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 ]
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 ]
February was Black History Month, a fact that seemed to go largely unnoticed by folks in the news media who I thought might care a little more. A little later, I picked up C.D. Wright’s One with Others, an obvious National Book Award Finalist if nothing else for the promise of greatness based on its author’s resume, a promise solidified by the book itself. I experienced One with Others in the context of two other ... [ read more ]