Congratulations to Smartish Pace poet Jacob Polley for winning the T.S. Eliot Prize, the world's most prestigious poetry prize, for his new collection Jackself (Picador, 2016). Polley's new poems will appear ... [ read more ]
Aliki Barnstone: “A Sundial in France I’ve Never Seen”
Donald Berger: “Hanging Wood”
Gordon Buchan: “The Sign in the Sky”
Alicia Mountain: “Scavenger”
G.H. Mosson: “Punk Rock Song”
Jennifer Pruiett-Selby: ... [ read more ]
Liam Rector poetry reading
Liam Rector poetry reading, Washington, DC, December 6, 2007.
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 ]
Chanting the names of friends long past, of landscapes and the living things that sustain them, Patricia Clark weaves a hypnotic web of verse that does exactly what Robert Frost declares poetry ought to do in the book's epigraph: "And what I would not part with I have kept." Frost's declaration is the footing stone, the foundation for Clark's love of the earth and how she records that love in painstaking detail -- flora and ... [ read more ]