Small Hours

Photo by geir tønnessen This evening the sky above the horizon was a purple band but thin and unconvincing, like a bad belief and the ivy climbing the stone buildings was disconsolate and wouldn’t look at me. Disbelief can be astonishment or godlessness, depending and sometimes I feel good and sometimes there’s only a small […]

Walking at Night

Photo by Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble  Remember: headlamps, worn to move through total darkness. We hit the road too late, by the time we pulled into the parking lot, twilight, then even less than that. New Hampshire winter, days done early. I liked being in dusk with you. An arrow of lamplight let me […]

West : Fire : Archive

Nineteenth in the Mountain/West Poetry Series, edited by Stephanie G’Schwind, Kazim Ali, Dan Beachy-Quick, Camille T. Dungy & Donald Revell West : Fire : Archive, Iris Jamahl Dunkle’s magnificently wide-ranging new book, traverses both ground and history to create a new genre: a dual biography (Charmian London’s) and autobiography (the poet’s own). Ultimately questioning what […]

original kink

What is it to write according to a socially engaged poetics, to demand of one’s audience a reckoning, and not lose sight of poetry’s ability to speak out of and beyond the present moment? In a year that has seen social justice movements refuse to be sidelined, what might a poet add to the collective […]

Rough Song

Rough Song represents the first English translation of Blanca Varela, a major figure in twentieth-century Peruvian poetry who died in 2009. Though Varela’s work has been widely admired by leading international intellectuals—contemporaries such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, André Breton, and especially Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz—her verse had never been translated into English until […]

Sense Violence

The Swedish title of Helena Boberg’s second collection, Sinnesvåld (translated as Sense Violence by Johannes Göransson), appears fairly straightforward at first. “Sinnes” refers to the senses and “våld” means violence. But, as with the poems themselves, the title’s etymology is more complex. Sinnesvåld was published in Sweden in 2013, two years after Boberg’s first book, […]