Smartish Pace Editor Stephen Reichert nominated Laurel Hunt, and her poem "Glass," and D.M. Macormic, and his poem "Identity Theft," for Best New Poets 2017. SP nominations have won in ... [ read more ]
The Good Contrivance Farm Residency provides a 1200 square foot barn loft apartment on a small, historic farm in central Maryland, 25 miles north of Baltimore. It's run by our ... [ read more ]
Smartish Pace intern Austin Tally playing in his band Wing Dam at Metro Gallery in Baltimore on April 10, 2013. Great band.
Traci O’Dea (Associate Editor, Smartish Pace): How has translating Sappho affected your own poetry?
Aaron Poochigian: I had always wanted each line of my poetry to be songlike and ravishing. Now, after having lived with Sappho for about two years, I have a better sense of what that means. But I should be more specific about her influence. Many of Sappho’s poems give the reader the impression that he or she is eavesdropping on a private conversation, as in the following fragment:As you are dear to me go find a youngerBed as your due.I can’t stand being the old one any longer,Living with you.I now readily slip into the conversational mode in my own work. Sappho, in fact, is credited with pioneering the “personal” in poetry, partly because she gives the reader this window into the intimate. She also makes frequent use of what I call “choral” expression—that is, the speaker as a first person plural “we” representing a group of people. I now often write poems in “group voices.” Perhaps the poem “The Marriage of Peleus and Thetis” is the best evidence of her influence on my work. The Marriage ... [ read more ]
Wanting in seriousness but not in any respects lacking for vivacious word-play, Kevin McFadden's Hardscrabble is an honest, agile, yet at times bulky debut. It's so ranging a collection that no handful of lines will summarize its intent. If the collection has a weakness, it is that it suffers from want of omission.Loosely, the book concerns itself with McFadden's birth home Ohio and current home Virginia, and their historical bedrocks. McFadden then shatters ... [ read more ]