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Emerge—Surface—Be February 26, 2014: [caption id="attachment_81950" align="alignright" width="500"] From left to right: Krystal Languell, Rangi McNeil, and Guillermo Felice Castro [/caption] Yes it's still true, "The Poetry Project burns like red hot coal in New York's snow," as the quote from Ginsberg says. The Poetry Project is a rare bird—a forty-plus-year-old non-profit [...] by

Kismetly I Rear and Wonder February 14, 2014: Kristen Stewart is hardly the first celebrity to write and share her poetry—count James Franco, Jewel, Tupac Shakur, Jimmy Carter and Ally Sheedy among her various forebears—but she might be the first whose poetry has caused so many contemporary poets to sit up so quickly and take notice. Joyelle McSweeney and I both leapt to her immediate [...] by

Strictly Amateur January 7, 2014: [Editor's Note: This "Open Door" piece is a response to Tyrone William's post "Amateur Poets and the Academy," posted on Harriet on October 21st, 2013.] When I was a student at Columbia University in the 90s, the street in Morningside Heights was a much different story. There were three 24-hour greasy spoons in a space of four blocks on [...] by

Remembering Wanda Coleman December 6, 2013: There are only two poets who have shaped me profoundly as a poet. One of them is former San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman, who is turning 80 years old next week whose birthday event I’ll be attending at City Lights in San Francisco. I cherish Jack like a father, like someone who will one day be gone and I won’t have said [...] by

From Cut-Up to Cunt Up: Dodie Bellamy in Conversation November 21, 2013: Dodie Bellamy is the author of Cunt Norton (Les Figues Press), a cut-up investigation of The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Though she is typically identified with the fiction world, Dodie Bellamy is no stranger to poetry. Her writing is included in the conceptual poetry anthology I’ll Drown My Book (Les Figues Press). Barrett Watten and Lyn [...] by

‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’: Lou Reed and the New York School of Poetry October 29, 2013: Almost immediately after the world learned the dismaying news that Lou Reed had died on Sunday at 71, the obituaries and tributes started to pour in—sharp assessments of his career, recollections of the life-changing effect Reed and the Velvet Underground had on young, creative people, links to documentaries, interviews, and YouTube clips of [...] by

Sylvia Plath’s ‘Nick and the Candlestick’ September 25, 2013: Virtuosity, sheer eloquence, in great work has its own meanings: in the best Shakespeare sonnets, as a kind of sexual display or gift to the courted person, with the acrobatic wit amplifying courtship with excellence. In Keats's “Ode to a Nightingale” the verbal richness is like the banner or ceremonial sword of acknowledged mortality, [...] by

Louise Bogan’s ‘Women’ September 18, 2013: Unlike her elders T.S. Eliot and Marianne Moore, and unlike her juniors Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, Louise Bogan was born into the working class. Her father was a mill worker. She won admission to Boston's excellent Girl's Latin public school, then college, but she dropped out after her freshman year and married a soldier. The [...] by

Edwin Arlington Robinson’s ‘Eros Turannos’ September 11, 2013: Is “Eros Turannos” by Edwin Arlington Robinson an “overwhelming” work of art? I'd be tempted to say so (and possibly have). I've written about the remarkable form of the poem as a “hyper-ballad” or “ballad to the ballad power.” Edwin Arlington Robinson does something new with one of the most familiar patterns in English, [...] by

Stevie Smith’s ‘Thoughts on the Person from Porlock’ September 4, 2013: On a personal level, affectionate teasing can express love, of course. In some families, benign mockery is a prized, vital form of intimacy. Comedy of the self, comedy of the other person, a characteristic joke, may demonstrate the bonds of deep familiarity as no mere hug could do. (I was moved to hear a friend's account of her father, near [...] by