On Verse

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It Sang Itself Utterly Away: the Presence of the Poet

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with memory. Maybe I shouldn’t say lately, because I’ve always been obsessed with memory—mostly my own memories. One second I am brushing my teeth and the…

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I Had to Cut It Down: An Experiment in Destructive Criticism

There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. —Ralph Waldo Emerson The role of the critic is the topic de jour, in part because of the smart and…

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White Heart-Flame of Polished Silver: Amy Lowell and Mary Meriam

  Amy Lowell was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1874, youngest daughter of the wealthy Boston Lowell family that would later include acclaimed poet Robert Lowell among its members. From…

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These Molten Flowers: on Lola Ridge, radical poet and activist

In a news clip from 1927, Lola Ridge stands alone in the middle of a street as thousands of people demonstrate against the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. The crowds…

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Sometimes You Need a Record of Your Life: on Lisa Robertson

“I want to be believed. But I also want to write through spaces that are utterly delusional.” —Lisa Robertson I was reading Lisa Robertson’s latest long poem, Cinema of the…

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Amplified by the Ultrasound: Keith Leonard’s Ramshackle Ode

Keith Leonard’s first full-length collection, Ramshackle Ode, transforms the poetry of praise into a celebration of the imperfect—in particular, the imperfections of the author’s life. The poems of Ramshackle Ode…

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Call for Submissions: Translation Feature

BOSTON, MA – MAY 2, 2016 | The Critical Flame, a bimonthly online journal of book reviews, criticism, essays, interviews, and literary nonfiction, announces an invitation for submissions to a…

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Eucharist: Dimitris Lyacos’s “With the People from the Bridge”

“A Couple and Two Children Sleeping on a London Bridge” by Gustave Dore Dimitris Lyacos’s long, tripartite poem, Poena Damni, is one of the most important and challenging literary works…

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A Conversation on Li Shangyin: Chloe Garcia Roberts & Guangchen Chen

This dialogue took place over the course of several months in early 2015 and was published in Chinese by the Beijing-based magazine, Painting, Calligraphy, Poetry (詩書畫) that same year. In…

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Knows It Knows Too Much: Jennifer L. Knox, Elliptical Compromises, and the Resolution of Humor

As long ago as 1998, Stephen Burt noticed a tendency for contemporary poets to want to have their cake and eat it too, to speak from the heart while gesticulating…

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