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Articles by Maureen Thorson

OLM Favorites: Aid in the Labyrinth

December 1st, 2017

Randall Jarrell was suspicious of attempts to turn criticism into a science: he wrote as a reader, for other readers, with the work itself foremost in his mind.

Grudge Sliver

February 1st, 2015
Grudge Sliver

In Alice Fulton’s new book Barely Composed, her poems flash across the whole of the language, whip it into a froth, playfully distort it, and sometimes bypass it altogether. Open Letters‘ Poetry Editor reads along.

I Think We’re Alone Now

November 1st, 2014
I Think We’re Alone Now

Two poetry volumes – one concerned with how to be ourselves, alone, inside, the other concerned with making multifacted connections with external reality – are reviewed in a gentle dialogue with each other.

Tempus Fugit

June 1st, 2014
Tempus Fugit

Maxine Kumin, friend of Anne Sexton, master of poetic form and meter, died just before her eighteenth book was published. Maureen Thorson dives into her allusive, welcoming last poems.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

April 1st, 2014
Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

Two new books of poetry take different approaches to the written word and its conundrums. Can words express the truth, or are we asking too much of them?

Connect the Dots

October 1st, 2013
<u>Connect the Dots </u>

What kind of reader would she be, our Poetry Editor asks, if she didn’t allow herself to be susceptible to Ange Mlinko’s sublime, piercing unreason?

August 2013 Issue

August 1st, 2013
August 2013 Issue


July 2013 Issue

July 1st, 2013
July 2013 Issue


Songs of Experience

October 1st, 2012

Sufi mystics, barbaric yawps, and the comedy of the sexes are what’s inside Anthony Madrid’s new collection of ghazals. What does our poetry editor make of this puzzling Persian pattern?

Odi et Amo

April 1st, 2012

The work of the Roman poet Catullus has always challenged the received idioms of poetry and society, and a daring new translation both underscores and undermines that iconoclastic Catullan stance.

City Zen

February 1st, 2012

How should we relate to our cities? To ourselves? Kate Schapira couldn’t be asking more important questions in her latest collections of poems, How We Saved The City, and The Bounty: Four Addresses

A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance

January 1st, 2011
After Usuyuki 5

“I think about how the self might be simply a series of curatorial choices, that it’s fluid, that the poetic ‘voice’ is something to play with rather than solidify.” — a conversation with cover artist Anne Gorrick

#10 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

October 1st, 2010

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
By Rebecca Skloot
Crown Publishing Group, 2010
In American criminal law, there is a doctrine called “the fruit of the poisonous tree.” In the 1950s, it was at the core of Fourth …

Tricky Shticks

September 1st, 2009

Nixon, Bushes, and the War on Terror have been surprisingly good for poetry. Maureen Thorson releases her findings on National Anthem and Dick of the Dead.

from Moving Day

May 1st, 2009

new poetry from Maureen Thorson