Berfrois

Deep, slow moving darkness!

Deep, slow moving darkness!

Tucked on a side street in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood is Foyer, a small store specializing in plants, stationery, and “treasures.” On a bleak January day I stopped in for a couple of tillandsia and succulents...

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Were has the butterfly flown?

Were has the butterfly flown?

As Randall Jarrell once wrote of Walt Whitman, “baby critics who have barely learned to complain of the lack of ambiguity in Peter Rabbit can tell you all that is wrong with Leaves of Grass.”

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Jessica Sequeira: Gloss on a Betel Nut

Jessica Sequeira: Gloss on a Betel Nut

Fodder: cows and horses eat the stuff, dried hay or straw, but what is it exactly? A beige substance to be consumed and excreted, a material to be burnt, pure fuel.

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Medha Singh on Octavio Paz

Medha Singh on Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz grants himself the permission to write long poems, and in doing so he grants it to all the imitators he knows his work will engender.

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Cavafy wrote his poetry here…

Cavafy wrote his poetry here…

I arrived in Istanbul with the hope of solving a literary mystery. Like many readers before me, I wanted to locate the house where Cavafy had lived...

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The prose poem is one of the most abiding whatabouts…

The prose poem is one of the most abiding whatabouts…

It’s the insiders—the poets, the tenured—who like to “problematize” poetry and wield their whatabouts.

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Triple Bluffs by Jessica Sequeira

Triple Bluffs by Jessica Sequeira

Two books about solitary poets travelling the Mediterranean and writing poems came my way within a relatively short period of time; it made sense to treat them within the same space.

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Andrew Epstein: John Ashbery, Jordan Ellenberg and Math

Andrew Epstein: John Ashbery, Jordan Ellenberg and Math

To my surprise, in the car the other day my math-obsessed 14-year-old son Dylan suddenly exclaimed “John Ashbery!” from the backseat. It turns out he’d reached the last pages of Jordan Ellenberg's...

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Poetry Oblivion Evito-Meter

Poetry Oblivion Evito-Meter

What is your favourite lost poem? There’s a lot of material (not) out there to choose from, from the lost plays of Aeschylus to the discarded hospital poems of Anne Sexton and Ivan Blatný.

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Earliest Gestures

Earliest Gestures

I can never go back and know what, as an infant, I first felt, what my original sensations were, nor can I recapture the initial experience of moving, of being touched

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Michael Gottlieb on Drew Gardner

Michael Gottlieb on Drew Gardner

Ronald Reagan dies, goes to hell, eventually earns his horns and pitchfork and comes back up here to bedevil us again. It’s years later now.

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Letter to a Young Poet

Letter to a Young Poet

Did you ever meet, or was he before your day, that old gentleman—I forget his name—who used to enliven conversation, especially at breakfast when the post came in...

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Paintings and Poems: City on a Hill

Paintings and Poems: City on a Hill

I assumed the Queen Mob’s Teahouse poetry editor position back in April, taking over from Erik Kennedy, Queen Mob’s second poetry editor, from May, 2015...

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Walt Whitman in Russia: Three Love Affairs

Walt Whitman in Russia: Three Love Affairs

Whitman needed not a mere celebrity endorsement, not just an appreciative aesthete, but a lover in Russia; a passionate, devoted reader who would accept him without judgment.

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Eric D. Lehman: The Real Deal

Eric D. Lehman: The Real Deal

Since David K. Leff’s first book appeared over a decade ago, he has carved out a position in New England’s literary and environmental history. Some of his books, like Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash, reach back to a Thoreauvian past

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Robert R. Bensen Remembers Derek Walcott

Robert R. Bensen Remembers Derek Walcott

Derek defined his place in the great movements of poetry and history. He wrote, “I accept my function/as a colonial upstart at the end of an empire...

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Simon Calder on AWP 2019

Simon Calder on AWP 2019

Wondering why the witch has such resonance right now, the panelists agreed that it is in part because she “provides a way of speaking the unnamed, especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

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Erik Kennedy on Les Murray

Erik Kennedy on Les Murray

Les Murray, David Naseby, 1995 (detail) by Erik Kennedy One indication of Les Murray’s greatness is the extent to which he has come to represent an entire country’s poetry, at least for many readers in the northern hemisphere. For better or worse, he is to Australian poetry what Slavoj...

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Slow Green Water

Slow Green Water

Leonard Cohen’s death in November 2016, at the age of eighty-two, prompted the usual media outpouring that greets the passing of any influential artist.

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See Their Trees

See Their Trees

My mother cleaned and gardened with a passion I often mistook for rage. After my father left, when I was four, she washed the windows of our three-bedroom house—and the floors, walls, and ceilings—by hand, twice.

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Ed Simon: Possess the Origin of all Poems

Ed Simon: Possess the Origin of all Poems

Underneath the volcanic ash and debris of Herculaneum, the elegant smaller sister of Pompeii, there is the earliest example of a chiseled wall writing that has come to be called the Sator Square...

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