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....more
Welcome to This Week in Books, where we highlight books just released by small and independent presses. Books have always been a symbol for and means of spreading knowledge and wisdom, and they are an important part of our toolkit in fighting for social justice....more
Official inaugural poems are a strange beast. There have only been five of them and the one we recognize as the first, Robert Frost’s “The Gift Outright,” wasn’t composed for President Kennedy’s inauguration. Frost recited it when the sun’s glare off the snow made the poem he’d written, “Dedication,” impossible to read....more
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)....more
Natalie Diaz, Featured Guest Editor for the January edition of Connotation Press, has curated a portfolio titled “14 Possibilities of Native Poetry.” In her introduction she poses the question, What is Native poetry?, and then responds:
What is Native poetry means there can be infinite possibilities, infinite poets and their infinite poems who might be an answer.
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 them, Myles is absolutely our president....more
“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 immediate poem, an inconsolable poem....more