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Transference

Playful, inventive and profoundly sad, this verse drama from Craig Morgan Teicher pits an 18-year-old Craig and his psychotherapist against each other and against his mother’s death.

from Barbie Chang

“Barbie Chang’s mother made her / wear two pair of // underwear no wonder she is weird.” In an excerpt from her latest sequence, Victoria Chang turns not fitting in into both a distressing image of American life and an occasion for linguistic delight.

from The New York Editions

“Is this how it feels to be put to use?” Writing under the star of Henry James, Michael D. Snediker summons words for what was out of reach. “Impossible to think about without tempting the disaster already invited by trying not not to to think of them.”

from Shadow Self

“Surrounding my great-grandfather’s life and death, I sensed an intentional silence.” Mixing prose memoir and poetic imagination, Karen Holmberg tries to reach through that silence into her family’s immigrant history.

What We Call a Mountain in the Valley, They Call a Hill on the Mountain

“Can you conjure a love that substantial,” asks Jaswinder Bolina, holding poetry up to everything within this country’s reach, “a lyric / more American than the one in the bed of the penitentiary // nestled between soybean fields?”

Meditation with [                        ] Inside It

In a series of meditations on violence, data, language, nationalism, awe, indifference and more, George Kovalenko tangles America is its infinite detail: “so little depends upon those permanent shadows, / their respective casters immolated and offered up to the altar / of Example, tongues so deep in cheeks we wonder if what walls still // stand might bleed.”

Gratitude for Nothing

Responding to a friend’s poem and playing on the phrase “Thanks for Nothing,” Alan Shapiro offers an intricate song of praise to nothingness–”blind giver and dumb taker, / my stone deaf end / and origin, whom / I pretend / hears me pretend / to thank for being”–that is also an exquisite poem of gratitude for all the hunger that led to “this last, this / best love.”

Marigolds

“Anxious as seaweed, over the sides of the ships / creep hordes of trembling locators.” In this poem of seeking, Sumita Chakraborty summons ghosts and summons, too, words and weight crushing enough to pin them down.

For Lynn, At Lake Nockamixon

“How is it we can go through / Our lives without being routed or sent // To madness,” asks Ernest Hilbert in this measured poem of gaping loss, “wild with all we want, / And filled to vastness with all we view?”

Greenwood Cemetery

“I am trying to tell you in a foreign language / What everybody knows at home,” explains Destiny Birdsong. “I may well have been a worthless / Child, but my mother kept it to herself.” Out of violence and loneliness, in a sequence of elegies, she writes toward a place to belong.