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 ]
Eric Pankey, Smartish Pace Reading
Eric Pankey reading for Smartish Pace at Artomatic in Washington, DC on June 12, 2009. Intros by Dan Brady of Barrelhouse & Stephen Reichert of 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 ]
Anthony Hecht's seventh collection, The Darkness and the Light, is a mesmerization by poetic prism. The light flashes, then goes dark, and we are under his spell. From love under a Florentine sunset to staring down the barrel of a NAZI rifle, there seems to be no subject on which Hecht cannot speak with passion and compassion.There is much about seeing in here. As with the title, the eyes in this collection both ... [ read more ]