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Afternoon of the Ode: a failed attempt to dispense with the unique soul and write in the style of Kenneth Goldsmith April 24, 2012: Perhaps, then, the copying exercises Kenneth Goldsmith talks about in his address to the White House workshop come at a moment when students badly need tools to make constructs more satisfying than [...]
The Difference Between Poetry and Prose April 19, 2012: Prose is all about accumulation (a morality of work), while poetry as it is practiced today is about the isolation of feelings (an aesthetics of omission).
“What Must Be Said” April 10, 2012: True or false: 1. Major daily newspapers no longer publish poetry. 2. Poems are not about anything. 3. Nobel laureates in literature politely remove themselves from the public forum immediately after [...]
Looking for Poetry April 6, 2012: In their opening salvos this month at Harriet, both Camille Dungy and Linh Dinh confirmed what I had long expected to be the case: that poetry in America has a life of its own beyond the ivied halls [...]
The Well-Packaged Estrangement of Jack Gilbert April 2, 2012: When Dwight Garner in the New York Times, or anyone else, tells me that something is likely to be one of the year’s “two or three most important books of poetry” my sweeping generalization [...]
I Often Wish April 29, 2011: I often wish I could pry day-like spaces out of second-long openings, cracks between Wednesdays and Thursdays. There would be a kind of low rumbling over my wrist as the escapement of my watch [...]
Timely Timelessness: a response to Rachel Zucker April 25, 2011: If you’re going to be a hack these days, you’ve got to do a lot of hacking. This is timely work that, hopefully, I’ll be paid for in timely fashion.
What’s Missing April 18, 2011: Great poems adapt to our needs over a lifetime of reading them. Philip Larkin’s “Aubade,” written in his last decade of life, and arguably one of his greatest poems, has come to mind again and [...]
A Poem by the Portuguese poet Ana Luísa Amaral April 11, 2011: It is hard to speak about contemporary European Poetry without differentiating between countries and even regions of countries. The same thing, of course, holds true for American poetry, though in [...]
The poetics of ethics and the ethics of exile, a reading of Alan Gilbert April 7, 2011: The other day Alan Gilbert wrote on what he called an “ethics of exile” and a “poetics of exile,” the latter being the title of his piece. I find both expressions problematic. To illustrate [...]