Recent Entries:

  • May 12th, 2017

    In “Dream Song 14,” John Berryman not only exposed his boredom but patched in his world’s disapproval of such languishing:

    Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.   
    After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,   
    we ourselves flash and yearn,
    and moreover my mother told me as a boy   
    (repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored   
    means you have no

  • May 7th, 2017

    The conclusion of Hari Kunzru’s White Tears leaves the reader shaken by the long habits of racism in America and the misappropriation of culture. But the beginning is all about sound. “Every sound wave has a physiological effect, every vibration,” says Seth, the narrator. “I once heard a field recording of a woman singing, sitting on a porch.

  • May 1st, 2017

    Welcome back to “Poets Recommend,” the Seawall’s semi-annual poetry feature. This season, nine poets write briefly on some of their favorite recently published titles. This multi-poet/title feature is posted here in April and November. Scroll down to read. The commentary includes:

    Lisa Russ Spaar

    on Watchful by Molly Bendall (Omnidawn Publishing)

  • April 25th, 2017

    Zhao Zhenkai was 17 years old when Mao’s Cultural Revolution occurred in 1966. At his high school, he was among those who forced his teachers to wear incriminating placards around their necks, and who ridiculed, kicked and punched them through a gauntlet in the schoolyard. He had become one of the Red Guards.

  • April 19th, 2017

    The most generous writers give the reader something to do, respecting their capabilities. The least generous ones explain too much, reflecting credit on themselves. The Swiss writer Klaus Merz has engaged his readers in such a way that he is beloved among Germanophones who regard his 1997 novella Jacob Asleep as a contemporary classic.

  • April 6th, 2017

    One day in the late 1990’s while teaching in Houston, Adam Zagajewski received a call from his friend Czeslaw Milosz in Berkeley. Milosz was then in his mid-80’s.