About Paul Lake

Paul Lake is a professor of English and creative writing at Arkansas Tech University. He graduated from Stanford University with an MA in Creative Writing and English. He has published two volumes of poetry, Another Kind of Travel (Chicago), and Walking Backward (Story Line), along with a novel, Among the Immortals (Story Line), a satirical thriller about poets and vampires. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including Poetry, The New Republic, The American Scholar, Yale Review, Southern Review, Paris Review, Partisan Review, and Sewanee Review.


Paul Lake Has written the following articles:


Poetry, Spilt Religion, and the Poetic Imagination

By: Paul Lake In 1935 in his essay “Religion and Literature,” T. S. Eliot described his era as one in which readers had “never heard the Christian faith spoken of as anything but an anachronism.” He further declared, “ . . . the whole of modern literature is corrupted by what I call Secularism . . […]

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Poetry in the Mother Tongue

By: Paul Lake Despite nearly a century’s advances in science, technology, linguistics, and our understanding of human development and cognition, Freud’s Oedipal myth provides the intellectual cornerstone for postmodern literary analysis as well as the chief impetus for avant-garde experimentation in the arts. As adapted and modified by modern psychoanalytic critics like Jacques Lacan and […]

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The Enchanted Loom: A New Paradigm for Literature

By: Paul Lake Increasingly over the past few decades, as postmodern critical theories have percolated from the academy down to the general culture, the prestige of literature has declined. Vulgarized ideas from deconstruction and other postmodern schools now permeate the zeitgeist, spreading the notion that words don’t refer to things, but exist in a self-enclosed […]

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Disorderly Orders

By Paul Lake At present, the term “free verse” is used to describe a multitude of quite different and even contradictory strategies, several of which may be employed in the same poem. If metrical poetry can be defined as verse in which strong and weak sound-elements are patterned by numerical rules into self-similar lines, then […]

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The Shape of Poetry

by Paul Lake In one of his most memorable pronouncements, written in 1917 at a time when he was championing free verse, Ezra Pound made a classic statement about the shape of poetry: I think there is a ‘fluid’ as well as a ‘solid’ content, that some poems may have form as a tree has […]

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Three Decades of Mastery: The Poetry of R. S. Gwynn

No Word of Farewell: Selected Poems 1970-2000 by R. S. Gwynn. Story Line Press, $16.95. 167 pages. As Reviewed By: Paul Lake If even a rough correspondence between poetic accomplishment and public reputation existed in America today, R. S. Gwynn would be one of our most widely read and highly honored poets. The publication of […]

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CPR Classic Readings: Donald Davie’s “In the Stopping Train”

As Reviewed by: Paul Lake Donald Davie’s In the Stopping Train appeared in 1977, the year I was accepted into Stanford University’s writing program, where he taught. When the offer of a fellowship arrived, I had only the foggiest notion of who Donald Davie was and not one inkling of the nature of his poetry. […]

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