On Verse

Fluency, Fractures, and Fabrication in Cathy Park Hong

photo by Harold Abramowitz The language spoken in the Desert is an amalgamation of some 300 languages and dialects imported into this country, a rapidly evolving lingua franca. The language,…

Mapping Kei Miller’s Zion

photo by Georgia Popplewell The British Isles are finally taking notice of the young Jamaican poet Kei Miller, whose third book of poems, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way…

I Didn’t Realize I had Written These: Bernadette Mayer’s Sonnets

Bernadette Mayer’s Sonnets is a landmark collection, central to her mammoth oeuvre, whose reverberations continue to be felt in the contemporary generation of poets. Eschewing the epic accounts, full of…

Claude McKay Walks in Ferguson

Claude McKay addresses the Kremlin, 1922 Claude McKay, born in Jamaica in 1890, is the first modern master of the sonnet form. Yeats of course had turned out a few—one a…

To Revive the Lyric: Hoa Nguyen

From the technology of printing to the economy of grants and the politics of academia, literary culture exists in complete continuity with the rest of contemporary society. It is susceptible to the same virtues, biases, limitations,…

Paradise on Earth: T. J. Jarrett’s Zion

There is a body at the center of Zion, T. J. Jarrett’s new collection of poems, winner of the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry open competition. To whom this…

A Ringing Echo: The Poetry of Caitlin Doyle

Caitlin Doyle’s poems are not always what they appear to be, and this subtle shape-shifting quality is exactly what makes them so revelatory. As poet and critic Abriana Jette has…

The Glam and the Gloom: Cynthia Cruz’s Wunderkammer

Cynthia Cruz is in the midst of producing an important body of work. Wunderkammer is as much installation art as it is a book of poems, or it is as…

Text Within the Text: Rachel Blau DuPlessis

So I dismantled it. Mounted it and then dismantled it but its uncanniness its Nessie in Loch Ness-ness lurks and snuffles and sways. —Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Ledger 1 Rachel Blau DuPlessis’…

A Reluctance to Cede Ground: Age and the Writing Life

“…so blow a kiss to this drowned world. The gods have spoken: yield.” —Maxine Kumin, “Going Down” In her introduction to A Story Larger Than My Own: Women Writers Look…

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