REVIEW: EMMA – GABRIEL OLADIPO (GHOST CITY PRESS)

She’s taking understated moments from life and creating fantastic poems around them, bring a whole new meaning to day-to-day moments.

POWER OF POETRY #45: BOLA OPALEKE

It is how both can have their salvations split in two in a single process. I think it was Jericho Brown that said: “Poetry has its own language”. Nothing can be truer in my opinion.

REVIEW: THIS IS WHERE I GET OFF – KIRBY (PERMANENT SLEEP PRESS)

Kirby’s poem had to be read twice and three times and more because it grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go.

REVIEW: NANOPEDIA – CHARLES JENSEN (TINDERBOX EDITIONS)

It’s an encyclopedia of the seedy, the attractive, the “I” of life within modern times and modern body. It’s sort of like the words many want to say, but then get caught up in the moment, and can’t remember what they were thinking anymore.

REVIEW: YOU’VE GOT A PRETTY HELLMOUTH – MICHAEL SIKKEMA (TREMBLING PILLOW PRESS)

It’s the way the ants that crawl from skin become guides and senses. It’s the way that when you meet another splinter, the bugs are meant for each other – in sickness and in health.

REVIEW: I GAVE BIRTH TO ALL THE GHOSTS HERE – LYD HAVENS (NOSTROVIA! PRESS)

Reading Lyd Haven’s work makes me want them to win. Makes my real world seem to fade away, replaced with someone I want to see succeed despite and because of their troubles.

POWER OF POETRY #44: GREG GERDING, EiC OF UNIVERSITY OF HELL PRESS

The whole time, I thought I was alone. But there were people just as pained and confused as I was. I found my community. I found my church. I kept returning every Sunday, sharing work I had written during the week.

REVIEW: NO(BODY) – JOANNA VALENTE (MADHOUSE PRESS)

It’s the mirror as a reflection of who you think they want – the makeup, the high heels – but really it’s the only way to be seen. No(Body) asks you to question the idea of being capable within the moment. It’s the attempt to be Beyonce, or not death.

REVIEW: HOW A POEM MOVES: A FIELD GUIDE FOR READERS OF POETRY – ADAM SOL (ECW PRESS)

Adam Sol’s How a Poem Moves: A Field Guide for Readers Afraid of Poetry, is a window into how poems move rather than what they state. It’s a personal approach to understanding how someone else’s words make you feel.

REVIEW: THE BONEYARD – JULIA MADSEN (TREMBLING PILLOW PRESS)

There is a misconception of place, time, and atmosphere of the Heartland. It’s not always calm. It’s not rolling hills and farmland and nice people who do nice things for other nice people, and continue their existence in a silo of that same nice feeling.

POWER OF POETRY #43: SUE BURGE

Yes, I’m a poet and proud of it, and I don’t think I’ll ever want to be anything else. It’s what I would have said in answer to that old chestnut, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Wow! How many people actually get to have their dreams come true?

REVIEW: THE CARTOGRAPHY OF SLEEP – LAURA VILLAREAL (NOSTROVIA PRESS)

If life is lived, vicariously, through dreamscapes and if the moon hotel’s bellhop is “trolleying [the moon’s] baggage on a brass birdcage cart,” then we are destined to hold the weight of the universe on our backs.

REVIEW: THE WOMAN WITH AN OWL TATTOO – ANNE WALSH DONNELLY (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)

It’s being told that “making love is for making babies / and gays are intrinsically disordered,” and realizing all the misguided beliefs behind that statement. Realizing that your love for another is in no way a disorder.

REVIEW: WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME IF I LOVE HER? – ELFIE (ELFIE IN BLOOM)

Elfie gives us a look at the daily struggle that can be experienced when fighting against these natures, and in the end, shows us the relief that comes with the recognition of our own personal truths.

REVIEW: WHERE THE ROAD RUNS OUT – GAIA HOLMES (COMMA PRESS)

If Death brings a flash of life before our eyes, and we see each detail of what and how we’ve lived, and everything that was once background became foreground, then Where the Road Runs Out, the new collection from Gaia Holmes is that flash.

POWER OF POETRY #42: ELFIE

Some poems will remain within the confines of the therapist’s office. Some poems will never be known to anyone other than myself. Some poems I share with the world.

