Recent Entries:

  • June 25th, 2009

    The poems in Zero at the Bone, Stacie Cassarino’s highly accomplished first book, emit a sonic calm even -- or especially -- while teasing out the adversities in their subject matter. Her tone modulates between intimate remark and a flatness called out by the weight of the scene.

  • June 21st, 2009

    I read Louise Glück’s poem “Gratitude” for the first time 35 years ago and my initial reaction is still fresh: I’d been exposed.


    Do not think I am not grateful for your small
    kindness to me.
    I like small kindnesses.
    In fact I actually prefer them to the more
    substantial kindness, that is always eying you
    like a large animal on a rug,

  • June 15th, 2009

    Historians often mention the Kennedy-Nixon debates or the JFK assassination to mark the emergence of mass media culture. But Nikita Khrushchev’s tour of the U.S. in 1959 transfixed the world for fourteen days during the height of the Cold War.

  • June 10th, 2009

    Dahlia Ravikovitch once said that the value of a poet is worth less than that of a garlic peel. “A slice of bread with butter and honey on an oil cloth-covered breakfast table solves any problem better than an elusive poem,” she remarked in an interview. “What takes me out of the periods of depression that I occasionally succumb to is not poetry, but life.

  • June 5th, 2009

    What constitutes a “movement” in the arts? As time passes, how is authority conferred on the accomplishments of a movement?

  • May 27th, 2009

    Upon the wave of reminiscences and assessments following Susan Sontag’s death on December 28, 2004, Carlin Romano wrote in The Chronicle Review, “Too many people who sized her up committed the unpardonable sin in her book: parroting familiar clichés rather than thinking, reading, and analyzing for themselves.” Phillip Lopate isn’t one of the sinners.