Words

December 2013

The Sunday Poem: Patricia Fargnoli’s Winter

By |12.21.13|

 
When Pulitzer-Prize-winner Mary Oliver chose Patricia Fargnoli’s first book, Necessary Light, as the winner of The May Swenson Book Award, Fargnoli was 62 years old.

“I began writing poems in high school and had a few (terrible ones) published in the school paper,” Pat explained by email from her home in Walpole, New Hampshire. “And I had taken poetry classes a couple […]

Gwarlingo’s 26 Favorite Art, Photography, Film & Design Books of 2013

By |12.12.13|

 

As an ex-librarian and book collector, one of my favorite things to do is to ferret out new publications and share them with readers. Whenever I’m traveling, I scour local bookstores and museum shops for interesting books. (Carting heavy art tomes home on an airplane is a familiar experience.) I also keep an eye out for new titles online, in […]

The Sunday Poem: Sophie Cabot Black’s The Exchange

By |12.07.13|

 

“For me, the act of writing comes out of query,” poet Sophie Cabot Black explains in a recent interview with The New Yorker. “Each image turns to the next with its question and gets answered. Or with its answer it gets questioned. Poetry is my way to understand what is difficult. How one thing can be explained through another—is to get closer, to unhide […]

Chop-Suey, Automats, & Diamondback Terrapin: Michael Lesy & Lisa Stoffer on Dining in America

By |12.01.13|

 
Wisconsin Death Trip
My first introduction to the work of Michael Lesy was a chance encounter many years ago with his classic photography book Wisconsin Death Trip. Flipping through the images of children in coffins and grim-faced Midwesterners, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was seeing. A straightforward document of madness, crime, disease, and urbanization in Black River Falls, Wisconsin? Or, perhaps, […]

November 2013

The Sunday Poem: Miriam Sagan’s Seven Places in America

By |11.23.13|

 

“Miriam Sagan’s Seven Places is a lovely collection of verbal souvenirs, resonant snapshots plumbing the mists, the touches, the footfalls that evoke place,” writes art critic Lucy Lippard. “Before I started reading I knew some of these places. Now I know them all. I can walk there.”

Art has the ability to make the familiar new again, and this is particularly true of the […]

Writer Howard Mansfield on Clutter, Home Improvement & the Most Hated House on the Block

By |11.19.13|

 

 
“Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul.” -Samuel Mockbee
 
The Click & Clack of Clutter

I am fascinated by how houses succeed or fail to shelter us, body and soul, ” says writer Howard Mansfield in his new book Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter (Bauhan Publishing, 2013).

“The mystery that holds my attention is that some houses have […]

The Sunday Poem: Alice Fogel on How to Not “Get” Poetry

By |11.16.13|

 

Alice B. Fogel is poised to become the next Poet Laureate in New Hampshire, following in the footsteps of Donald Hall, Maxine Kumin, Jane Kenyon, Patricia Fargnoli, and others. Governor Maggie Hassan recently appointed Fogel to the five-year position.

Fogel’s third book, Be That Empty, was a national poetry bestseller in 2008, and in 2009 Strange Terrain (on how to appreciate poetry without “getting” it) came out. […]

A New Orleans Hospital Becomes Hell: Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial

By |11.04.13|

 

How do we cope with a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina? Do we learn the necessary lessons and adjust accordingly, or do we simply slip back into a state of denial? How prepared are we for the next major storm?

Questions like these have been on my mind this week during my stay in New Orleans. Today I saw […]

The Sunday Poem: Ed Skoog’s Rough Day

By |11.02.13|

 

We don’t give much thought to the covers of the poetry books we read, but the genre is plagued by amateurish typography and ill-chosen imagery. Copper Canyon Press consistently has some of the strongest, most thoughtful designs, and Ed Skoog’s Rough Day is the perfect marriage of style and substance.

A 1939 photograph of Skoog’s mother, looking rather displeased with a pet crow […]

October 2013

The Sunday Poem: Bridget Lowe’s At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky

By |10.19.13|

 

The publication of Bridget Lowe’s debut collection, At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2013), is a bit of a full-circle moment for Gwarlingo.

Bridget Lowe was one of the first Gwarlingo Sunday Poets, back in the early days when the Sunday Poem feature was limited to a single poem. Bridget’s “In My Study of Hysteria,” which is included in […]