Christine Hume

Nest

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Competent communal living entails inattention to things no doubt worthy of scrutiny: physically and psychically felt vacancies, emotionally textured spaces we wheel through daily. The registers and relations within those intricate shadings can daunt, as Henri Michaux says: "You cannot even conceive the horrible inside-outside…

The Next American Essay

John D'Agata, ed.

Anthologies insist on sandbagging poets with monikers and historic brands; their effort at fiat is often in cahoots with simplification and shtick. In the year 2000 we saw many attempts at defining the “new” in poetry, mostly dictated by a willy-nilly aesthetic and/or cultural Identity,…

Corpus Socius

Lance Phillips

Emily Dickinson’s lines A bomb Upon the Ceiling Is an Improving thing It keeps the Nerves progressive Conjecture flourishing articulate my experience of reading Lance Phillips’ Corpus Socius. Phillips’ intense rhetoric of fragmentation and condensation elides narrative and image in the service of spiritual questing….

The Captain Lands in Paradise

Sara Manguso

The Davis Test, as performed by the Department of Viticulture and Enology at University of California, Davis, has apparently proved that people can’t tell the difference between red and white wine without color and temperature clues. These clues form our expectations, which in turn form…

Sleeping with the Dictionary

Harryette Mullen

Fun, in poetry, when it isn’t simply an attention-getting device, has been demoted to the position of Prelude to Sincerity: something to be brushed aside—under the rug, into the closet, quick before the company gets here—to allow warm feelings in. Often poetry’s playfulness serves to…

The Body

Jenny Boully

The new poem is an essay or a novel; at least it calls itself so. Invested in the kind of plasticity Bakhtin claimed for the novel, some of the most inventive poetry today plays in the nowheresville of multi-generic experimentalism. If poetry is in the…