Review: Grief Is the Thing With Feathers

DAD My day-to-day work, see, is reading manuscripts, so you can see what put me on to publishing--my day job. By night I read Ted Hughes, my favorite poet, particularly his crow poems. The conjunction of bright idea (day) and Ted's crows (night) put me on to this novella in verse...kinda, sorta verse. BOYS We …

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If Humans Were Formulas…

Not being of scientific or mathematical mind, I've never thought of humans in terms of a formula. Imagine my surprise, then, when I poked around Lin Yutang's tome, The Importance of Living, and discovered this quixotic mix: Reality - Dreams = Animal Being Reality + Dreams = A Heart-Ache (usually called Idealism) Reality + Humor …

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What? I Can’t Write About This?

One of the most enjoyable aspects of publishing a first book of poetry is--what else?--readers, but less obviously, it's readers' reactions to poems. Here's irony. Reading a lot about poetry, I often come across comments from experts, critics, and even other poets, spreading rumors like, "When writing poetry, you should never write about nature because …

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Jane Hirshfield as Scheherazade

In education, lectures are vilified with good reason. They are boring. They are so much bombast. They are inflicted by vainglorious pontificators on passive victims who must endure or find ways to daydream through it all. What happens, though, when a speaker is so knowledgeable, silver-tongued, and interesting that the restless audience (or reader) begins …

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Why Poetry? Better Still: Why Not?

While the sale of poetry books continues to languish and the number of readers who love reading (asterisk: only not poetry books) continues to skyrocket, there's still a healthy cottage industry in writing not poetry but ABOUT poetry. Specifically its death. Or long-term prognosis. Or philosophical place in the world (hint: look low). Among that …

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