Reviews & Interviews

“A javelin of lavender…asserts a dozen verities”: Donnelly’s Cloud Corporation

by Genevieve Burger-Weiser Poetry and Poetics
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Amid labyrinthine syntax, Timothy Donnelly is battling a kind of Minotaur: half-self, half-metaphysical conundrum; Donnelly’s sword is his mind.

A Study in Fixation

by Michael Klein Poetry and Poetics
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One senses Zapruder has only been thinking of his subjects only for as long as it takes him to write the poem: they’re happening, as opposed to happened.

Sondheim, The Demon Lyricist of Broadway

by Alfred Corn Music
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Sondheim isn’t a man to cloud the expression of his judgments with considerations like politeness or collegial complicity. Were his rivals still alive, they might want to take out a contract on him.

Memorial Day

by Lonely Christopher Poetry and Poetics
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White’s poems are mired in a period, but not stiffly so: they breathe, they surf along the pulse of memory and desire.

A Ghost (Sonnet) in Gene Tanta’s “Unusual Woods”

by Brooks Lampe Language
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Seemingly disconnected things envisioned as unified: this is the surreal experience of the “marvelous” or the Deep Image experience of the deep image.

On Gene Tanta’s “Critical Introduction to Unusual Woods.”

by Brooks Lampe Academia
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Even though both the form and content of Gene Tanta’s work are particular to his Romanian-immigrant experience, he insists that his poetry is accessible to everyone. His poetry, he says, exists both as aesthetic objects and political propaganda. This is absolutely true about all poetry, not just his own. Inevitably, literary criticism will come to see that literature is always both.

A Beautifully Scrambled Egg

by Brooks Lampe Aesthetics
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Mathews is just talking about how to cook eggs. He’s paying really close attention to both the delicate things eggs are the delicate process of cooking them. What for? Because it’s frickin’ awesome. Shut up and enjoy the eggs.

Scotch Wave of Light

by Genevieve Burger-Weiser Poetry and Poetics
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Klein speaks for those of us who are trying to decipher between what is real and what is illusion; these poems depict a speaker who is, like many of us today, trying to stay not only alive, but sentient, all the while bearing witness to the current tides of war, financial collapse, and personal loss.

Surrealism Re-Imagined

by Brooks Lampe Language

At its heart, surrealism wages a political and ideological battle through language. By creating impossible images through placing disparate objects side-by-side, poetry dismantles and re-formulates our perceptions and conceptions of reality.

And the James Patterson of Contemporary Poetry is…

by Evan Hansen Poetry and Poetics
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Call me a lyre, I dare you

Last or some night
light, who cares the when of this,
glittered the tree up at the end
as the wash from a car as moved the planet, I’m not
in touch with personally Saturn, in branched fingers
of eerily, I’d say off-the-shelf language, isn’t it
necessary still how life lit into the moment
to say other than the facts of it, see,
whatever the bits are inside that oscillate
or pinwheel, I was moved to internal whirring
cicadish, even though my epiphanic dog-walkings
mean shit to you in the throes of your
epiphanic askings of the moon, for what, afterall
are we in this, some random sense of, fuck
if I know, belonging

“While I was masturbating, more rainforest disappeared”

by Evan Hansen Poetry and Poetics
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In a poem called “Life,” which appears in his most recent collection, Words for Empty and Words for Full (Pitt Poetry, 2010), Bob Hicok writes: “The feeling that mysticism / is the only way to be polite…. / While I was masturbating, / more rainforest / disappeared….” These disclosures feel true—and inevitable, given what at […]

Some Sort of Truth: Dorothea Lasky’s BLACK LIFE Hurts Like Joy

by Lonely Christopher Reviews & Interviews
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Dorothea Lasky is a poet of petulant grace. The particular way she does is she carves into the alphabet for poetry’s hurtfully buried, metastasized epiphanies of black life. Thence comes the fragments of jagged wonder she strings together to decorate her verse with pretty conflict. Her wonder (love and awe) is heavy and plain, stilted […]

Ben Lerner’s “Mean Free Path”

by Evan Hansen Reviews & Interviews
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What if I made you hear this as music
But not how you mean that. The slow beam
Opened me up. Walls walked through me
Like resonant waves. I thought that maybe
If you aren’t too busy, we could spend our lives
Parting in stations, promising to write
War and Peace, this time with feeling
As bullets leave their luminous traces across
Wait, I wasn’t finished, I was going to say
Breakwaters echo long lines of cloud

Book Review: Map of the Folded World (John Gallaher)

by THEthe Poetry Blog Editors Poetry and Poetics
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Gallaher has managed to create a language all his own using English words. Reading his poems, I felt like I’d arrived on some other world where the linguistic building blocks were familiar, but the physics of assembling them was completely different, surprising, otherworldly.

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