REVIEW: WE, YOUNG OLD ONES – DOMINIK PARISIEN (FROG HOLLOW PRESS)

Dominik Parisien’s poems embody chronic pain, elevating the traumas, and illuminating the act of breathing being the most essential part of living. He uses body parts, the act of breathing, religion, and science, to illustrate the struggle and the pain that the poetic voice endures.

REVIEW: MORNING WALK WITH DEAD POSSUM, BREAKFAST AND PARALLEL UNIVERSE – BETH GORDON (ANIMAL HEART PRESS)

This is a notice that life is genuinely what you make it, and that if you live it while looking at it, you might miss what is actually in front of you.

REVIEW: MOON CRUMBS – SHEILA DONG (BOTTLECAP PRESS)

Alongside beautiful imagery there is stark loneliness, the desire to curl up apart from what we might naturally think of home, a metaphor perhaps for the isolation death might bring, or the boundaries that come with having an earthly body.

POWER OF POETRY #41: BETH GORDON

The power of poetry, then, is its ability to show us ordinary things in an extraordinary light.

REVIEW: INCLINED TO RIOT – KMA SULLIVAN (SIBLING RIVALRY PRESS)

It’s a world where men paint women, and women have no say. It’s the world in which she knows “you wanted to fuck her unconscious / and have her wake to your fists.”

REVIEW: TAP OUT – EDGAR KUNZ (MARINER/HMH BOOKS)

This is the tale of gutting it out until you think you want to tap out. It’s a glimmer of hope because, damnit, you’ve worked too hard for there to not at least be a glimmer.

REVIEW: WE MEANT TO BRING IT HOME ALIVE – ARMIN TOLENTINO (ALTERNATING CURRENT PRESS)

This is a collection of survival in spite of all that happens in life. It’s the learning of “the sound liquid makes as it works through the body’s waterways.” The unrelenting feeling that while life is draining from one body, another is taking it back.

POWER OF POETRY #40: “THE MEMORY OF TRADITION” ANGELA GABRIELLE FABUNAN

I believe the intensity of a poem, the dense nature of a line, the possibilities of syntax, and all aspects that make up a poem work together to become a fitting medium for tragedy.

REVIEW: PORT OF BEING – SHAZIA HAFIZ RAMJI (INVISIBLE PUBLISHING)

“…it’s the constant feeling that some person, some feeling, some moment is lurking in the shadows, waiting for the opportune time to make their move…”

REVIEW: WHEN I AM A FAMOUS PERSON – JOSEPH HAEGER (OPTOGRAPHY PRESS)

Generally, I will take another sip of water (but it’s really vodka) and make deep eye contact with whomever I’m speaking to, whether it’s the niece Lily or the Prime Minister of Britain. — from “When I am President of the United States” I remember the day that Kurt Cobain

REVIEW: THESE ARE NOT THE POTATOES OF MY YOUTH – MATTHEW WALSH (GOOSE LANE)

Written masterfully, in prose form, quotations italicized, Walsh’s stories embed the past and the present, while questioning religion and the hetero-normative masculinity.

POWER OF POETRY #39: JOSEPH HAEGER

I don’t only want people to be entertained, but also for them to feel something. And the fastest way to do that is through poetry; you are framing a feeling and passing it on, even if it’s only for a brief moment.

REVIEW: THE SEA THAT BECKONED – ANGELA GABRIELLE FABUNAN (PLATYPUS PRESS)

It’s the push-and-pull of one language and culture erasing the other; it’s the beauty and decay of both. It’s the changes that feel like too much change. The Sea that Beckoned is the tightrope walk between being ourselves and the self we may yet become.

REVIEW: A CONSTELLATION OF HALF-LIVES – SEEMA REZA (WRITE BLOODY PUBLISHING)

In short, this book is a microcosm of identity politics, giving faces and names to those who must learn how to exist in various spaces simultaneously.

REVIEW: CANDY CIGARETTE WOMANCHILD NOIR – KRISTIN GARTH (HEDGEHOG PRESS)

To them, she is not real. She is who they will fantasize about when home with their wives. She is the babysitter driven home by every father. She is the toy of their desire. She is within reach, but untouchable from above them.

