Micro-Review: On Charles Bernstein's “Recalculating”

We are used to hearing these terms derogatorily regarding poetry of less than exemplary literary value; perhaps suggesting either clumsy or downright ugly rhythms: inept, sentimental, misordered, trivial, cliché. But what if a poem’s great literary value is rather because it embraces these taboo registers, willingly, wildly, playfully?

Review: On "The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov"From the Print

A major poet whose writing covered the better part of the twentieth century, Levertov is probably best known as an activist of the 1970s who strongly opposed the Vietnam War and fought for social justice. Others, especially Catholics, see her primarily as a religious poet—one who returned the spirit of Romanticism to its source in divine mystery…

Micro-Review: On Geoffrey Nutter's "The Rose of January"

Into the dusk-charged air of such words lies the vegetable kingdom of Keats and Schuyler, the textural-as-sculptural in Nutter’s arsenal. Like a calmer Dean Young, what lies beneath Nutter’s titles reveals an intersection of quietude and zaniness. Sensualists rejoice! Lovers of language’s eerie physicality. Oglers of its draping of shapely phrases with imaginary weight…

Micro-Review: On Joe Weil’s "The Great Grandmother Light"

That is, the neighborhood working stiffs of northern New Jersey, its chummy losers and benign perverts, the children of the American 1970s where labor was still a mainstay even as popular culture was only beginning to whitewash this country’s regionalism (i.e. Frost’s much fetishized provincial sound) into a media-ted, medicated, middle-going American suburbia…

The Year of Prose

What a year for prose! As a poet myself, this might sound partly like a concession, but many of the prosaic tones, long lines or paragraphs that I’m thinking about were ones found within poets’ volumes…

Ragnarök on the Seine

The convicted Norwegian murderer and black metal icon, Kristian ‘Varg’ Vikernes, is to appear at a hearing before the public prosecutor, having been charged with one count of public provocation of racial hatred, and one of glorifying crimes of war and crimes against humanity…

Editor’s Epilogue: Bend SinisterFrom the Print

“Gloomerang” is as playful a poem about despair as you are likely to read: compulsively playful, in a way that might be the cure and might be the cause. It takes its start from the crossing of Bumerang, German (or is it Australian?) for boomerang, and Kummer, for sorrow…

Whatever Happened to New York City Opera?

Despite the fairly well documented “missteps” the company has taken on its way from being the second major opera outfit in New York City to nonexistence, there persists a subtext of disbelief. Everyone is asking: How could this have happened? What could have been done to prevent it?