January 24, 2013
One of my good friends is a very successful novelist. I was with her when she was approached by another (male) writer who was attempting to deride her work: “Aren’t all your books about the same thing?” My friend asked him what he meant by that. He replied without missing a beat — “Well, aren’t they all about women?”
November 14, 2012
Legault transports Dickinson into mostly fortune-cookie length snippets of contemporary English, a dialect spoken widely in urban pockets like Brooklyn, where increasing numbers of the highly educated and literary classes live, procreate, keep each other amused, and make their own cheese.
May 3, 2012
by Stephen Akey
Readers have a perfect right to regard Philip Larkin, as I do not, as a complete shit. But if they consider his personal failings indistinguishable from his poetry, I think the loss is theirs.
May 2, 2012
by Sonya Chung
We needed such a story. The romance, the sense of “close call.” We need these stories to counter the inevitability of obscurity; we need stories that kindle our sense of hope, and possibility. In truth, I wouldn’t blame fans or journalists for altering or exaggerating the story. I understand why we need it to be as dramatic as possible.
April 12, 2012
by Stephen Akey
Among the adjectives Vendler applies to Henry are “regressive, petulant, hysterical, childish, cunning, hypersexual, boastful, frightened, shameless, and revengeful.” Also, “complaining, greedy, lustful, and polymorphously perverse.” Did we miss anything? How about self-pitying, irresponsible, envious, and grandiose?
December 28, 2011
Vendler asks us to think of value in terms of a hypothetical and permanent future, one that will have unvarying and therefore conclusive notions of what was good and bad in our writing. It’s an exasperating argument, since it asks us to defer to the critic’s mystical conjuring of our far off progeny, a population that will, of course, have the same values as the critic herself.
November 25, 2011
by Marni Berger
My grandfather died two weeks ago, in his bed, by the sea in Maine. Two days earlier, perhaps with a little help from his morphine, he looked out his bay window and said: “I am going to run across that water.”
October 11, 2011
by Steve Himmer
I’m a rank amateur, but when I read the Boston Globe’s dismissal of Tranströmer as “an elderly Swedish poet virtually unknown outside his homeland,” it felt necessary to speak up with the voice of an amateur.
October 3, 2011
by Bill Morris
I came upon a book of poems that proved to me that art can be made from absolutely anything, from a night-shift job at Chevy Gear & Axle or a job picking Gravenstein apples.
July 4, 2011
The first edition of Leaves of Grass is a poetical Declaration of Independence in so many ways it can be hard to keep track of them all.