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from To Banquet with the Ethiopians

“He’d never seen the Iliad.” Irreverent and imaginative, Philip Brady sings of Homer’s first encounter with the alphabet.

Short Takes on Long Poems, Volume 6

David Micah Greenberg, Idra Novey, Robert Archambeau, Jee Leong Koh, Joshua Rivkin, Connie Voisine, Sophie Cabot Black, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Jill McDonough, Keith Ekiss and Sarah Blake weigh in (briefly) on their favorite long poems.

Short Takes on Long Poems, Volume 5

Joy Katz, Craig Morgan Teicher, Chris Tonelli, Joanne Diaz, Geffrey Davis, Erika Meitner, Ada Limón, Dave Lucas, Rusty Morrison, Averill Curdy and Lisa L. Moore weigh in (briefly) on their favorite long poems.

Three Erasures

Scraping away at books from the World War II era in the Pacific, Collier Nogues exposes “the dark loud movements of war.”

The Deal

“My mother’s doctor tells me, here’s the deal / She has six months to live, a year at most.” In a poem whose tight form makes music of insufficiency, Lesléa Newman tries to record the loss of her mother.

What is Death

“What does infinity look like? It hurts. // Its bodilessness hurts.” In Hartsdale, when “It’s no / longer possible for anyone to stop where she is,” Kathleen Ossip wonders her way into a poem of cycling, elastic, uncertain beauty.

from Milk in a Pail

Thorpe Moeckel records “the way the udder / shrinks slow to shrivel after being so full” and hundreds of other entailing details that compose, in his intricate telling, the many lives that make up life on a farm.

The Visible Boy

“in the book as I remember it is surrounded by / parentheses / The illustrator / keeps him moving 

black / Parentheses like as if his brown skin struck / black / Sparks on the air with every step.” Shane McCrae‘s recollection of a 1940s children’s book reanimates the terrible power of its depictions and their violent persistence in memory and beyond.

Soft Power

“Your pupils widen on all / Adra prison will swallow. / Wives rock, fingering their beads.” While her husband observes political trials in Syria, V. Penelope Pelizzon wanders “the republic of poetry,” seeking language to account for their encounters there.

from The Woman With No Name

“How to cull the fuckery that follows a woman who does as she wants?” Michael Luis Dauro‘s female gunslinger chases the fantasy of violence and revels in the history-heavy liberty of words.