Post image for The Sick World of Kim Hyesoon

The body is a sick place. Its reality is viscera. Kim Hyesoon’s poems are composed of these unsightly and unpleasant viscera. They squirm, blind and deaf like newborn puppies, then grow up and live in a dog-eat-dog world. This world is called Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Thomas McEvilley: And Autumnstruck We Would Not Hear the Song

Everyone talks about working outside the box but most of us don’t even know what box we’re boxed in by so we box ourselves in all the more. The work of Thomas McEvilley not only shows the imaginary fly the way out of actual fly bottles but also shows that preposterous insect how to get back in.

Continue Reading →
Post image for War Elephants and Pious Cats: Basil Bunting’s Persian Poems

The recent death of William Weaver, the acclaimed translator of Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Primo Levi and other modern Italian authors, spurred memories of the translation class he taught at Columbia University back in the late 1970s. A small group of students listened attentively to his thoughts about how best to go about rendering the literature of another culture into English.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Found Sounds, Found Stories: Andy Mister’s Liner Notes

Andy Mister’s recent book ‘Liner Notes’ captures the intimate texture of a consciousness that interacts with both the boring mundanity of an everyday work routine and the drug culture that, to some, is associated with an artist’s life.

Continue Reading →


Poetry for 49 Days of Grief

by Ryan Wong on January 24, 2014

Post image for Poetry for 49 Days of Grief

There are surprisingly few poetry collections built around the experience of loss. One of them, published just last year, is Time of Grief: Mourning Poems, selected by poet and New Directions editor Jeffrey Yang.

Continue Reading →


Reading List

by Rose Arthur on December 1, 2013

Post image for Reading List

Vito Acconci is an underrated poet.
Gilbert Adair is well worth reading.
Rachel Adams is well worth reading.
Etel Adnan is an underrated poet.

Continue Reading →


From Lucky Magazine to Lyrical Sonnets

by Alicia Eler on November 27, 2013

Post image for From Lucky Magazine to Lyrical Sonnets

CHICAGO — Simone de Beauvoir once said, “Buying is a profound pleasure.” To shop, to consume, to purchase a new look even if it’s temporary — an air of satisfaction accompanies that moment of credit card swiping, or handing over that stack of Ben Franklins.

Continue Reading →


Why I Am a Member of the Ron Padgett Fan Club

by John Yau on November 24, 2013

Post image for Why I Am a Member of the Ron Padgett Fan Club

One mind-stumping sensation a reader is likely to glean from Ron Padgett’s Collected Poems (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2013) is that the poems wrote themselves, and that he just happened to be in the room when they showed up. There is even a substantial section in Collected Poems that Padgett titled: POEMS I GUESS I WROTE (2001).

Continue Reading →
Post image for “Eye-Voices, a Choir”: New Translations of Paul Celan

The Romanian-born, German-speaking Paul Celan is one of the most translated poets in recent decades, and we’re still not through with him.

Continue Reading →


The Poet-Magus of the Lower East Side

by John Yau on October 20, 2013

Post image for The Poet-Magus of the Lower East Side

Imagine the following scenario: You and your wife live on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. You start a greeting card company, Ink Weed Arts, in 1951, just after the two of you get married. You are a poet and she is a dancer who works as a hand and foot model in advertising. The two of you want to offer an alternative to the insipid messages of Hallmark Cards.

Continue Reading →