Truth and Beauty share a tomb: reflecting on 6 classic poems by women

1. “The Author To Her Book” by Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain, Who after birth didst by my side remain, Till snatched from thence by…

The independent seat: on Judith Barrington’s The Conversation

An “independent seat” is a rarely achieved height of equestrian skill, in which mechanical command and response are transformed into a fluid conversation between the bodies of horse and rider. It is…

The last Americans in Palmyra

The ruins of Palmyra. “All the sacred Mysteries of Asia, with their strident music, served now to add to this voluptuous unrest … I felt only disgust and abhorrence for all…

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…

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