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 ]
Hayden Saunier, Smartish Pace Reading
Hayden Saunier reading for the Smartish Pace Issue 19 Party at the Copy Cat building in Baltimore on April 13, 2013. Music, in the video and live at the party, by The Great American Canyon Band. Intro by Stephen Reichert.
Jeffrey Harrison's Feeding the Fire is available from Sarabande Books (www.sarabandebooks.org). Harrison is the author of two previous collections, The Singing Underneath, selected by James Merrill for the National Poetry Series, and Signs of Arrival. Jacqueline McLean: Titling a book of poems seems like a difficult enterprise. I want to ask you to talk about the significance of your title, Feeding the Fire. In presenting this question, I have a few thoughts in mind. First, there is your marvelous line from Kafka which prefaces the collection: "What one writes is merely the ashes of one's experience." This is a particularly apt line for poetry, in which we relive or try to recover something of the essence of what once was. Yet I see a contradiction here or at least an intriguing complication. In a poem like "White Spaces," you recover (without bringing him back) a college professor who continues to compel you. The closing lines of the poem read: Gone now, known too briefly and too long ago for me to bring him back in a poem, though I'd like to think that what he was and what he gave me hover at the edges of ... [ read more ]
Adults are inclined to the illusion that all children love clowns and masks and life-sized puppets, but the unknown being inside a funny fuzzy bear costume can sometimes reduce a bemused infant to tears. In Alex Grant's new work, The Circus Poems, he picks up the theme of Fear of Moving Water and goes on to describe anthropoidal existence in a bewildering universe where even symmetry and order are random. He stresses the fragilility of living ... [ read more ]