Category Archives: Poetry

Poetry Slam: North Carolina’s Poet Laureate Drama

The more job listings I read, the more efficient I get at parsing them. First, of course, comes the position description, to make sure it’s something I can actually do and might even want to. The list of requirements takes a little longer to weigh: which are the slam-dunks (grasp of basic grammar, proficiency in […]

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The Resurgence of Poem in Your Pocket Day

I’m enormously gratified to be celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day once again on this bright and blustery spring day. Not that it ever went away—it’s been happening cheerfully every year, with or without my participation. But the stresses of academic life had distracted me for the past couple of years, and I managed to […]

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Poetry Just-a-Little-Past Friday: Stephen Burt at Bookslut

I don’t pretend to know much about poetry criticism… at least not to the degree that I pretend to know all sorts of things about prose criticism. But I do like reading it, even if a lot of what’s being proposed probably sails right over my head. Which is why I like reading Stephen Burt—aside […]

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Poetry Friday: Robert Louis Stevenson and Patti Smith

I came to poetry early, thanks mainly to my parents’ throwing a few good anthologies my way as soon as I could read. I loved it all, the rhyming stuff especially, and the more fanciful the better—Coleridge and Blake being particular favorites—and also the stuff you’d expect a kid to like: John Ciardi, Edward Lear, […]

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Poetry Friday: “Dear Mr. Fanelli,” by Charles Bernstein

Isn’t commuting daily by subway like nothing so much as pursuing a reluctant lover? You inhabit your starting point, envision your destination, and confidently plunge forward along well-laid pathways. Filled with hope and longing, capable of doubt and despair, and knowing (in your heart of hearts) that being given a moment to sit and catch […]

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Poetry Friday: “Although the wind …” by Izumi Shikibu

Last night (trying to meet this Friday deadline), I opened the program and spread out my notes. Since the week before, I had wanted to write something about the damage caused by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. I went online to review some of the details and was caught up in a maelstrom of Breaking News […]

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Poetry Friday: “The Way In” by Linda Hogan

The pink and purple and white canopies I mentioned recently have mostly given way to leafy clouds, the piercing yellow-green of springtime. The hardiest bad-ass stems and tendrils are forcing themselves through cracks in sidewalks and retaining walls. Road and bridge repair crews have set up shop amid blooming orange traffic cones. College commencements and […]

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Poetry Friday: “Heat” by Michael Chitwood

Ironing, like so many other domestic chores, has about it the air of religion. There is a compelling need for specific implements and special rituals, a curious balance of fire and water, a mix of dry and damp, and a fresh (unending!) supply of pristine garments — all looming overwhelmingly to wring order from chaos. […]

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Poetry Friday: “Crowning” by Kevin Young

Long into each winter I reach a point where I am drawn to believe that the weather and I will never be warm again. I often make it through the holidays and the year end/beginning before this moment of existential despair overtakes me, most often after several days of unseasonable cold and unrelenting winds. I […]

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Poetry Friday: “Pleasures” by Denise Levertov

Walking to the subway one recent morning, I saw a torn bit of plastic lying in the gutter: a common sign, found in any hardware store, made for routine use. This one had a jet-black background from which angry orange letters glared. It originally commanded “NO PARKING,” but all that remained (of insubstantial plastic) was […]

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