Tag: poetry

  • Mateer’s Aphrodite Made Me Do It

    Aphrodite Made Me Do ItTrista Mateer I don’t know what to make of this book. I truly don’t. It made some best of the year poetry lists, but it is very much not my thing. That said, I’m a forty something year old CIS white dude and I’m pretty damn sure I am not the […]

  • Review: Homie by Danez Smith

    Home: Poems Danez Smith I’m as surprised as anyone to say that I have a couple of favorite contemporary poets. For most of my life I didn’t pay much attention to this world, but now I follow the work of a couple of poets pretty carefully including Morgan Parker, Ilya Kaminsky and the brilliant Danez […]

  • Review: Smith’s Be Recorder

    Be Recorder Carmen Gimenez Smith Contemporary poetry can be very hit or miss for me. If the writers voice connects with me, it can resonate in ways literature doesn’t (see Danez Smith, Morgan Parker, Ilya Kaminsky) but if it doesn’t connect in the first few poems, generally I’m lost. Smith is clearly a talented writer […]

  • Review: Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic

    Deaf Republic Ilya Kaminsky This little book of poems is stunning. In a straightforward voice it tells the story of a town that goes silent in the face of the atrocities of an occupying force. Illustrated with simple drawing of hand signals the towns people use to communicate, the book is both odd and deeply […]

  • Review: Carson’s Norma Jean Baker of Troy

    Norma Jean Baker of Troy Anne Carson   Carson is a genius. An actual genius. She’s a Greek scholar, and a gifted poet and novelist. She’s also someone I’ve admired for years. In fact, I have a whole page of this website devoted to her. Sometimes her work, which often mixes the ancient with the […]

  • Review: Parker’s Magical Negro

    Magical Negro: Poems Morgan Parker I don’t really follow contemporary poetry, but there a couple of writers who I adore and I pick up their new work whenever it comes out. Parker (of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce) is one of those writers I follow. Magical Negro is another round of beautiful writing […]

  • Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead

    Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems Danez Smith A slim, early volume by one of my favorite working poets. You can see the visceral power and honesty here, (some of the poems here are repeated in the more comprehensive Don’t Call Us Dead) but perhaps it isn’t as fully developed as I think it is in […]

  • Hayes’s American Sonnets to My Once and Future Assassins

    American Sonnets to My Once and Future Assassins Terrance Hayes Another gut punch of a book of poetry by a black man. Viscerally moving sonnets about race, love and America.  Most pointedly what its like to reflect backwards, and think ahead, in Trump’s America. For many years, I didn’t read much poetry, but lately, I’m […]

  • Solider’s Whereas

    Whereas: Poems Layli Long Soldier Another book of contemporary poetry, this one short listed for the National Book Award. More formally experimental than Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead, this one left me feeling a bit cold. While stylistically interesting, I found it a bit cold, and I prefer my poetry rawer, I think. Still, and […]

  • Heraclitus Fragments

    FragmentsHeraclitus A strange and beautiful little book collecting the surviving fragments of poetic writings of Heraclitus, a pre-socratic philosopher and poet. None of the fragments collected here are complete, so it difficult to under how exactly they fit into the longer works to which they once belonged, but here, in a relatively new translation, and […]