The Sunday Poem 2017-06-24T02:42:50+00:00

The Sunday Poem

The Sunday Poem: Brenda Shaughnessy

  Brenda Shaughnessy (Photo by Sylvia Plachy)   Brenda Shaughnessy's Our Andromeda had positive buzz in the literary community before it was even released by Cooper Canyon Press late last year, and the glowing reviews and accolades from publications like The New Yorker, the New York Times, Bookforum, and Publisher's Weekly just keep pouring in. And rightly so. Not since Sylvia Plath has a poet written so vividly about the challenge of being a [...]

By | 02.23.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem : G.C. Waldrep

  G.C. Waldrep's hat (Photo courtesy of G.C. Waldrep)   For a writer who has lived a fascinating, unconventional life, the poetry of G.C. Waldrep is remarkably devoid of ego. While other writers with Waldrep’s life experience might be tempted to use their own story as window dressing, Waldrep never succumbs to such a temptation. Instead, he allows his personal experience to drive his aesthetic choices. The end result is poetry that is both [...]

By | 02.16.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : G.C. Waldrep

The Sunday Poem : Patricia Spears Jones

  Patricia Spears Jones (Photo by Carl E. Hazelwood)   Patricia Spears Jones grew up in Arkansas, but moved to New York City in the 1970s. Painkiller is her third collection, and the book's elegant, empathetic poems show her flair for capturing urban life, particularly New York's metamorphosis over the past three decades. As poet Scott Hightower writes, " [Spears] Jones takes on the persona of a flaneuse [a stroller,] in that she grapples with understanding, participating [...]

By | 02.09.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem: Thomas Rain Crowe

    Writer Thomas Rain Crowe     About The Laugharne Poems by Thomas Rain Crowe   “While visiting Wales for the first time in 1993, I immediately adopted a love for the culture and community, was fondly given the name of ‘Tierec’, and was given permission (in fact, the keys) by the Carmarthen District Cultural Council to be the first person since Dylan Thomas's death in 1953, Welsh or otherwise, to use the boathouse in [...]

By | 02.02.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Thomas Rain Crowe

The Sunday Poem : Paula Bohince

  Paula Bohince (Photo by Patrick Mullen)   "There’s movement in [Paula] Bohince’s ­poems, but it’s gradual and subtle — an eye passing like Ken Burns’s camera over a still image, discovering new details," writes Eric McHenry in today's New York Times Book Review: The nouns pile up like snow while the reader waits for a verb that will never arrive...Even in narrative passages, Bohince lets participles do the work of predicates: “In [...]

By | 01.26.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Paula Bohince

The Sunday Poem : Evie Shockley

  Writer Evie Shockley on Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa (Photo by Stéphane Robolin)   "Evie Shockley seems to step to us wearing an alluring silk gown and steel-toe guerilla boots. She possesses that rare combination of grace and subversiveness." This is poet Terrance Hayes commenting on Evie Shockley's most recent book the new black. I couldn't agree with Terrance more. Art that tackles topics like politics, race, injustice, and identity can be [...]

By | 01.19.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Erica Funkhouser

    "I think I don't really know who I am, or what I think, or what I believe unless I'm in the process of writing," says poet Erica Funkhouser. "That's where all of my discovery takes place, that's where all of my confrontation takes place -- I would say not just with my own interior life but with the exterior life, the rest of the world. I wouldn't know what I thought, or who [...]

By | 01.12.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Erica Funkhouser

The Sunday Poem : John Lane

  John Lane (Photo by Helen Correll)   John Lane is a poet with the eye of a naturalist. Quarries. Cottonmouths in a creek. Civil War battlefields. Suburban lawns. These are the places he turns to for meaning. Lane understands that our relationship to the environment is a symbiotic one --- that there is a connection between the plastic objects we put into our shopping carts and a strip-mined hill in Kentucky. "John Lane [...]

By | 01.06.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : John Lane

The Sunday Poem : Mark Doty

  Mark Doty at Readers' Books in Sonoma, California, after the publication of his New York Times bestselling memoir Dog Years (Photo courtesy the author)   Finding a memorable contemporary poem about Christmas is a lot like discovering a jaw-dropping piece of Christmas music. In other words, the task is nearly impossible. I'm a softy, it's true, but my tolerance for sentimental goo is as low as a cockroach in a crawl-space. I'd [...]

By | 12.22.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|4 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Janlori Goldman

  Janlori Goldman   It's hard to believe that the winter solstice is this week. For residents of the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st is both the longest night, and the shortest day, depending on your perspective. On December 21st, there will be 24 hours of daylight south of the Antarctic Circle and 24 hours of darkness north of the Arctic Circle. Today's Sunday Poem, "Winter Solstice," by Janlori Goldman marks the event, while also [...]

