Vievee Francis Archive

The Violence Women Face

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The #MeToo Movement has opened up the public discussion around violence against women, especially sexual violence. In the last few years, many of our contemporary poets have written frankly and devastatingly about the many kinds of violences women disproportionately face.

Black Voices on the Civil War

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Charlottesville has me thinking about poems of the Civil War that center black experiences. Poems from the Civil War canon are usually heavy on Whitman, Dickinson, or folk songs. The following three texts should satisfy anyone who wants to read beyond “O Captain, My Captain.”

Urban Pastoral: American City Poets and Poems

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American poetry has a rich tradition of creating space for the full truth of our cities in poems and drawing connections between the interdependent worlds of American city life. Thinking about this tradition in formal terms, we might call it the urban pastoral.

L’Appel du Vide: On Visual Caesuras and Erasure

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I take the five students of my poetry micro-workshop outside to discuss Claudia Emerson’s latest collection Impossible Bottle. As we sit in the sun, bending over the brilliant bright book pages, a student points to the poem “Metastasis: Web” and volunteers to read it aloud before our analysis of