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My Poetry Picks for 2013 December 11, 2013: 1. Stephanie Barber, Night Moves (Publishing Genius Press) A transcription (copy & paste, more accurately) of the YouTube comment stream for Bob Seger’s famous 1976 song. Somewhere between [...] by

Towards a Poetics of the Phatic (Part 2) May 3, 2013: In one sense, the phatic is perhaps the oldest and most fundamental dimension of poetry. The impulse to speak in meter or rhyme, for example, is relatable to the infant impulse toward babble, the [...] by

Towards a Poetics of the Phatic (Part 1) May 2, 2013: [The following is derived from my notes for a talk I gave at the “Rethinking Poetics” conference held at Columbia University on Friday, June 11, 2010.] M. H. Abrams’s 1953 introduction [...] by

Mark Rutkoski, Words of Love May 1, 2013: There is a sense in which every “pure” conceptual writing project feels like it has already been done before: the production of the text depends upon the prior existence of the text. This is [...] by

Robert Frost’s “‘Out, Out–‘” April 29, 2013: Re-reading Robert Frost’s “‘Out, Out—'” for the first time in a long while, I expected it to exhibit at least some kind of craft-smartness and metrical subtlety. But what an [...] by

Notes on Craft and Failure April 26, 2013: The techne of the builder, the craftsperson, the designer, is measurable and finite, at least at a certain basic level that defines minimal competence. One important historical criterion for poetic [...] by

The Poet’s Ear (Part 4) April 24, 2013: In my last post I used Robert Creeley’s “I Know a Man” to illustrate the basic principle behind torque: that of twisting or swerving away from an expected cadential trajectory. Creeley’s [...] by

The Poet’s Ear (Part 3) April 22, 2013: The word cadence comes up repeatedly when people are talking about the poet’s ear. With respect to poetry, it denotes “rhythm, rhythmical construction, measure” or in Samuel Johnson’s words, [...] by

The Poet’s Ear (Part 2) April 17, 2013: Can one have a good “ear” for radically disjunctive or “non-absorptive” poetry? This might sound like a perverse question, as experimentalism is often suspicious of formally [...] by

The Poet’s Ear April 15, 2013: We’ve all heard it said that a given poet has (or doesn’t have, as the case may be) an “ear.” This is not the same thing as having a distinct “voice.” Although both terms are centered [...] by