27
MAR
2017

Lola Haskins at Copperfish Books

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Copperfish Books is that small miracle, an independent bookstore in a city with a population not much bigger than my current hometown, and a lot smaller than Lexington, the neighboring Harvard/Tufts/high tech bedroom community where I lived for decades and which lost its three...
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03
MAR
2017

Dan Albergotti’s Millennial Teeth

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On the cover of Dan Albergotti’s Millenial Teeth, a child attacked by lightning bolts configured to look like a dragon staggers backwards (the figures come from a warning label on electrical equipment). Rarely has a book’s cover served so completely as a metaphor for what’s...
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27
JAN
2017

Poetry off the Shelf

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The public life of poetry can be both a sword and a shield. It can bind listeners together while reaching individual members of an audience in deep, profound, and diverse ways. The Auden quote that “poetry makes nothing happen” removes the phrase from its context in the second...
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17
DEC
2016

On Robert Pinsky at the Blacksmith House

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Late last month at the Blacksmith House I heard Robert Pinsky read from his new book, At the Foundling Hospital. I was rapt. “Omnivorous reverence” is the phrase Tony Hoagland uses to describe Robert’s artistic scope and method. One of the poems Robert read that night is “Running...
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28
NOV
2016

Italian Nobody

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When Doug Holder asked me for some background information for his interview program on Somerville Cable Access, “Poet to Poet,” I referred him to a Q&A I did with the online journal Niche, not realizing the link had been taken down. Among other questions, I discuss the source...
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31
OCT
2016

The Evolution of Parasites

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Last winter, Emily Jaeger asked if I’d write a blurb for her first chapbook, The Evolution of Parasites, published this year by Sibling Rivalry Press. I wrote a few sentences about the visceral power of Jaeger’s language and imagination, and the intriguing ways she reads the...
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23
SEP
2016

Cracked Calabash

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If you’re reading this, you have Enzo Silon Surin to thank for creating my website and, with it, my blog. Surin is a writer, a teacher, and the publisher of Central Square Press, which, according to its mission statement, strives “to publish poetry that does not cater to the...
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21
JUL
2016

Notes on The Back Cover of Versed

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I’m writing for the first time about a book I haven’t finished yet. My friend Sharon Bryan recommended Rae Armantrout’s Versed, and I’m enjoying a precision as sharp and startling as the plunge of a needle in Armantrout’s spare, tight lines. Who expects “mass market” to follow a...
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29
JUN
2016

Current Conditions

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After 18 months of retirement, I finally unpack the last box of books from my office at UMass Boston. I find books by colleagues; duplicate volumes of collected poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson and Jane Kenyon I needed absolutely both at home and at work; books I bought...
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