Berfrois

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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Meta may be the defining characteristic of the poet’s novel..

Meta may be the defining characteristic of the poet’s novel..

When I heard that a previously unpublished Sylvia Plath short story would appear in January 2019, I requested an electronic galley and then let the file sit unopened in my inbox for several weeks. I felt apprehensive, even frightened of it.

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Nonsense!

Nonsense!

The English writer Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (1876) is an exceptionally difficult read. In it, a crew of improbable characters boards a ship to hunt a Snark...

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Abot the Whord

Abot the Whord

In the mid-1990s, when I was a student of creative writing, there prevailed a quiet but firm admonition to avoid composing political poems.

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A Travelogue Review by Scherezade Siobhan

A Travelogue Review by Scherezade Siobhan

I land at Heathrow and am met by my blistered checked-in bags. Somewhere between Muscat and London, Oman Air had managed to transfer our luggage...

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Soaring, Flying

Soaring, Flying

At one point, Flights’ narrator finds herself gazing at a sarira, a fleck-like relic that sometimes remains after the cremation of the corpse of a Buddhist spiritual master, and wonders...

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Candy Intake

Candy Intake

When I was an undergraduate way back in the ’80s, colleges and universities tended to treat creative writing classes like candy; too many would make you sick and weak.

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Ed Simon: Reading Walter Raleigh’s Poetry of Blood

Ed Simon: Reading Walter Raleigh’s Poetry of Blood

Raleigh is often remembered as a dignified refugee from the Elizabethan world of courtier scholars, who was abandoned by a Stuart monarchy...

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