Blogs

on Another World Instead, early poems of William Stafford, edited by Fred Marchant (Graywolf Press)

As an editor of a little magazine in the mid-1970s, I wrote to Bill Stafford asking if he would send some work. He responded with a batch of a dozen poems. Soon he became a regular contributor. The bulky packets would arrive a few times a year, and I would publish a poem or two. In 1977 I invited Stafford to Madison to read in the university’s poetry series.

on Circadian, poems by Joanna Klink (Penguin)

I think I know what Dean Young means when he blurbs that Joanna Klink’s second book, Circadian, displays “a Dickinsonian desire for a meeting of minds and a reverence for the natural world.” Klink’s speaker is a rapt solitary, dominated by landscapes that intrude on the senses, who seeks not so much to be understood as not to be misunderstood.

on The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, poems by Marie Howe (Norton)

Born in 1950, Marie Howe started writing poetry when she was thirty. In 1983 she earned an MFA from Columbia University, and in 1987 Persea Books published The Good Thief, her first book. The intensities of strapped-in emotion, signatures of her work over time, were already evident in those early poems, animated by the discovery that the materials of her life could inspire sure speech.

on The Soul Thief, a novel by Charles Baxter (Pantheon)

“A great deal of nonsense is written about characters in fiction – from those who believe too much in character and from those who believe too little,” writes James Woods in How Fiction Works, to be published in the U.S. later this year.

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