Charles Wright will be the next Poet Laureate, kicking off his tenure with a Sept. 25 reading of his work.
Wright has 24 poetry collections and two books of ... [ read more ]
From Smartish Pace, Issue 20
Carson Cistulli: “Young People Will Have White Hair”
Leah Falk: “Westview Cemetery”
Andrea Henchey: “The Moon Is So Smart”
Timothy Liu: “The Garden of ... [ read more ]
Piotr Gwiazda, Smartish Pace reading
Piotr Gwiazda in the Smartish Pace Reading Series at The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, on March 10, 2012. Intro by SP Editor Stephen Reichert.
Jeffrey Harrison's Feeding the Fire is available from Sarabande Books (www.sarabandebooks.org). Harrison is the author of two previous collections, The Singing Underneath, selected by James Merrill for the National Poetry Series, and Signs of Arrival. Jacqueline McLean: Titling a book of poems seems like a difficult enterprise. I want to ask you to talk about the significance of your title, Feeding the Fire. In presenting this question, I have a few thoughts in mind. First, there is your marvelous line from Kafka which prefaces the collection: "What one writes is merely the ashes of one's experience." This is a particularly apt line for poetry, in which we relive or try to recover something of the essence of what once was. Yet I see a contradiction here or at least an intriguing complication. In a poem like "White Spaces," you recover (without bringing him back) a college professor who continues to compel you. The closing lines of the poem read: Gone now, known too briefly and too long ago for me to bring him back in a poem, though I'd like to think that what he was and what he gave me hover at the edges of ... [ read more ]
University of Montana graduate Melissa Kwasny's recent poetry collection, Thistle, published by Lost Horse Press, gathers as its cause a wide-ranging sheaf of Mountain West flora. These Ovid-esque poems expand from the names of flowers, herbs, or other plants – "Mullein" is introduced as sickly sweet, persevering by a roadside, "Iris" keeps close an alluring indifference, "unblossomed in silt." In Thistle the speaker is more often than not grafted with plant, and memory is inextricably ... [ read more ]