In Another Country with Michelle Bailat-Jones

Love, exile, betrayal, illness, and death: it is rare for a first novel to take on such vast and slippery terrain, Patti Marxsen writes, much less to conquer it.

“Wherein past, present, and future he beholds”: Comics and the Eternal Present

How can the comics form succeed where Milton so nobly failed? Kurt Klopmeier explains.

Blood on the Jumbotron

Roman poet Martial's depiction of the arena games are brutal and bloody, writes Art Beck, but they offer insight into human nature, the nature of translation, and the poetic craft.

A Mother’s Jealousy, A Mother’s Love

Liza Katz reviews Laura van Prooyen's new collection, Our House Was on Fire, and interrogates the virtues of modern motherhood.

You Run, Darling: Mark Doty’s Deep Lane

Eric Farwell writes that the poems Deep Lane reach toward transcendence but remain tethered, delicately, to corporeal reality.

Family; or, What It Means to Be a Freak

Nora Delaney reviews In the Circus of You, an illustrated novel-in-poems, the result of a yearlong collaboration between poet Nicelle Davis and illustrator Cheryl Gross.


You Run, Darling: Mark Doty’s Deep Lane

Mark Doty is tenacious in his in his examination of life and endlessly fussy about his use of words. He makes sure to convey his meaning, whether in the criticism…


Family; or, What It Means to Be a Freak

In Tod Browning’s 1932 film, Freaks, Hans, a sideshow dwarf, falls in love with the beautiful trapeze artist Cleopatra, who marries him for his money and plots to poison him…


Blood on the Jumbotron: Martial’s Arena Poems

Cum traheret Priscus, traheret certamina Verus,    esset et aequalis Mars utriusque diu, missio saepe viris magno clamore petita est;    sed Caesar legi parvit ipsae suae (lex erat ad…


A Mother’s Jealousy, A Mother’s Love

Laura van Prooyen’s new collection Our House Was on Fire reads like a fairy tale. Like so many fairy tales, the poems relate a difficult mother-daughter relationship, in which the…


“Wherein past, present, and future he beholds”: Comics and the Eternal Present

“What, then, is time?” Christian philosopher St. Augustine asked. “If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do…


In Another Country with Michelle Bailat-Jones

Dangling like a geologic afterthought at the southwestern tail of Japan’s archipelago, Kyushu Island is home to over thirteen million people and a chain of volcanic mountains. In the slopes,…


The enduring power of Adrienne Rich

A Note from the Editor: I have been so privileged to have the chance to edit this special issue on Adrienne Rich, in commemoration of the third anniversary of her death. The essays you’ll find…

Adrienne Rich 2001

Adrienne Rich in Chile: an Interview

Adrienne Rich travelled to Santiago, Chile, in March 2001 to attend ChilePoesía’s inaugural gathering of international poets. The weeklong festivities included both large-scale public readings and smaller events in Santiago,…


Syntax as Power: The Legacy of Adrienne Rich

  The Critical Flame’s invitation to write on Adrienne Rich has pushed me to a long overdue assessment of what her poetry once meant to me and how it stacks…


Witness: #BlackLivesMatter, Claudia Rankine, and Adrienne Rich

Catch if you can your country’s moment, begin where any calendar’s ripped-off —Adrienne Rich, “An Atlas of the Difficult World” In thinking about how Adrienne Rich speaks to our present struggles…

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