REVIEW: DEAF REPUBLIC – ILYA KAMINSKY (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

One thing that distinguishes Kaminsky from many poets writing in English is that his poems are never just rage, never just fear, never just joy or whimsy or lust. Instead, Kaminsky’s lines are fraught with the full, messy truth of humanity.

POWER OF POETRY #38: “HIDE & SEEK OF HOLES” – KRISTIN GARTH

Poetry is the real game of exposure. Really great poetry shows holes, the smallness, the seeking. We seek a connection to others that comes often from exposing moments on a page that you might be most embarrassed to put down on paper.

REVIEW: BONEHOUSE – ERIKA BRUMETT (GREEN LINDEN)

Brumett walks through “butcher paper bed sheets” because sometimes that’s how it feels to evolve. Sometimes you have to discover the clitoris and learn about dolphin masturbation in order to get to the part where we can leave legacies and deal with cleaning out memories from closets.

REVIEW: LIBRARY OF SMALL CATASTROPHES – ALISON C. ROLLINS (COPPER CANYON PRESS)

But, body is language. Code talking is language. Coding is language. Even “math is poetic in nature;” It’s just that people aren’t too interested in listening to that which they don’t care to understand, let alone anything poetic.

REVIEW: Q&A – ADRIENNE GRUBER (BOOK*HUG PRESS)

These poems are moving, beautifully written, and fascinating, elaborating on the fears, the excitement, the trauma of pregnancy, and anything in between from the labor, and the everlasting relationship between Gruber and her daughter, Quintana.

POWER OF POETRY #37: RAN WALKER

If done well, a poem can be far more powerful than a photograph, because you are capturing not just the image, but the emotional context and resonance of that thing.

REVIEW: all this can be yours – ISOBEL O’HARE (UNIVERSITY OF HELL PRESS)

all this can be yours is a patchwork quilt of what should have been said by all the dicks in the room.

REVIEW: WAR/TORN – HASAN NAMIR (BOOK*HUG PRESS)

You have to be ready for this collection. You have to prepare to feel. You have to be able to breathe. You have to know that War/Torn is a journey, and a metaphor that digs well beyond the surface.

POWER OF POETRY #36: Hasan Namir

I saw poetry as much more complex and rewarding than I had originally thought it would be over the years. Poetry is the one form that can take the readers to another level of meaning and power.

REVIEW: GIANTESS – EMILY VIZZO (YesYes Books)

Giantess is like an a cappella Americana album — it’d be nice to hear the picking of the strings, but they aren’t needed to dance with these words.

REVIEW: WRITING YOUR NAME ON THE GLASS – JIM WHITESIDE (BULL CITY PRESS)

Directness is difficult. It’s not easy to be bluntly-gentle. But that is exactly what Whiteside has done in his newest collection of poems from Bull City Press.

POWER OF POETRY #35: “Dreams/Facts” – Matthew Mayfield

POWER OF POETRY #35: “Facts/Dreams” – Matthew Mayfield: “….I strive to be that ONE person who keeps you closer to Life and
one step away from the trigger.”

REVIEW: UNMONSTROUS – JOHN ALLEN TAYLOR (YesYes Books)

REVIEW: UNMONSTROUS – JOHN ALLEN TAYLOR (YesYes Books):
It’s rare to read a piece that so beautifully captures the anger, emotions, beauty, and need for survival while trying to navigate all the evils of the child-to-adult journey.

REVIEW: Most of My Heroes Don’t Appear on No Stamps – Ran Walker (University of Hell Press)

REVIEW: Most of My Heroes Don’t Appear on No Stamps

Walker gives us our “Window Seat” to the world, as we consider why we are where we are – the good and the bad, the understood and ignorant, the anger and excitement, the love and passion of the way the world is today.

REVIEW: Mud Woman – Joanna Penn Cooper & R. Bratten Weiss (Dancing Girl Press)

Over the course of your correspondence, you begin to discuss your dreams. Begin, in fact, to have dreams that echo the other’s. There is a house, creepy yet somehow luminous. Stables. Treasure, possibly, among the muck. But should you be there? Who (or what) lurks in the dim? – JPC

REVIEW: Ross Robbins’ The Three EPs (Two Plum Press)

The physicality of life and the ache that it can bring – through love, death, sex, and survival – makes Robbin’s writing visceral and emotive and painful and beautiful all at the same time.