By | 12.15.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Janlori Goldman

The Sunday Poem : Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

  Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz with poet Taylor Mali at the WordXWord Festival in Massachusetts   Thanks to all of the readers who have contributed to the Gwarlingo Membership Drive. Just over $4000 of the $15,000 goal has been raised in the first three days, which has exceeded my expectations. Thank you! Art work by Matthew Northridge, Bill Jacobson, and Rachel Perry Welty quickly sold out, and the interactive Member Profiles available to donors [...]

By | 12.09.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Caitlin Doyle

  Poet Caitlin Doyle (Photo by Mike Robinson)   Rhyme is tricky business for a contemporary poet. In an environment where free-verse dominates, how can a writer make a traditional technique like rhyme meaningful and innovative, and not simply a hollow, reactionary gesture against the status-quo? Poet Caitlin Doyle has been exploring this question through highly original poems steeped both in meaning and musicality. Whether she is constructing in free verse or in [...]

The Sunday Poem : W.S. Merwin & the Debut of the Sunday Poem Index

  Poet W.S. Merwin   I want to wish you and your loved ones a belated Happy Thanksgiving this Sunday. This holiday I'm exceedingly grateful to you for reading Gwarlingo and to all of the artists and poets who have contributed work to the site. In gratitude I have a new addition to the site that I'm excited to share with you... As Gwarlingo grows, browsing and locating older posts becomes more difficult. [...]

By | 11.24.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|5 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Anzhelina Polonskaya, Translated by Andrew Wachtel

  Anzhelina Polonskaya   I first met Russian poet Anzhelina Polonskaya several years ago at the MacDowell Colony, where many of the poems in her new collection, Paul Klee’s Boat, were written. While in New Hampshire, Anzhelina graciously offered to share her work at a local poetry event. She read each poem in the original Russian, while another MacDowell artist read the English translation. In casual conversation, Anzhelina seems quite soft spoken, but [...]

By | 11.17.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Anzhelina Polonskaya, Translated by Andrew Wachtel

The Sunday Poem : Bruce Snider

  Poet Bruce Snider   Bruce Snider's latest poetry collection, Paradise, Indiana, is a book steeped in place, from Midwestern farms, to taxidermy conventions, to interstates dotted with roadkill, to the Pick 'N Save, where the narrator's grandmother shoplifts. Reading the collection sequentially, a moving narrative unfolds about adolescent love and loss set in the cornfields and rest stops of Indiana. Although the suicide of the speaker's cousin, Nick, is the centerpiece of the book, Snider's [...]

By | 11.10.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Martha Collins

  Poet Martha Collins (Photo by Doug Macomber)   As a five-year-old boy, Martha Collins' father sold fruit in front of the Blue Front Restaurant in Cairo, Illinois. One November day in 1909, he was lifted onto a relative's shoulders to watch a bloodthirsty mob of 10,000 people kill a black man, and then hang an accused white murderer. In her critically acclaimed book, Blue Front (Graywolf 2006), Collins carefully examines the horrific event and [...]

By | 11.04.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Martha Collins

The Sunday Poem : James Arthur

  Poet James Arthur (Photo by Sean Hill)   "That feeling of becoming a new person in a different place, even if it's an illusion, is intoxicating to me, and always has been," says poet James Arthur. "I love writing about places, but only places where I don't belong." James's debut collection, Charms Against Lightning from Copper Canyon Press, captures places that are both strange and familiar. He is fascinated with the smallest details [...]

The Sunday Poem : Bruce A. Jacobs

  Bruce A. Jacobs   The Sunday Poem is back! Apologies to readers who missed the poem in their inbox last weekend. I appreciate your emails and messages. It's good to know that the series has become such an integral part of your weekend and that you genuinely look forward to it. I've just returned from a nine-day arts trip that included visits to Norwalk, New York, Newark, and Boston. Because the Sunday [...]

By | 10.20.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem : John Yau

      Poet, art critic, and curator John Yau was born in Lynn, Massachusetts to Chinese emigrants. Like a painter obsessed with the physicality of paint, Yau takes pleasure in words as words. His poetry is playful, surprising, and pushes the limits of language. “I do not speculate about ceaseless wonders,” Yau writes. “I go out and see if I might/ Find another remote and insubstantial form.” Yau is also a noted art critic [...]

By | 10.06.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|6 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Jean Valentine

  Poet Jean Valentine (Photo © Star Black courtesy Star Black)   No one has captured the essence of Jean Valentine's poetry as eloquently as the late writer Adrienne Rich: "Looking into a Jean Valentine poem is like looking into a lake: you can see your own outline, and the shapes of the upper world, reflected among rocks, underwater life, glint of lost bottles, drifted leaves. The known and familiar become one with [...]

By | 09.29.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|7 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Jim Daniels

          Last Day in Coldwater Our phone died due to lack of payment. I left her a note and trudged down the gray splintered stairs. She was sleeping the weekly sleep of the dead, the morning crash after the stairs burned down beneath her. After days of artificially sustained floating above the scorched earth. Paying bills required a certain sustained attention. We had cold water and nothing more. The unwritten debts [...]

By | 09.22.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|3 Comments
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