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PoetryMarch 29, 2021

My Boyfriend, John Keats

“You whisper to the statuettes / ‘Fill all fruit to ripeness’ / They won’t answer you, darling.” In a new poem from Camille Guthrie, an attempted courtship of John Keats turns into a romp through modern conveniences, Romantic poetry, and the indignities of love.

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PoetryNovember 30, 2020

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop: Notes on Pattern and Variation

Looking at examples from Ross Gay, William Carlos Williams, C.K. Williams, Lucille Clifton, Thom Gunn, James Baldwin, and more, Alan Shapiro tracks the patterns and changes within poems and across time that make it possible for poems to “meet the needs of ever-changing individuals in an ever-changing language, and an ever-changing world.”

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PoetryOctober 18, 2020

The Union Forever

“We fed / each other fats in manifold forms. / Starlings lifted. This place, / we said, for the life of us—” In an intricate new poem of switchbacks and overlaps from Christopher Kempf, a marriage begins in Gettysburg, PA as America’s violent history erupts.

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PoetrySeptember 21, 2020

The Reformation

“The robot bird flew down // From the ceiling     landed on / My head bent     its head down / And whispered in my ear / Wake up you     fucker.” A new installment in Shane McCrae‘s thrilling, terrifying, madcap, and marvelous “The Hell Poem.”

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PoetryMay 11, 2020

Two Poems

“Nothing makes it out of history. / Not without becoming history.” In “Ossa Leonis” and “Implements,” David M. de León braids colonial history with personal exploration, and vice versa.

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PoetryApril 27, 2020

Notes Toward An Elegy

“She buys herself / greeting cards, Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s, Thanksgiving, / and signs them From your cold-hearted daughter. / Bundled for me to find when I come home.” A new sequence from Julia Thacker reaches for moments and images that add up to a life.

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PoetryJanuary 12, 2020

Two Poems

“They plunked a BART station down / on the lumberyard. // The racist codes lived on / in escrow files.” Two new poems from Tess Taylor reckon with the history of the Bay Area, reaching as far back as its geologic origins and encompassing moments as recent as the building of a mall.

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PoetryDecember 1, 2019

After the Election

“And all the persons stuck // on the train, the morning after the election, / not knowing what happened, what a life had been // extinguished into their suffering, thinking this / is unbearable, great, can this day get any worse….” Swift and spiraling, a new poem from Jason Koo limns our lives among others we never know well enough.

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PoetrySeptember 9, 2019


“What no one ever spoke of / was saying itself through the little that was said.” Race, money, power, resentment, and unspoken understandings, frequently misunderstood but still inherited, swirl like smoke through memory in a new poem from Alan Shapiro.

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PoetryJuly 29, 2019

Two Poems

“Now you’re learning / the enemy’s language. Nothing / special. Just the everyday // conjugations of your body’s verbs: / I burn, I live, I leave, / I burned, I lived, I left, / I will burn, I will live, I will leave“: In “Contact Sheet For Kim Phúc” and “Semi-[idio][auto]matic,” Deborah Paredez seeks a sufficient language for America’s war in Vietnam and its nearly endless aftermath.

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PoetryJuly 8, 2019

On a Late Photograph of Ezra Pound

“’You wouldn’t understand it. Most people don’t,’ // he told the girl the chaplain brought, / who said she wrote poetry but hadn’t read his.” David Caplan meditates on Pound, mired in his final years.

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PoetryJune 1, 2019

A Poem for the Scoundrel Lucian Freud

“Enviable talent, absent parent, he made / sex and paint his life’s pursuits, eager / to seed his world with likeness.” A new poem by Derek Mong confronts “the world’s priciest portrait” and the artist who made it as the speaker reckons with his own awkward exchanges between art and love.

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PoetryJanuary 28, 2019

Ode to Mark Frechette

He’s twenty— / a talent / scout / famously said— // and he hates.” In swift currents, a new poem from Randall Mann records the brief, bright promise of a radical life.

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PoetryJanuary 7, 2019

A Field Guide to the Natural Disasters of Southern California

“There were faults we couldn’t see, and we built a home there.” A two-track poem from Charles Jensen sets a story of sex, love, despair, and eventual, imagined restoration alongside an account of the ways in which the earth, air, and water of California, afflicted by humans, periodically afflict humans in turn.

PoetryNovember 13, 2018

The Poem That Won’t Leave You Alone, Volume 2

Featuring Chad Parmenter on Shakespeare; Jay Deshpande on Lucie Brock-Broido; Ricky Varghese on Akhil Katyal; Deanna Dikeman on Longfellow; Craig Santos Perez on Gina Myers; Chad Davidson on Craig Raine; Steve Castro on Vallejo; and Jonathan Farmer on Yeats.

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