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February 2015: Reading List

From Poetry Magazine

The Reading List is a feature of Poetry magazine’s Editors’ Blog. This month contributors to the February 2015 issue share some books that held their interest. John Barr For years now, I recently realized, my poetry reading and my non-poetry reading have been looking for the same thing. The non-poetry includes natural science authors: Stephen […]

Charles Bukowski Cartoons Surface

Poetry News

Hey Bukowski fans (we know you’re out there)! Open Culture recovers some lost cartoons from the 1960s and 1970s: “Less comics per se than drawn windows into Bukowski’s worldview, these panels show, in a shaky yet bold line, the poet’s views on drinking, smoking, staying in bed, and conducting relations with the fairer sex.” “Nineteen […]

At <em>Mashable,</em> ‘Don’t Read Like a Poet’

Poetry News

Mashable’s “Why are poets’ voices so insufferably annoying” is not for the faint of heart but it is a good read. Matt Petronzio’s article about the origins of “poet voice” delves into linguistics, op-eds, and conversations from within the poetry community to paint a well-thorough picture of the trend. From Mashable: When I was in […]

The Past Scenes of Men: Reviewing Lisa Robertson’s <em>The Men</em>

Poetry News

At Literateur, a welcome review of Lisa Robertson’s book The Men, originally published by Book Thug in 2006 and recently reprinted by UK press Enitharmon. In “Plurable Vocables,” Eleanor Careless writes that “Robertson is feeling the men, phonetically, all over.” Edmund Hardy asks if the project of this poetry is to ‘represent without any solidifying’, […]


Featured Blogger

Entidades Los Ángeles, California. Enero 24, 2015. No entiendo mi vida, ni la vida. Y menos la muerte. La distancia. El tiempo. La proximidad. La velocidad. (Todas estas ideas son aburridísimas—o sea, el sentir en sí tiene algo de lugar común—pero no dejan de ser poderosas por ser aburridas.) Supongo que vivir no se trata […]

Johannes Göransson and the Excess of Translation

Poetry News

We’re always thinking about translation, especially this month with Dolores Dorantes and Jen Hofer writing in collaboration and through translation. So we were thrilled to see Johannes Göransson posting an excerpt on Montevidayo from a longer piece he published in the recent issue of Two Lines. Göransson surveys a wide range of theories and discussions […]

At <em>Jacket Copy,</em> Lynell George Unravels Langston Hughes’s Letters

Poetry News

Yet another critic is singing the praises of Knopf’s newly published edition of Langston Hughes’s letters. Last week, we mentioned that NYTimes recently got hip to the collected letters. Now, check out Lynell George’s spin at Jacket Copy: In 1960, the NAACP presented its highest honor — the Spingarn Medal — to poet and activist […]

Jenny Zhang & Monica McClure Look for the Decolonized Joke

Poetry News

So good: At the Asian American Writers’ Workshop blog, The Margins, poets Jenny Zhang and Monica McClure volley over email about “how contemporary comedians both toe the line and transgress it in addressing cultural differences in their acts.” They examine Tina Fey and Amy Poehler setting race aside in order to shame Bill Cosby at […]

R.I.P. Suzette Haden Elgin: High Priestess of Sci-Fi Poetry

Poetry News

Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as science fiction poetry. Suzette Haden Elgin was one such poetess. She founded the Science Fiction Poetry Association AND authored the quite popular The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense. We are sad that she is already gone. From io9: Suzette Haden Elgin, who died last week, was a […]

<em>HuffPost</em> Features Timothy Liu and Phillip Minor in Conversation

Poetry News

Take a look at the Huffington Post and you’ll get to be a fly on the wall of this great conversation between Timothy Liu and Phillip Minor. Phillip Minor begins by explaining that he couldn’t wait to interview Timothy Liu after reading Liu’s newest book, Don’t Go Back to Sleep. After reading their conversation we […]

