Archive | Editor

Great Moments in Criticism: Bierce Attacks Wilde

That sovereign of insufferables, Oscar Wilde has ensued with his opulence of twaddle and his penury of sense. He has mounted his hind legs and blown crass vapidities through the bowel of his neck, to the capital edification of circumjacent fools and foolesses, fooling with their foolers. He has tossed off the top of his […]

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The Lighter Side: What Did Neruda Know?

We have all heard the story of an aged Pablo Neruda at a poetry reading, turning down a request to perform a poem from the earlier days of his career, citing a failing memory.  There were plenty of copies of it at hand, but the Chilean poet wouldn’t countenance anything as unprofessional as reading his […]

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The Lighter Side: Happy Anniversary, AWP!

(Here’s a salute to Creative Writing programs from our poets and critics, past and present, culled from various interviews and essays.) “Abolish the M.F.A.! What a ringing slogan for a new Cato: Iowa delenda est!” – Donald Hall “We are now at the point where writing programs are poisoning, and in turn we are being poisoned […]

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The Lighter Side: How to Prepare for AWP

I have attended dozens of poetry readings. Virtually all of them were identical: • The introductions made me think I was about to witness the second coming of John Donne. • All of the “poems” were preceded by tedious, unhelpful explanations. Typically, these involved the author’s state of intoxication when they wrote this stuff or […]

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The Lighter Side: The CPR Dream Vacation House

The CPR editors recently received the following note from the Italian scholar Massimo Bacigalupo: Dear Scholars of Ezra Pound and Modernism: I thought you’d like to know that the house where Olga Rudge and Ezra Pound lived in Sant’Ambrogio di Zoagli, above Rapallo, is for sale. Only half of it, to be precise. If any […]

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The Lighter Side: The Unspoken Rules of Book Reviewing

The Unspoken Rules of Book Reviewing: A Guide for Beginners Rule 1: Only review a book if you can be impartial about it—that is, only review a book toward which you feel nothing.  Be descriptive; avoid value judgments. Rule 2: If you do have an opinion, don’t express it unless it’s positive.  Make sure to […]

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The CPR Editors: We Comment on the Comments

Recently, Andrew Feld posted the following comment on Joan Houlihan’s review of Christian Wiman’s latest book of poems: Without addressing the substance of this review, it does seem problematic to me that it is written by a poet whose most recent book was given a hugely unfavorable review in the journal edited by Christian Wiman. […]

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The Lighter Side: Norman Stock Knows Our Pain

In a review copy of Norman Stock’s new collection, Pickled Dreams Naked (NYQ Books), we came across the first honest poem we’ve ever read about poetry readings. Poetasters, prepare yourselves. At a Boring Poetry Reading They read the audience to death. These poets use live ammunition, their words, to weaken us. Are they trying to put us […]

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The Lighter Side: Why We Still Hate Poetry Readings

The editors of the CPR wish to thank our readers for their comments, and letters, on the subject of “poetry readings.” Our very short and sarcastic list created a tiff among a number of “the touchy tribe” who seemed to take offense at the notion that all contemporary poetry readings are not wonderfully entertaining events. […]

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The Lighter Side: Five Lessons from AWP (Or, Why We Hate Poetry Readings)

Five Lessons from AWP: Or, Why We Hate Poetry Readings 1)      You should recite your poetry, not read it. 2)      If you can’t recite your poetry, then you can’t remember your poetry. And if you can’t remember your poetry, why would anyone else? 3)      A poetry recital should be a performance.  Most poets read their […]

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