Jordan Davis

Incomplete Knowledge

Jeffrey Harrison

Whatever else you’re reading, whatever you’re doing besides looking at this review — stop. Stop and find Jeffrey Harrison’s new book, and read the second half, paying special attention (not that you’ll need to be told) to the sequence titled “An Undertaking.” It is eight…

Martian Dawn

Michael Friedman

There’s nothing in the contract poets sign when they start writing for the ragged edge that says long prose is a no-no. And yet, so few poets take a chance on breaking into the genre the publishing business keeps giving the goodies. Michael Friedman’s Martian…

Seven Palms

Kira Henehan

For the ambitious perfectionist poet — that is, every one you will ever meet — the chapbook’s the paradox of thrift: Although more likely than a book-book aka full-length collection to come through a perfect living text object, the chapbook does not, cannot exist in…

Lemon Hound

Sina Queyras

I first came across the poems of Sina Queyras in New American Writing last year, where she was represented by among other pieces one called “The Meat Painter”: “There is a young man who paints meat,” it begins. Such a beginning might look for the…

Native Guard

Natasha Tretheway

The poetry industry claims to put a premium on ambiguity, but with most poems (not to speak of poets!) lines are drawn, feelings are colored in, meaning is either nailed down or allowed to slip away. It takes poise to leave a metaphor unforced, balanced…

Coming After: Essays on Poetry

Alice Notley

When poets want to pick fights, they write essays. The essays Alice Notley collects in Coming After look mainly at the works, communities, and belief systems of her close associates (she is the widow of two of her subjects). Like Robert Creeley, whose compact, closely…

Profane Halo

Gillian Conoley

So Camille Paglia is irritated because poems aren’t exigent contraptions anymore and I have to say if I only knew the introduction to Fold Spindle Mutilate what did she call it? I’d have to think that is one good marketing plan, go out and tell…

Laws of My Nature

Margot Schilpp

If you enjoy revealing connections among phenomena not previously linked, you may want to consider a career in the sciences, detection, or making verses. If your m.o. when reading verse is to seek out a bombardment of shocks of insight, you want to know about…

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