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Two Chapbooks July 22, 2008: Harriet writers have an open invitation to post even after their contract expires, but not many of us do so. The intensity of professional blogging for three to six months is exhausting, and the exposure may leave one feeling, months later, unnerved. Nevertheless, there is always news. Why not share it here? I am thinking of two recent chapbooks, [...] by

Poetry Bookshop March 3, 2008: Hello Harriet readers! Just a quick alumni news flash. In this time of dying bookstores, here’s a bright spot: a poetry bookshop in Beacon, NY called Hermitage. It opened in December, “focusing primarily on small press publishing in American poetry between the 1950’s to 1970’s.” If you’re looking for The Green Lake Is Awake or The [...] by

Story December 30, 2007: It was Sunday, 40 degrees with a snowstorm on the way. What do people do in the suburbs? I put on some Elliott Smith and went down to the riverfront. “Creepily misty morning, dank, dark, disheveled and rather ominous, like a destroyer just gone into dry dock. But how beautiful it was at the first light to hear the repetitious song of a [...] by

Some Debts December 27, 2007: The January issue of Poetry goes live next week, along with my essay-review of new books by Mary Kinzie and Robert Pinsky. There was a bit that took me too far afield, so I excised it from the final draft. Still, it might hold some interest for someone somewhere! Readers of Pinsky’s Gulf Music know the book meditates at length on the etymology [...] by

The Flame Hatches December 23, 2007: Here in upstate New York near the St. Lawrence River, bordering the expanse of that fabled northern land called Canada, I was awestruck by sunrise, the first sunrise after the solstice! UTTERANCE crack the red wax open read note readdress dispatch so he enabled the correspondences of others and to be so occluded by the flux of words gave [...] by

The Sonnet’s Malice December 21, 2007: I didn’t think I had anything to say about the sonnetfest here on Harriet. But then a friend sent me an article about Edwin Denby: great American ballet critic, friend of Frank O’Hara’s circle, poet who wrote many, many sonnets. I had studied them years ago, and then put the book away (sonnets not being my cup of tea). I opened Collected [...] by

“Everything Is the Nuts” December 17, 2007: If anyone can figure out how to send Jane back to 1949 to see MoMA’s exhibition of “Italian pictures,” which gave Wallace Stevens a bad case of ennui, please send instructions care of this comment box. I thought I would take the opportunity to point out that the museum seemed to be in a lull a month before their 20th-anniversary show [...] by

Versions of Songs, Versions of Weariness December 17, 2007: Alicia’s post in tribute to Edward Thomas’s “The Owl” moved me. Especially so since it came after a terrible experience in a shopping outlet. My four-year-old and I were looking for snow boots and while we shared a sandwich in a packed food court I realized that I was only just starting to hear the pounding music in the backdrop: [...] by

The Greatness of Kenneth Koch December 13, 2007: Don Share beat me to a post on Kenneth Koch and Patrizia Cavalli. “Talking to Patrizia” is actually one of my favorite love poems, tart and social and messy. So when I read Cavalli’s lesbian poems in Poetry I had the immediate intuition that this was the Patrizia who advised Koch to hide in the bushes. “Love/Is a god These Freudian things [...] by

The Real Predicament December 10, 2007: Christian Bok's post here is a sad reminder of a persistent problem with poetry reviewers and bloggers: the dismissal of "cerebral" work and the exaltation of a crude notion of the "emotional." Bok's reviewer is a tad less obvious -- he requires a "predicament" if not outright confessions -- but still, it seems to me a code for emotional [...] by