The dog days of summer are upon us. In some circles, that means time for cheap-thrills beach reads. In ours, it means time for poetry of all kinds. Here we've pulled together some of our favorite essays from the past year—ranging from a fascinating essay on an influential but little-known editor named Ronald Lane Latimer and a lively exploration of poetry’s first lines to a terrific appreciation of the poet Rachel Wetzsteon. We have also made them available as a downloadable eBook you can explore at your leisure.
“Good poems weird the truth, rearrange it, re-present it, cause us to re-envision the past,” writes Camille Dungy in her wonderful craft essay. We hope these slanted views bring you enjoyment and much to think about during the days ahead.
For a few years in the 1930s, Ronald Lane Latimer struck gold as an editor, publishing Stevens, Williams, and more. Then he disappeared.
Tell It Slant
How to write a wise poem.
Can poetry comfort the grieving?
Where Shall I Begin?
Inspiration and instruction in poetry’s first lines.
Why Rachel Wetzsteon is her generation’s best love poet.
Rumors of the Stars
Why would a poet try to immortalize gossip?
See What You Miss by Being Dead?
Elegy for a suicide in Matt Rasmussen’s Black Aperture.
Lost at Sea
Why shipwrecks have engaged the poetic imagination for centuries.