Smartish Pace poet Carson Cistulli is all things to all people. If all the things people care about are poetry and baseball, that is. Listen here to Carson on the ... [ read more ]
Poet Matthew Zapruder has been appointed the new poetry column editor for The New York Times Magazine. Born in Washington, D.C., he lives in Oakland, where he is the director ... [ read more ]
Charlie Clark, Smartish Pace Reading
Charlie Clark reading for Smartish Pace at Creative Alliance, Baltimore, on January 1, 2010. Introduction by Clare Banks, Associate Editor, Smartish Pace.
Laura Klebanow: It seems you came to write poetry first, and prose poetry and essays next. Is this correct, or has your work in each genre developed less compartmentally? For example, do you ever start a poem and watch it become a prose poem or essay, or vice versa?Lia Purpura: The issue of how one discernible genre grows from another is utterly mysterious to me. I’m certain that I’m writing prose, though my essays are called “lyric essays.” In fact, I’ve just written an essay titled “What is a Lyric Essay?” for Seneca Review. In it, I’m making a plea for allowing the form to remain as mysterious as possible. I do mean “mysterious” though in the best way – challenging and magical and able to work on a reader and knit up above the page. I don’t mean at all “unclear” or “sloppy”. The language ought to be as precise as possible in order to affect the most unlikely moves. When I’m writing, an impulse makes itself known as a prose itch or poem-itch. Some failed poems have extended out into prose and found their musculature that way. I don’t think a derailed essay has ever turned ... [ read more ]
The poems in Lynn Levin’s second book, Imaginarium, reveal a mature heart smitten by the elusive promise of happiness in a blemished world. Levin reveals a self-proclaimed "greed" for both the literal and figurative fruits of human experience. The range of subjects and breadth of tone is reached by the poet’s astute attention to detail; it is as if she walks with microscope in hand, for no creature is too small to be noticed, no ... [ read more ]