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 ]
Bro. Yao, Smartish Pace Reading
Bro. Yao reading for Smartish Pace on the CityLit Stage at the Baltimore Book Festival on Sept. 29, 2012.
STEPHEN REICHERT: First off, thank you for agreeing to do this interview despite the busyness of your semester. I'd like to begin with your origins and influences. What was it about your upbringing that led to your life as a poet? STEPHEN CUSHMAN: I can think of two ways to answer this question. The first would be to reel off some autobiographical facts that might account for a love of language and literature. My father was a professor of American literature, my mother a librarian, so I grew up in a verbal household, one in which both talking and reading (or at first being read to) occupied a large share of my time. But these autobiographical facts only help to explain literacy; they don't explain why someone who grew up in such a household would choose writing in addition to reading, and they don't explain why such a person would choose to write verse rather than prose. To account for those developments is much harder. I know that I began to write poems in high school, and I suspect that I wrote them for much the same reason other people in high ... [ read more ]
One of the things I've been observing recently is that poets no longer seem to be constrained by either strict adherence to form or pigeon-holing ("formalist"); instead, many new collections are emerging that I'd call "semi-formal," shuffling an equal measure of formal poetry and free verse, keeping the reader on her toes, as she moves along, engaged in either the narrative or the lyric imagery, and then finds herself caught up short, realizing, "Hey, that's ... [ read more ]