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 ]
Rachel Bennett, Smartish Pace Reading
Rachel Bennett reads at the Smartish Pace Issue 18 party at KGB Bar in New York City on December 17, 2011. Intro by SP Associate Editor Clare Banks.
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 ]
Robert Bly's latest collection of poetry, The Night Abraham Called to the Stars, is the work of an experienced poet, author of over 20 books: poetry, essays, translations. This new book, which has moments of real illumination, is generally darkened by disjointedness and the writer's self-absorption.The poems are more about love of Self than love of the Other. For example, Bly seems intent to justify his own infidelities: in "What Kept Horace Alive," ... [ read more ]