anticipated the worst conversations one wishes were avoidable: climate change and a non-hyperbolic global destruction.

The Anxiety of Middle-Age in Welcome to Sonnetville, New Jersey

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Craig Morgan Teicher’s newest collection is preoccupied with the anxiety of being understood, and the way that desperation pulses underneath what is explicitly spoken.

Poetry of Data, Poetry of Experience

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“Truth in poetry” depends not on the record of information but on experience: a life represented in metaphor, the patterns of language that make a time-signature through which we listen.