Recent Entries:

  • March 18th, 2009

    “For poets, the obliquity of a bewildered poetry is its own theme,” wrote Fanny Howe in her signature essay “Bewilderment.” Essential to the experiment, obliquity is nevertheless rarely the only or even the central theme of a poem. The truancy of language alone isn’t usually the main attraction for the poet who sets it loose.

  • March 11th, 2009

    On the night of July 15, 1948, the 5,023 residents of Saffurriya fled their village. Among them were 17-year old Taha Muhammad Ali, his parents, siblings, extended family and friends, and the girl intended to become his wife.

  • March 4th, 2009

    Orphan Fire is a book of protean virtuosity, a young poet’s display of the vectors radiating from her sense of where her talents lie. She begins with the twenty-part title poem, an evocation of force and indeterminacy in the world – not human force, but a consummation that tempts yet barely comforts or even serves the human. The series begins with a prose poem:


  • February 27th, 2009

    Fanny Howe has always seemed keenly aware that her life -- either wantonly or doggedly absorbing the age’s most tense political, social and metaphysical issues -- is a metaphor for something. In her seventies Howe has turned to notebook entry-style prose to suggest these convergences.

  • February 24th, 2009

    “The thing which is so bad about the average third person novel is that the matter, the interpretation, is absolutely without life-view, it’s written the way everyone else sees it,” Norman Mailer wrote to William Styron in a 1953 letter published in the February 26, 2009 issue of The New York Review of Books. “I think that’s why writers like Maugham as they shrivel turn so natur

  • February 18th, 2009

    In Metamorphoses, Ovid retells the story of Actaeon, a hunter who leads his men on a successful quest for game. After the nets and traps have been hauled in, Actaeon takes a solitary walk in the woods. He enters a grove where the goddess Diana is being bathed by her handmaidens (they struggle to pour water over her towering figure).