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...

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...

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...