Berfrois

Poets’ Houses: Sitwell, Moore, Gray

Poets’ Houses: Sitwell, Moore, Gray

When it comes to interior shots of Edith Sitwell houses, this blog certainly spoils its readers. This is the room in which she was born in 1887, currently the offices of the lively Scarborough-based Valley Press.

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Rather than vulnerably acquiescent to the drab…

Rather than vulnerably acquiescent to the drab…

In a characteristically passionate 1937 letter to a friend, the novelist Helen Anderson, Murray explains, “Hysteria is to me preferable to the pedantic oscillations of a void. I would rather be mad and bad, erratic and incomprehensible, than vulnerably acquiescent to the drab.”

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Poetry before the Fall by Ed Simon

Poetry before the Fall by Ed Simon

Spare a thought of pity for the person who has looked at the warmth of the sun and not seen him smiling, espied the mysteriousness of the moon without acknowledging her meditative melancholy, or been upon a raging ocean and not empathized with its mad fury.

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‘The story is another’

‘The story is another’

In Santiago there’s a stereotype I’ve heard many times, that while most Argentines are ‘big readers’, Chileans ‘don’t read’...

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Geoffrey Hilsabeck: The Tragicomedy of Try Never

Geoffrey Hilsabeck: The Tragicomedy of Try Never

A student who later dropped my poetry class wrote to me at the beginning of spring semester: “I want to understand everything I’m familiar with and unfamiliar with. I believe a deeper understanding of poetry is where I should start.”

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Salt to Sprinkle on the Meat

Salt to Sprinkle on the Meat

The presence of the political in Ashbery is not negligible, and those who would say so are not reading his work very carefully...

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Jay Aquinas Thompson: Re-Reading Jose Perez Beduya

Jay Aquinas Thompson: Re-Reading Jose Perez Beduya

The five-year-old poetry book can be a lonely thing. After a hoped-for hothouse blossoming of critical conversation dies down and the book is no longer taught...

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‘Poetry is its own not following’

‘Poetry is its own not following’

Before poetry got me a job, it intellectually and spiritually changed my world. Poetry introduced me to the person I have a child with and to my best friends...

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By its very definition, Instapoetry has no time…

By its very definition, Instapoetry has no time…

Instagram was developed out of a project titled “Send the Sunshine” at Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab...

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2 Cups Tea

2 Cups Tea

Poet Joanne Kyger died last year on March 22 at the age of 82, leaving behind a long list of published and unpublished books...

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Milk and Money

Milk and Money

In October 2016 The Bookseller reported the highest-ever annual sales of poetry books, ‘both in volume and value’.

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Gerardo Muñoz on Wilson Bueno

Gerardo Muñoz on Wilson Bueno

That the philosopher or the novelist has rarely withstood the moment of shipwreck in the unfolding of metaphoricity as basic substratum for existence...

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Kevin Hong on Critical Assembly

Kevin Hong on Critical Assembly

Thirty-three years in the making, Critical Assembly details the thoughts and experiences of forty-six people involved in the creation of the atomic bomb.

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Fountain Pens, Ballpoints, Typewriters, Laptops

Fountain Pens, Ballpoints, Typewriters, Laptops

I knew a poet who could only write his poems with a stub of a pencil. Nothing else worked for him as well. His family and friends bought him fountain pens, ballpoints, typewriters...

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Adam Staley Groves on Charmaine Chan

Adam Staley Groves on Charmaine Chan

Recently, I read The Magic Circle, then found some poems when I heard Charmaine Chan read a few excerpts. So here is a review, but it is a review by the criteria of poetry and not, literary or critical, this or that.

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Marigloria Palma is known for her mystery…

Marigloria Palma is known for her mystery…

I didn’t grow up speaking much Spanish. My father doesn’t speak it, and in California, my mother was some 3,500 miles away from her Puerto Rican family...

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One Rapture of an Inspiration

One Rapture of an Inspiration

The fifth (and final) definition of “revision” in the OED is “the fact of seeing a person or thing again; an instance of this; a fresh or new vision of something.”

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Plath’s (Crystalline, Determined) Letters

Plath’s (Crystalline, Determined) Letters

When reading Sylvia Plath’s private writing – her letters, her diaries – one always wonders just what her life would have been like had she been born in 1942 rather than in 1932.

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Electric Limits

Electric Limits

Larkin really was a hermit. He disliked virtually everyone who worked for the university, and especially those in my department.

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