What a better time than this, National Poetry Month, to enter another sort of discussion: the common space poems create for reflection -- on the challenges we face, the choices we make, and the invaluable importance of all women do.
When people talk about Dean Young, they talk about how his poems are loved by a.) poets and b.) everyone else. I don't know if that's true, I haven't conducted a survey, but after reading Bender: New and Selected Poems, I hope that it is.
Stretching from London to Edinburgh, spanning theology and makeshift graffiti, my hope is that you will seek these poems out for your own sake, to bring a little transcontinental mischief and mirth to your reading in the year ahead.
Just now the earth recalls His stunning visitation. Now / the earth and scattered habitants attend to what is possible: that He / of a morning entered this, our meagered circumstance, and so / relit the fuse igniting life in them, igniting life in all the dim / surround.
There was the influence of the blues and of 20th century lyric poetry in those first poems, and his reading voice sounded a little bit (or maybe a lot) like Langston Hughes' -- the first poet I ever loved.
As much as I have loved poetry, I don't particularly like that it can be so opaque, and in Matthew Dickman's poems I believed there was a promising, alternate path for me to follow, forged by a poet I would be reading for the rest of my life.
I recently came across a colorful cartoon featuring a cluster of school children with iPhones poking a hardbound novel with a stick as if it were a mysterious relic. I immediately thought: Is it true? Are books dead?
Each month, this contemporary poetry review series selects between five and ten collections published since 2000 to recommend to its readership. These collections are selected from a pool of more than a thousand books of supplied and already-held contemporary poetry.
Each month, this contemporary poetry review series selects between five and ten collections published since 2000 to recommend to its readership. These collections are selected from a pool of more than a thousand books of contemporary poetry.
This month, the series focuses on just two collections: works of such extraordinary merit that they require a longer-than-usual treatment: Peter Gizzi's Threshold Songs and Dean Young's Bender: New and Selected Poems.