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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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“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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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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“Permanence Through Words”: John Foy Reviews New Books by David Yezzi, Joanna Pearson, George Green, and Quincy R. Lehr

Birds of the Air, by David Yezzi, Carnegie Mellon University Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013

Lord Byron’s Foot, by George Green, St. Augustine’s Press, South Bend, IN, 2012

Shadows and Gifts, by Quincy R.continue reading...

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The Ecstatic Discipline of David J. Rothman

James Matthew Wilson reviews two books by David J. Rothman, The Book of Catapults (White Violet Press, 2013) and Part of the Darkness (Entasis Press, 2013)

In the last several years, David Rothman has established a reputation as the great enthusiast of poetic form.… continue reading...

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“Losing the Marbles”: Merrill and Sophrosyne

James Merrill has given us the birth-myth of his poem, “Losing the Marbles.” After decades of spending his winter months in Athens, Greece, Merrill wintered instead in Key West, where, in 1985,

“… we were talking about memory lapses, a topic increasingly relevant to everyone present.

continue reading...

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No Justice Done To Poetry At The Inauguration: On Richard Blanco

John F. Kennedy’s request that Robert Frost read at his inauguration had no precedent in United States history, but, in retrospect, appears rather predictable. The 86-year-old writer was already “the embodiment of American poetry,” as Jay Parini puts it in his biography. … continue reading...

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A Claptrap Canon: On the Modern Canadian Poets Anthology by Zachariah Wells


Anthologies, particularly those dedicated to presenting the poetry of a particular stretch of geopolitical space-time, are, by necessity, Procrustean beds. Thousands of poets producing work over many decades get pruned to a mere few dozen names.… continue reading...

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From the Vault: The Secret Glory, Ernest Hilbert Interviews Franz Wright

I first wrote about Franz Wright’s poetry while working as poetry editor of Random House’s online magazine, Bold Type. Upon publication of his first book with Knopf, The Beforelife, I contacted him for an interview.… continue reading...

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From the Vault: Ernest Hilbert Visits Spender’s World

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert


Stephen Spender’s World Within World is as much a reconsideration, a critique, of the art of autobiography as it is an autobiography.… continue reading...

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