Undocupoets Organizers Are Making Headway

Poetry News

The recent Apogee petition to end citizen-based discrimination in poetry and book contests is gaining steam. At Fusion, Undocupoets co-organizers Javier Zamora, Christopher Soto, and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo–a young poet from Zacatecas, Mexico, and raised in Northern California–talk in depth about the 400 signatures thus far collected, “extending entry rights in major contests to those […]

Post-Ambition: Felix Bernstein & Cecilia Corrigan Talk Shop at <em>BOMB</em>

Poetry News

Felix Bernstein and Cecilia Corrigan reinforce their genius with their own beauty (“as they say”) in this great and long-welcome conversation at BOMB Daily. The two writer-performers illuminate the thinking behind particular modes of performance–whether it be a kind of drag onstage, or one positioned in literary communities and hovering around academia–and they tackle also […]

Poetry in an Age When Reading First Mattered

Poetry News

At The New Yorker, Joshua Rothman reminds readers that there was a time when people did not ordinarily “love” to read, or even approach the activity of reading with the same intentions that they do now. In Rothman’s very thoughtful review of Loving Literature: A Cultural History by Deidre Shauna Lynch, he writes “For a […]

Little Free Libraries Are Unlikely Outlaws

Poetry News

Yet apparently they are law-breakers. Who knew? According to our friends at Jacket Copy, residents in Los Angeles and Shreveport, Louisiana have received citations explaining that the homemade lending libraries are in violation of city codes. It appears that there have been a few neighborhood spats regarding the matter, too. WHAT’S NEXT?! From Jacket Copy: […]

The Sympathetic Vladimir Mayakovksy

Poetry News

A review of the new Mayakovsky biography by Swedish biographer Bengt Jangfeldt (U. Chicago Press 2014) is up at The Telegraph. Jeremy Noel-Tod writes that it “does much sympathetic justice to a catastrophic personality,” and remarks that “[t]he poet’s volatile personality pinballs tragicomically around the milieu where Jangfeldt deftly sets him down. The group included […]

Who Knew That Books Can Judge You Too?

Poetry News

Not so fast, wise guy! The next time that you cast a bemused stare at the cover of a book, it may be an invention of the rogue Dutch designer and digital entrepreneur, Thijs Biersteker. According to our sources at Hyperallergic, this cheeky fellow unveiled “The Cover that Judges You” at the 2015 Art Directors […]

Mark Wunderlich Wins 10K 2015 UNT Rilke Prize

Poetry News

Mark Wunderlich has won the 2015 University of North Texas’ Rilke Prize for his book The Earth Avails (Graywolf Press 2014). “The $10,000 prize recognizes a book written by a mid-­career poet and published in the preceding year that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision.” Mark will travel to UNT in April for a reading and […]

<em>New York Times</em> Reviews <em>Selected Letters of Langston Hughes</em>

Poetry News

Yesterday, just in time for Langston Hughes’s birthday on February 1st, NYT observed a newly-published selection of Langston Hughes’s letters. The very handsome volume, published by Knopf, was edited by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel with Christa Fratantoro. From NYT: The poet Langston Hughes was a courtly man with a slow fuse. “Violent anger,” he […]

RIP Elise Partridge (1958-2015)

Poetry News

We learned today from the Globe and Mail of the death of Elise Partridge. A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, Partridge lived in Vancouver, BC for over 20 years, where she became a fixture in the Canadian poetry community. Her poetry dealt with her long battle with cancer, as Mark Medley writes […]

<em>Boston Review</em> Reviews Caroline Bergvall’s <em>Drift</em>

Poetry News

At Boston Review, Dana Levin writes about Caroline Bergvall’s Drift (Nightboat Books 2014). To the point: “Bergvall has an ear for how the archaic and contemporary guises of English sound akin: a contemporary compound such as ‘nightwacko’ doesn’t sound odd in a work that uses the words ‘wrecan’ and ‘gewacked.’ In presenting these guises of […]