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 ]
C. D. Wright, American award-winning poet and writing professor at Brown University, unexpectedly passed away in her home on January 12, 2016. Her most recent book, Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, ... [ read more ]
Gregory Djanikian, Smartish Pace Reading
Gregory Djanikian reading for Smartish Pace at KGB Bar in New York City on December 1, 2012. Intro by Stephen Reichert. Music by Luna. Photographs by Deb Schwartz.
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 ]
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 ]