poetry

“Different Paths Up the Same Mountain”: An Interview with Adele Kenny
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“Different Paths Up the Same Mountain”: An Interview with Adele Kenny

Adele Kenny’s poems speak from the head and the heart, giving thoughtful scrutiny to the moments that move us—whether to wonder or to grief. She is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and nonfiction, including What Matters, winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Poetry, and A Lightness, A Thirst, or…

NOTES ON THE STATE OF VIRGINIA: Journey to the Center of an American Document
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NOTES ON THE STATE OF VIRGINIA: Journey to the Center of an American Document

This is the start of a monthly journey through Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia. I’ve loved this book for many years. It’s scholarly and luminous, unfolding a rich lexicon. Open its pages and whole rivers, chunks of amethyst, living birds, and secret mammoth skeletons tumble forth. This is the realm where Jefferson…

Angela Carter’s “Unicorn” and the Illusion of Empowerment Through Objectification
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Angela Carter’s “Unicorn” and the Illusion of Empowerment Through Objectification

“Q. What have unicorns and virgins got in common A. They are both fabulous beasts.” In the new collection of Angela Carter’s mostly forgotten, but viscerally affecting poetry, Carter perverts mythological symbols in order to subvert the mythology of femininity. Just as Simone De Beauvoir lamented that “one is not born, but becomes, a woman,” Carter’s…

The Best Poem I Read This Month: Cortney Lamar Charleston’s “I’m Not a Racist”
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The Best Poem I Read This Month: Cortney Lamar Charleston’s “I’m Not a Racist”

Cortney Lamar Charleston’s “I’m Not a Racist,” published in One Throne Magazine, is an all-too-relevant rendering of “fair and balanced” evil. The poem, organized in couplets and single-standing lines, presents a mash-up of thoughts from a speaker who claims “I’m not a racist / I’m a realist,” in order to uproot the twisted anti-logic that…

“What is the name of this monster? Poetry….”
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“What is the name of this monster? Poetry….”

  In his excellent zombie novel, Zone One, Colson Whitehead writes: “We never see other people anyway, only the monsters we make of them.” This sentence encapsulates one of the novel’s themes, but it can also be applied to a current trend in poetry which brings monsters to the foreground. This poetry forces the reader…

Review: ROOMS FOR RENT IN THE BURNING CITY by Brandon Courtney
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Review: ROOMS FOR RENT IN THE BURNING CITY by Brandon Courtney

Rooms for Rent in the Burning City Brandon Courtney Spark Wheel Press, 2015 74 pp, $12 Buy paperback In the days before Spotify and iTunes, rock bands faced a challenge known as the “sophomore album slump.” A new band typically had had a few years to compose and then hone in performance the songs that…

“Unexpected Brightness”: An Interview with Elaine Sexton
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“Unexpected Brightness”: An Interview with Elaine Sexton

Elaine Sexton’s poems are active, nimble, curious—they often seem to be trying to solve a problem or puzzle out the right words to describe our too-often wordless emotions. No wonder her first book is called Sleuth. Elaine’s other books include Causeway and, most recently, Prospect/Refuge. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and New York…

“Subjects We Never Completely Learn”: An Interview with Daniel Nester
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“Subjects We Never Completely Learn”: An Interview with Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester’s prose zings back and forth between the heart and the funny bone. His latest book, Shader, is a kaleidoscopic coming-of-age story told in brief chapters called “notes.” It’s like one of those family slideshows that make us laugh, groan, squirm in our chairs, and sometimes cry. His previous books include How to Be…

Destruction Modes: Sueyeun Juliette Lee’s Solar Maximum
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Destruction Modes: Sueyeun Juliette Lee’s Solar Maximum

Solar Maximum Sueyeun Juliette Lee Futurepoem, Winter 2015 128 pp, $18 “Perhaps we continue in the wake of a disaster we hardly marked,” runs the last sentence of Sueyeun Juliette Lee’s endnotes for Solar Maximum. Or, the last sentence could be the italicized incomplete fragment: “((when the sun disappears” ending the title poem – an…