X. THE SONG OF AN ODD BIRD
Why Stevie Smith is the right poet for our times.
30. Desire to Burn.
Did his misreading of a poem contribute to Kurt Cobain's demise?
29. Put On That Party-Crashing Dress.
28. Armed with Verse.
27. Fables and Foibles.
Reviews of Dear Ghosts, by Tess Gallagher (Graywolf Press) and Swithering, by Robin Robertson (Harcourt).
26. Seriously Playful.
A review of Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems, by John Ashbery (Ecco Press).
25. Over the Moon.
A review of Sleeping With the Moon, Colleen J. McElroy (University of Illinois Press).
24. The War of Art.
A review of War and the Iliad, by Simone Weil and Rachel Bespaloff with an essay by Hermann Broch. Tr. by Mary McCarthy. Introd. by Christopher Benfey (New York Review Books).
23. Close -- But Not Too Close -- Observation.
Reviews of Burn the Field, by Amy Beeder (Carnegie Mellon University Press) and Riding Westward, by Carl Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
22. They Tell the Truth But Tell It Slant.
21. Translating Poetry Into Poetry. (Interview)
C. K. Williams on becoming a poet, and how he creates English versions of ancient Greek dramas--without knowing any Greek.
20. Thrills and Chills and Home Movies.
Reviews of Strong Is Your Hold, by Galway Kinnell (Houghton Mifflin) and Interrogation Palace, by David Wojahn (University of Pittsburgh Press).
19. Never Far from a Breakdown.
A Review of Collected Poems: With Notes Toward the Memoirs, by Djuna Barnes. Ed. by Phillip Herring and Osias Stutman (University of Wisconsin Press).
18. A Psalm? How So?
"The tension between the attempt to mean and the routine failure to entirely mean": the limits of human language and worship in George Oppen's "Psalm."
17. Nature Poems in a Post-Natural Age. (Interview)
Poet Gary Snyder thinks the landscape of contemporary poetry should include wildflowers . . . and highway fast food joints.
16. Herbert Sucks. Donne is a Pimp.
Why high school students make great poetry critics.
15. Writing on the Wall.
Scholars and poets around the world consider dissident poet Huang Xiang the Whitman of China, but his work is still banned there.
14. No Personal History Here.
Eleanor Wilner "gets out of the way" of her poetry.
13. John Donne is Hot.
"The Sun Rising" is so romantic it will burn your eyes.
12. Barnes on Fire.
Hilarious and pious, Dick Barnes is essential to poetry's future.
11. The Inner Life and the Inner City.
The kaleidoscopic poetry of Kay Ryan and Major Jackson.
10. The Poet of Green Bananas and Bacalao. (Interview)
How a plate of food reminds Victor Hernández Cruz of history.
9. The Poet and the Rock Band.
John Berryman's ghost makes cameo appearances on the Hold Steady's new album.
8. GHOSTS, SEX, AND PHYSICS: Devin Johnston & Pattiann Rogers.
Reviews of Aversions, by Devin Johnston (Omnidawn) and Firekeeper: Selected Poems, by Pattiann Rogers (Milkweed Editions).
7. THE GARDEN OF MEMORY
Pulitzer-prize winning poet Lisel Mueller's gentle, steady voice was shaped by a harsh history.
6. GHOSTS, SEX, PHYSICS: J.D. McClatchy & Anne Stevenson.
Reviews of Poets of the Civil War, ed. by J.D. McClatchy (The Library of America) and Poems 1955-2005, by Anne Stevenson (Dufour Editions).
5. In Praise of Rareness.
4. HE'S OUR SHAKESPEARE
So why is America ambivalent about Whitman?
3. MOXIE AND DREAMS: Carol Ann Duffy and D. Nurkse.
Reviews of Feminine Gospels, by Carol Ann Duffy (Faber and Faber) and Burnt Island, by D. Nurkse (Alfred A. Knopf).
2. Plath at 75.
The legacy of the poet who died at 30.
1. The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks Essential Enough?
Review of The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks. Ed. by Elizabeth Alexander (Library of America).