Posts by: Kyle Williams

Poem of the Day: “Tulips” by Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath needs no introduction. “Tulips” is a rather understated poem out of Ariel; it exhibits a kind of quiet control that Plath may not typically be remembered for, somewhat subdued as the narrator sits in a hospital bed—but it’s an amazing poem. Though often Plath the Myth overtakes Plath the Poet, the poems remain beautiful pieces […]

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Poem of the Day: “Self-Portrait as a Door” by Donika Kelly

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Donika Kelly’s debut collection, Bestiary, was an extremely notable release from 2016; longlisted for the National Book Award, the collection operates as a collection of creatures, refusing clear definition in favor of fluid identification that reaches out with stretched hands to pull everything in and let everything flow out, be it in blood or song. We […]

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Poem of the Day: “Sound & Fury” by Claudia Rankine

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Claudia Rankine is an oracle. Her poetry is beautiful, interrogative, and inventive, as seen in Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen (the American lyric we need for a path forward). Her consideration and public consciousness is nothing less than illuminating, and necessary in these dire times mercilessly lacking in empathy.

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Poem of the Day: “Burial Practice” by Srikanth Reddy

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Srikanth Reddy’s Facts for Visitors, from which this poem is from, came out in 2004; it has beautiful and inventive poems which Reddy has continued to produce since then in books like Voyager (which is a book of erasure made from Kurt Waldheim’s memoir, In the Eye of the Storm). Reddy’s focus, through the textual […]

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Poem of the Day: “An American Poem” by Eileen Myles

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Eileen Myles has been a badass writer for a while now; she tears down what needs be torn down, unapologetically, and fosters a communal feeling, inspiring others to do the same. During the time this poem was published in Not Me, Myles famously ran for president in a write-in campaign—and for many, Maggie Nelson among […]

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Poem of the Day: “At Night the States” by Alice Notley

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“At Night the States” is a famous poem that, whether you have or haven’t heard it before, strikes you over the head repeatedly. Formally inventive without any loss in the depth of its feeling, Notley transcends the genre of elegy to an expression of grief that might register unmediated: it is a present poem, an […]

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Poem of the Day: “What Kind of Times Are These” by Adrienne Rich

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This year saw Adrienne Rich’s poems released into a collected edition by Norton, and some really great new articles written about her. Though she passed away in 2012, it’s safe to say that she remains a presence, will always remain a presence, in American writing. Her voice is still just as deeply felt, as urgent, as clear, […]

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Poem of the Day: “Dope” by Amiri Baraka

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Amiri Baraka was a provocateur, a radical, an activist, and an amazing poet who remains relevant for all the wrong reasons and some of the right ones. “Dope” is an explosion, a satire, an investigation, an accusation, a poem that kills. His energy was and is unmatched, accomplishing even in recording a mesmerizing, enrapturing, anxiety-inducing […]

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Poem of the Day: “Social Skills Training” by Solmaz Sharif

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Solmaz Sharif’s poems show an extremely agile and adept blending of the personal and the political such that they cannot be pulled apart. Because they cannot be pulled apart. Her first book, Look, published by Graywolf, is one of this year’s most exciting new collections: it bleeds language for what it’s done to us and […]

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Miserable Lives, All Lit by the Neon Glow

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At Harper’s Bazaar, Jason Diamond revisits the literary brat pack in the harsh morning light of thirty years later, examining their histories (real and really sensationalized) in hope of moving towards a new understanding of Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis, Tama Janowitz, Donna Tartt, and Jill Eisenstadt—a more balanced understanding, of adults who are ready […]

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Into Paradox

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Over at the New York Review of Books, Peter E. Gordon writes about Søren Kierkegaard’s legacy through the lens of Daphne Hampson’s biography, Kierkegaard: Exposition and Critique, which she dedicates to S.K. for helping her grasp “with greater clarity why I should not wish to be Christian.”

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Not a True Friend

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…one has no idea, no idea at all, what it’s about. What’s the point of all this? What does it all mean? At Lit Hub, Claude Arnaud shares an excerpt from his biography, Jean Cocteau: A Life, focusing on the strained friendship between Cocteau and Marcel Proust. Proust was indebted to Cocteau for publishing Swann’s Way […]

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All That Is Suggested of Trauma

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At the New York Review of Books, Joyce Carol Oates writes about Shirley Jackson through her seminal story “The Lottery,” her contemporaneous public perception via hate mail, the figure of her presented in literary biographies, the self she expressed in essays and works of memoir, her marriage made in hell, her abuse of powerful psychotropic drugs—amounting […]

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Arendt on Trump

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Evil is not one man, but rather the process of normalization via which exclusion, deportation, and finally extermination are all rendered morally justifiable. At Lit Hub, Rafia Zakaria writes an essay about Donald Trump’s rampant Islamophobia and how it can be read as emblematic of the evil Hannah Arendt theorized about in Eichmann in Jerusalum. Hannah […]

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Like a Phoenix or a Unicorn

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At the Times Literary Supplement, Edmund Gordon shares an excerpt of The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography, about Angela Carter’s time in Japan: the vertigo-inducing flight, what she loved and loathed in Tokyo, her affair with Sozo Araki, her creative process and anxiety towards the composition of The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman.

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In This Hell Here With You

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When people call other people crazy I don’t get mad, I get bored. When people tell me ghosts don’t exist, I just get bored. Over at JSTOR Daily, poet Dorothea Lasky writes about The Imagination, “a physical space that one shares with other people in and through poetry,” the palpable materiality of alternative existences (like […]

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