Berfrois

Ed Simon on Denis Johnson

Ed Simon on Denis Johnson

Sinners always make the greatest Christian writers. Last month we lost one of the greatest, who was also a self-declared “criminal hedonist.”

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Must Be Mega

Must Be Mega

My daughter is ten. She doesn’t know about boys yet and she wants to be a star of some undetermined variety — an opera singer or actor maybe. She is beautiful in every way the word beautiful signifies itself, with brown skin that gets some red in it under the summer...

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Rebuilding Cities

Rebuilding Cities

What is a lost city? The vanished metropolises of myth and history are one sort: Atlantis plunged into the sea, Troy razed, ghost towns littered across the American West.

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‘Seth Abramson wants you to know that he is not a conspiracy theorist’

‘Seth Abramson wants you to know that he is not a conspiracy theorist’

Since November, Abramson — professor, experimental poet, onetime lawyer — has been building a case against Trump’s administration in the court of public opinion.

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Jessica Sequeira on Tom Pickard

Jessica Sequeira on Tom Pickard

Winter isn’t so much a season as a state of mind. Midnight blues, slate greys, rich yellows. A Schubert lieder, a Vallotton field, the delicate frame of a tree by Nash.

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Michael Thomsen on Larry Levis

Michael Thomsen on Larry Levis

Larry Levis had wanted to die. He’d killed himself, his close friend and fellow poet David St. John told my high school English class years ago during an after-hours reading in Fresno, California, not literally but by habituating himself to so many mundanely self-destructive habits.

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Nicholas Rombes on Dana Levin

Nicholas Rombes on Dana Levin

Patti had been the one to introduce me to the poets who changed my life, the course of my life. One of them was Dana Levin.

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Most Loving Force

Most Loving Force

In 1934, when he was 17, Lowell determined to be a poet; by the end of that year he had written 30 poems. Such productivity can be a symptom of mania, as Jamison notes elsewhere, though of course it can also just be a sign of ambition.

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They Manufacture Napalm

They Manufacture Napalm

We made our way slowly up the mountain, separately and singly, my mother light and limber leading the charge, my father with his bad knees sometimes lagging far behind, and me shuttling somewhere in between.

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‘We all hate the poetry we learnt in school. Why?’

‘We all hate the poetry we learnt in school. Why?’

That the object of education should be to fit the child for life is such a trite and well-worn saying that people smile at its commonplaceness even while they agree with its obvious common sense.

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Up Morden Tower

Up Morden Tower

While on the Wapping picket line opposing Murdoch, I was inspired by the best piece of street poetry that I’ve ever heard, when an old cockney printer shouted at a scab ‘you’re so low you could walk under a snake, wearing a top ‘at’.

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The erasure of Islam from Rumi’s poetry started long ago…

The erasure of Islam from Rumi’s poetry started long ago…

Rumi was born in the early thirteenth century, in what is now Afghanistan. He later settled in Konya, in present-day Turkey, with his family. His father was a preacher and religious scholar, and he introduced Rumi to Sufism.

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