Archive | This Month

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.… continue reading...

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Ahead Was Silence: Matthew Buckley Smith on Louise Glück

Reviewed: Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Glück. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014.

Reading a good poem by Louise Glück is like taking a slap to the face in a large, cold bathroom.… continue reading...

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Of Man & Beast: Rick Joines reviews Mark Wunderlich

Mark Wunderlich is a poet of remarkable skill and range. His best poems are lyrical observations of the shared essence of man and of beast, of their taste for brutality, and of their struggles with the cruelties of nature and of one another.… continue reading...

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Mark Bauerlein Reviews James Matthew Wilson’s Some Permanent Things

The poems in this weighty volume are too numerous and ponderous to summarize in a review. Some of them date from more than a dozen years ago.… continue reading...

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Writing the Rockies, An Invitation from David Rothman

As you know, the West Chester University Poetry Conference is going on a one-year hiatus in 2015.

We are writing to let you know that Western State Colorado University has generously enabled us to fill this gap year by inviting you to our conference, Writing the Rockies, which will take place from Wednesday, July 22 to Sunday, July 26, at our campus in Gunnison, Colorado.… continue reading...

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“Revisiting Vice Versa” by Dana Gioia

Of all the literary scenes

Saddest this sight to me:

The graves of little magazines

Who died to make verse free.


— Keith Preston

 

Dunstan 18It is impossible to tell the story of modern American poetry without examining the role of little magazines.… continue reading...

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Stalking the Typical Poem

When I tell people I teach and – God help me – even write poetry, they often say, “I wish you could explain modern poetry to me.… continue reading...

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James Merrill’s “The Friend of the Fourth Decade”

David Kalstone, a longtime professor of English at Rutgers University and, prior to that, at Harvard, was one of James Merrill’s closest friends. An expert on Sir Philip Sidney, Kalstone extensively studied 20th-century Americans as well; his second book Five Temperaments (1977) included a chapter on Merrill along with Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Adrienne Rich and John Ashbery.… continue reading...

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The Unstiflement of the Story: James Merrill’s “The Broken Home”

James Merrill3

“The Broken Home” is a sequence of seven sonnets that appeared in Merrill’s 1966 volume Nights and Days. The sonnets are connected by imagery, themes and autobiography, concerning, as they do, two central issues: the trauma of Merrill’s parents’ divorce and the poet’s own incomplete or “broken” childless home.continue reading...

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James Merrill: “After Greece”

merrill2The young James Merrill first saw Greece in 1950 as part of a two-and-a-half-year long European tour, a trip he would later detail in his memoir A Different Person.… continue reading...

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