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Alice Oswald & Jordan Abel Win Griffin Poetry Prize!

Poetry News

Our heartfelt congratulations to Alice Oswald and Jordan Abel, winners of this year’s Griffin Poetry Prize. Oswald won for her recent collection of poems, Falling Awake, while Abel was honored for his book-length poem, Injun. At the Guardian, Danuta Kean writes, Oswald’s “dreamlike vision of the West Country carried off the 2017 International Griffin poetry […]

Poetry News

At BOMB, Jeff Dolven documents the process of “bringing poems into the social space of ‘Root Sequence. Mother Tongue,’” Asad Raza’s installation at the Whitney Museum, “on the first Sunday afternoon in June, 2017.” The event featured poems by Tracy K. Smith, Mónica de la Torre, and Monica Youn. “The trees, the totem-objects placed at […]

In Memory of Kathryn Stripling Byer (1944–2017)

Poetry News

We’re saddened to hear that poet Kathryn Stripling Byer has died at the age of 72 from lymphoma. Byer, who taught at UNC-Greensboro, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and Western Carolina University, served as the state’s first female poet laureate. “Byer published a half-dozen books and hundreds of poems over the years, earning induction into the North Carolina […]

David Lau on Bertolt Brecht’s <em>War Primer</em>

Poetry News

At the Verso Books blog, David Lau writes about Bertolt Brecht’s War Primer, which the publisher recently released into the wilds of bookstore shelves. “When War Primer (Kriegsfibel) first appeared in English nearly two decades ago,” Lau explains, “its Second World War-era photo-epigrams (fotoepigramme, as Brecht dubbed them) would take readers into a core sample […]

Mark Strand, Collages (2011-2014)

From Poetry Magazine

I wanted to go on an immense journey, to travel night and day into the unknown until, forgetting my old self, I came into possession of a new self, one I might have missed on my previous travels. —From “When I Turned a Hundred,” by Mark Strand Whenever I read these lines from “When I […]

On Gerard Manley Hopkins’s ‘Poetic vice’

Poetry News

Simon Edge’s glimpse into Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poetry through the lens of queer literature begins with an interesting pairing: Hopkins, side-by-side with Oscar Wilde. It’s a historically reasonable comparison. After all, Wilde was published in the same issue of a literary journal that rejected Hopkins. At the Guardian, Edge writes, “Fun literary fact: when a […]

<em>Literary Hub</em> Celebrates Cave Canem’s Twentieth Anniversary

Poetry News

This year, literary organization Cave Canem is celebrating 20 years of greatness. Literary Hub shares with readers Walter Mosley’s opening address from Cave Canem’s anniversary party, which took place at Weeksville Heritage Center on Friday, May 26. Mosley begins with a statement on the organization’s origins and ongoing mission: “When Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady […]

Chat Bot’s Poetry Irks Scholars

Poetry News

Chris Weller of Business Insider reports on a new Chinese poetry book that is alarming some Chinese poets and poetry scholars. In China Youth Daily, poet Yu Jian responds, “It disgusted me with its slippery tone and rhythm…The sentences were aimless and superficial, lacking the inner logic for emotional expression.” But what is it, and […]

Hoa Nguyen’s Magic Eight

Poetry News

CBC Books recently invited poet Hoa Nguyen to answer a bunch of questions, eight to be exact. Nguyen’s latest book of poetry, Violet Energy Ingots, is shortlisted for the $60,000 Griffin Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in Canadian literature. Regarding her name, Nguyen responds to her first question, “I have a complicated relationship […]

Sundays in Satin: The Eloquence of Gwendolyn Brooks

Featured Blogger

“Save some of those for me, Michael, before you gobble them all up.” I was having afternoon tea with Ms. Gwendolyn Brooks, the grand lady of African American poetry. It was a full British tea, following a reading she gave at Rutgers in Camden, New Jersey, where I was on the path to tenure. White […]

<em>Literary Hub</em> Celebrates Gwendolyn Brooks’s Generosity

Poetry News

Literary Hub shines a spotlight on Gwendolyn Brooks, not only for her excellent poetry, not only for being the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize, but also for her extremely generous responses to emerging writers and fans. “She was also a writer with a huge conscience, and something of a literary philanthropist, who contributed […]

Helen Dunmore’s Last Poem, Revealed

Poetry News

Accomplished British poet Helen Dunmore passed away this week, after a long battle with terminal cancer (as we reported yesterday). At the Guardian, Danuta Kean guides readers to a few of Dunmore’s last words, a poem, entitled “Hold out your arms,” written on an iPhone from her death bed. The poem will be included in […]

‘An Artifact Rich & Strange’: Bertolt Brecht’s <em>War Primer</em>

Poetry News

It’s an “acid take on the so-called ‘Good War,’” Roy Scranton writes of Bertolt Brecht’s War Primer, a diary that fuses photographs Brecht collected between 1939 and 1945 with poetic epigrams. At Los Angeles Review of Books, Scranton writes, “Brecht’s War Primer comes to us from that lost world, its pages less a lesson than […]

Douglas Messerli Reviews <em>Concrete Poetry</em>

Poetry News

A new show at the Getty, curated by Nancy Perloff, explores the Los Angeles research institute’s vast collection of concrete poetry, focusing on the “purists of the movement,” Douglas Messerli explains. The exhibition, entitled Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space, highlights the movement’s early influencers, of whom, Messerli writes: “the range of their […]

<em>NYT</em> on the Swedish Academy’s ‘Dylan adventure’

Poetry News

After the Swedish Academy announced Bob Dylan’s 2016 Nobel Prize in literature, the literary world dove into a state of shock. Dylan’s award brought the age-old question “Are song lyrics a form of literature?” to conversations outside of classrooms and to the pages of national newspapers. At the New York Times, Ben Sisario details Dylan’s […]

Helen Dunmore Dies at 64

Poetry News

The Guardian reports poet and novelist Helen Dunmore has died at the age of 64, after a battle with cancer. Dunmore authored 12 novels and 10 collections of poetry and was honored with a number of awards in her life. She published her first book of poetry in 1983, The Apple Fall, with Bloodaxe Books, […]

Notes From the ‘Other Culture’

Poetry News

At Orlando Weekly, Baynard Woods considers Ed Sanders’s activist history in the context of the current political crisis. Sanders, poet, counter-cultural icon, and founder of the Fugs, recently exorcised the Trump White House with very interesting results. “With a wild halo of white hair exploding from his balding pate, small glasses perched upon his crinkled […]

On Death: Gerald Stern Considers Last Words

Poetry News

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette checks in with poet Gerald Stern, born in Pittsburgh, whose recently published collection Death Watch: A View from the Tenth Decade mulls the power of final verses. “Through the ages a writer’s dying words have been paid special attention,” Kristofer Collins explains. On, from there: Sometimes those words offer solace, such as the […]

<em>Sewanee Review’s</em> Second Life

Poetry News

How does one rescue a 125-year-old literary journal from the dregs of literary obscurity? Ask Adam Ross, the new editor of Sewanee Review. Well, actually you don’t even HAVE TO ask him, because luckily for us, Alexandra Alter tells his story at the New York Times. “Adam Ross was more than 100 pages into a […]

Against Miracles

Featured Blogger

“It was not natural.  And she was the first.”  With these words, June Jordan opens her incisive and deeply moving essay on poet Phillis Wheatley, whose emergence from the hold of the slaveship that “brought [her] to America” (Wheatley’s words) into a precocious, philosophical poethood (in the second of her three languages) was nothing short […]