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from None Other

In the first section of a vital new book, Allan Peterson writes of the natural world: “There is no other/To explain where it came from is speculation like reading/water from a faucet. Beyond what we think/in our dreams or ideas it is still there/even the island of walruses.”

Amistad

Elizabeth Alexander recounts a key moment from the history of slavery in a sequence whose variety and force ask what it means to live with a brutal legacy in which “Many things are true at once.”

Defect

In a sequence of prose poems about the young man who defected from the Soviet bloc and came to live with her childhood family, Jessica Fisher reflects on the ways political landscapes map themselves onto individual lives.

The Blue Word

Laura Christina Dunn summons memories of a beached whale and a lost love, wondering how much of how we live can be sustained.

selections from Holding Company

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, Major Jackson uses a repeating form to make room for a roster of desires, as well as the craft they foster and fill.

The Residue of God & After the Waiting Room

In two new poems, Kimiko Hahn talks to one of Elizabeth Bishop’s best-known works and traces a history of beauty, investigation, authority and error reaching to the present.

Dark Adaptation: Milan, 1510-11

Da Vinci’s sketches of his stillborn child, still in utero, frame an expectant father’s thoughts on the desire for knowledge and the persistent expectation that something closer to the center remains to be seen. By David Hawkins.

Owl Wolf Ghost

A host of creatures stalks the outer reaches of intimacy as Paula Bohince conjures human and inhuman, natural and supernatural wills.

Layoff

Craig Morgan Teicher responds to a lost job with a wide-ranging meditation on money, family, poetry, and responsibility, as well as the relationships that threaten to slip through the cracks.

In the Red Dress I Wear to Your Funeral

A spurned lover turns her grief into a virtuoso performance of vengeance, wit, and affection, aspiring to the moment when she can “step away free.” By Erin Belieu.