"FLITTER / is what she said but what she meant had nothing / to do with the lighting from one bloom to the next / by a monarch or an equally colorful diva at the bar. / What she meant was your privates, your girlie parts, /something you better soap up daily and watch / like a spectacled hawk."
I have breathed into too many balloons / put my fingers in so many cakes / had my body scanned with fingerprints / written out my dreams in lines of the night / traced words into storm clouds / mixed water with mint and bourbon...
There isn’t a word for walking out of the grocery store / with a gallon jug of milk in a plastic sack / that should have been bagged in double layers / —so that before you are even out the door / you feel the weight of the jug dragging / the bag down, stretching the thin / plastic handles longer and longer and you know it’s only a matter of time until / bottom suddenly splits.
The 1819 Edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales (Photo: Andreas Berthel © Stadt Kassel / Kulturamt) Murder. Infanticide. Mutilation. Incest. While true love intermittently raises its pretty head, Grimm's fairy tales are far darker than the Disneyfied versions so many of us know. [...]
For Proust," Susan Howe writes in her Preface to The Gorgeous Nothings, "a fragment is a morsel of time in its pure state; it hovers between a present that is immediate and a past that once had been present." The fragments Howe is specifically referring to are the envelopes left [...]
Lauren Camp (Photo by Elena E. Giorgi) The Dailiness by Lauren Camp from Edwin E. Smith, 2013 An Interview with Lauren Camp Michelle Aldredge: I like the close attention you pay to daily encounters in your book. The image of "folding" appears again and again throughout the collection. [...]
Jamaal May was born in 1982 in Detroit where he has taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. His first book, Hum, received the Beatrice Hawley Award from Alice James Books and an NAACP Image Award nomination. (Photo by Tarfia Faizullah) [...]
Brenda Arrieta Killian in the wig she wore after shaving her hair at the beginning of chemotherapy. Brenda was the subject of a series of articles Sunday Poet Don Colburn wrote for The Oregonian and is the subject of his new chapbook Tomorrow Too: The Brenda Monologues. (Photo by Stephanie Yao [...]
"There’s nobody living who couldn’t stand all afternoon in front of a waterfall...," wrote Agnes Martin. "Anyone who can sit on a stone in a field awhile can see my painting. Nature is like parting a curtain, you go into it...as you would cross an empty beach to look at [...]
Lauren Alleyne hails from the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths) Poetry is like ice-cream," poet Lauren Alleyne recently told an interviewer when asked to compare poetry to a food. "It completes joy, but is also a natural remedy for heartache. You can enjoy [...]
Poet C.D. Wright (Photo by W.T. Pfefferle via Flickr Commons) I first encountered C.D. Wright's poetry through the back door of photography. Years ago, when I was studying contemporary artists working with 19th century photographic processes, I stumbled across Deborah Luster's collaboration with C.D. Wright, titled One Big [...]
Judith Taylor (Photo courtesy the author) As the psychoanalysts Jung and Freud both observed, fairy tales frequently reveal more about a culture than its sophisticated literary texts. These are the stories we hear at a young, impressionable age. Whether we're conscious of it or not, these tales of angelic [...]
Do not encourage small children / to play the trombone as the shortness / of their arms may prove quite frustrating, / imprinting a lifelong aversion to music / although in rare cases a sense of unreachability / may inspire operas of delicate auras.
Bill Viola, Catherine's Room, 2001. Video installation. (Photo © Bill Viola courtesy tate.org) Resolutions It's the New Year, which means that many of us are taking stock of our personal habits, both good and bad, and resolving to do better. But how many things on this year's list [...]
Patricia Fargnoli published her first book of poetry at the age of 62. 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 [...]
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 [...]
(Attributed to) Caravaggio, Sacrifice of Isaac, c. 1598. Oil on canvas 46 in × 68 in. (Photo via Wikimedia courtesy the Piasecka-Johnson Collection, Princeton) Sophie Cabot Black (Photo by Alexander Black) "For me, the act of writing comes out of query," poet Sophie Cabot Black explains in a recent interview [...]
The chefs of Sherry's restaurant at luncheon in 1902 (Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, the Byron Company Collection. Click to Enlarge) Wisconsin Death Trip My first introduction to the work of Michael Lesy was a chance encounter many years ago with his classic [...]
Lisa Elmaleh, Paurotis Palms, Everglades, Florida, silver gelatin print, 2010. On view in the Mythology of Florida exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans through January 5th. (Photo © Lisa Elmaleh via lisaelmaleh.com) "Miriam Sagan's Seven Places is a lovely collection of verbal souvenirs, resonant snapshots plumbing [...]
Lisa Dahl, Suburban Export, household cardboard, 1.5 x 2 x 2 inches (each), installation variable, 2011-12. View the finished installation Suburban Export here. (In-Progress photo of installation by Lisa Dahl courtesy the artist) "Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul." -Samuel Mockbee The [...]
(Carl Sandburg poetry manuscript photo by Ben Woloszyn via news.illinois.edu) 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 [...]
Photographer Thomas Neff took this photo of Caroline Koch on Mandeville Street after Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Thomas Neff courtesy Lumiere Gallery) 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 [...]
Writer Ed Skoog (Photo by Kelly O courtesy the author) 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 [...]
Poet Bridget Lowe (Photo by Jennifer Wetzel courtesy the author) 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 [...]
Poet David Bottoms (Photo courtesy the author) David Bottoms grew up in Canton, Georgia, the only child of David H. Bottoms, a funeral director, and Louise Ashe Bottoms, a registered nurse. Their home had only two books: a King James Bible and a book by preacher Billy Graham. It [...]