“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.
When Donika Kelly's debut collection of poetry, Bestiary, was released barely one month ago, it came as the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and a long-listed nominee for the 2016 National Book Award. From page one, it's obvious why.
Remarkably, Lucinda seems both composition exercise and confession (“once again the text finds itself / helplessly stuck between two distinct / critical foci, pinioned”), as unclassifiable and as exciting as the more than 200-year-old book that inspired it.
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.
In this fantastic collection what is evident from the get-go is that the speaker is most definitely a daughter. She is also a wife, a mother, a woman of the deep heart and spirit. Reckless? No. Or, yes, if the heart is a reckless landscape of emotive temperaments, shifts,
A new kind of writing about motherhood may be emerging. Rachel Zucker's and Arielle Greenberg's Home/Birth, Brenda Shaughnessy's Our Andromeda, Eula Biss's On Immunity, and Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts, for example, are conscious in a contemporary way about new possibilities of childbearing and parenting, about choices and agency, yet
William Wenthe’s latest collection, God’s Foolishness (winner of the L.E. Phillabaum Poetry Award with LSU Press), begins in mid-August, weighted with back to school and the anticipation for new opportunities . . . but also the dissatisfaction of unfulfilled goals.
For August, I read three chapbooks that dealt with ideas of past, present, and future in both overlapping and contrasting ways. They also each somehow dealt with ideas of spaces that became place for the writers, though sometimes these places were more about time than physical geography.
Jana Prikryl’s The After Party is one of those rare debut volumes, like Stevens’s Harmonium, in which we meet an already fully-inhabited voice. In some such cases, much unforeseeable development may be in store, as with Graham’s Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts; sometimes, as with Delmore Schwartz’s In Dreams
When I arrived in Florence for an extended trip, I was determined not to look like a tourist. I wanted to carry a leather-bound notebook and sit at sidewalk cafes drinking cappuccinos and looking thoughtful. Mostly, I wanted to read The Decameron and the last two books of The