Tag Archives: Summer 2019

Autobiography of Death

Kim Hyesoon translated by Don Mee Choi New Directions ($16.95) by John Bradley “On the subway train your eyes roll up once. That’s eternity. // The rolled-up eyes eternally magnified. // You must have bounced out of the train. It seems that you’re dying.” So begins Autobiography of Death, a series of forty-nine poems dealing […]

Dolefully, a Rampart Stands

Paige Ackerson-Kiely Penguin Books ($18) by Thomas Moody I first came across the poetry of Paige Ackerson-Kiely in Michael Robbins’s “Playlist,” a litany of Robbins’s favorite poems and songs, each with a brief descriptor as to its allure. Ackerson-Kiely’s poem “Misery Trail” is the first item on the list. Robbins writes that when he first […]


Sally Wen Mao Graywolf Press ($16) by Margaryta Golovchenko It’s one thing to discuss the implications of the gaze in a strictly academic style; it is another to force the reader to recognize their complicit role in the act of looking by centering the voice of the one being gazed upon. Sally Wen Mao’s collection […]

From Nature:
An Interview with Alan Bernheimer

Interviewed by Caleb Beckwith Alan Bernheimer has been a mainstay of the Bay Area poetry scene since 1977. He hosted the KPFA radio show In the American Tree, and his work was later collected in the Language writing anthology of the same name. Where the narrative of Language writing has largely been determined by those […]

The Book

Stéphane Mallarmé translated by Sylvia Gorelick Exact Change ($15.95) by Olchar E. Lindsann “Yes, I know,” wrote the experimental poet Stéphane Mallarmé in May of 1866 in the midst of a spiritual crisis, “we are merely empty forms of matter, but we are indeed sublime for having invented God and the soul . . . […]

Windy Day at Kabekona

Thomas R. Smith White Pine Press ($16) by Allan Cooper For the last four decades, Wisconsin poet Thomas R. Smith has been quietly writing some of the finest prose poems of his generation. Readers will find them scattered through most of his seven major collections, from Keeping the Star (New Rivers Press, 1988) to The […]

After Effects

Judith Janoo Finishing Line Press ($14.99) by George Longenecker Judith Janoo’s poems in After Effects are deeply personal, and at the same time historical and political. The effects of war on a soldier and his family run through these narratives, with language that speaks to personal loss. These are poems rooted in the earth and […]

Bearing Witness:
An Interview with Bram Presser

Interviewed by David Wilk Family history for so many contemporary Jews is fraught. Most of us have relatives who disappeared without a trace, except for scattered entries in German records of extermination. Some fewer of us have had living relatives whose lives were defined by the Holocaust, almost always in horrific and devastating ways. Bram […]

The Art of Voice:
Poetic Principles and Practice

Tony Hoagland with Kay Cosgrove W. W. Norton & Co. ($22.95) by Mike Schneider Just as he’s gone for keeps, Tony Hoagland, true to his ironical being, is more than ever with us. His seventh full-length collection of poems, Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God, came out last year from Graywolf Press just prior […]

Ghost Wall

Sarah Moss Farrar Straus and Giroux ($22) by Greg Chase A wall can keep people out, but it can also be used to hide something shameful within. In her spare and enthralling new novel, Sarah Moss probes both sides of this age-old human compulsion to erect barriers. Set in the north of England in the […]