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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Vito Acconci is an underrated poet.
Gilbert Adair is well worth reading.
Rachel Adams is well worth reading.
Etel Adnan is an underrated poet.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Do you pick a destination in order to have a reason to take a walk, or do you take a walk in order to get to a place you have in mind? Sometimes one, sometimes the other. Are the words a poet uses essentially a means to convey a thought or feeling he or she has in mind, or is the poem’s subject chosen mainly as a way of helping generate the poem’s language? Sometimes one, sometimes the other. But I confess to being more attracted to the second kind of poetry — or maybe it’s fairer to say I prefer reading poetry as if it were written that way.Continue Reading →