POWER OF POETRY #34: “Some Slightly Connected Thoughts on Crafted Vulnerability, Stage Fright, Beauty, and Gratitude” – STEVIE EDWARDS

I am trying to write poems that stand inside of uncertainty and still find things to praise. And I don’t think it matters if I praise my sore legs that keep walking me home from work each night, or if I praise the relief of night rain in my first Carolinian July, or if I praise an idea of a home I miss, or if I praise the mild infection in my right nipple for not being cancer, or if I praise my friend who has stomach cancer but keeps living beyond the rational limits doctors have suggested—it is all praising living. It is all beholding the terrible beautiful uncertainty of being human and saying thank you. I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful than gratitude, and poetry helps me to access it.

THE POWER OF POETRY #33: AMY SAUL-ZERBY

  THE POWER OF POETRY – Amy Saul-Zerby   In order to explain the power of poetry to you, I need you to understand about metaphors. EXAMPLE: TIME IS AN OCEAN It brings things to you then takes them away It seems bottomless but is not If you stop moving,

THE POWER OF POETRY #32: LEE ANN RORIPAUGH – SOUTH DAKOTA’S POET LAUREATE

LEE ANN RORIPAUGH – SOUTH DAKOTA’S POET LAUREATE Poetry is the shape-shifting ouroboros of language, image, sound, form, and content held in infinite tension. It is the muscular pulse of sheened coil, forked tongue tasting the air. It is a voraciousness of language, hungry to apprehend and take in the

THE POWER OF POETRY #31: SARA HENNING

    The Power of Poetry – Sara Henning I’d like to tell you a story about life’s untamable narrative that leaves us transformed. In other words, I’d like to tell you a story about my relationship to poetry. At 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning this past July, my mother

THE POWER OF POETRY #30: LAUREN GILMORE

  Two years ago, as part of my hometown’s annual literary festival, I competed in a teen poetry slam. For winning, I was given the opportunity to open for two of the headliners, Major Jackson and Robert Wrigley. It was a poem about my father dying. I read it from

THE POWER OF POETRY #29: A.M. O’MALLEY

THE POWER OF POETRY  — A.M. O’Malley I first found poetry when I was nine years old in a beat up paperback copy of Alfred Tennyson’s collected poems that my father had. One Saturday, when no one was around, I stole the book away to my corner of the back

THE POWER OF POETRY #28: “Warrendale, a Chance Medley with Lines from “Brother of Leaving”” – Cal Freeman

Warrendale, a Chance Medley with Lines from “Brother of Leaving” The Warrendale neighborhood sits on the far west side of the city of Detroit. I describe my childhood home and the neighborhood in which it rests in my first collection of poems, Brother of Leaving. Historically it was a Polish

THE POWER OF POETRY #27: Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick

Poetry, like any art, is about connection, either to our inner-self or to another being. In the darkest or most joyous times of our life, everything is meaningless unless our thoughts, emotions, feelings, desires are shared and not simply reverberated back to us in an empty hall. Let’s say one

THE POWER OF POETRY #26: “REVENGE OF THE NERDS” – ROB STURMA

The Power of Poetry: Revenge of the NerdsBack in the day when I was still a fledgling emcee with the acronym FIRST-MC, I wanted to be KRS-ONE so much. I loved his music and his proclamations that he was a Teacher and a Poet with the skills of an Emcee.

THE POWER OF POETRY #25: DONNEY ROSE

   The Power of Poetry      – Donney Rose I came into poetry in a way that many young Black boys find an entry point to the world of creative writing, through hip hop. My older brothers were hip hop fans, thus I grew up in the culture and

THE POWER OF POETRY #24: LOGEN CURE

I self-published a book of poems when I was 19. Print-on-demand websites like Lulu were just beginning to gain popularity. I’m one of those people who has been a writer her whole life. By 19 I had plenty of work to create a book and I figured, why not? I

THE POWER OF POETRY #23: Rachel Wiley

   I have test anxiety and I feel like I am being tested most of the time. When this anxiety spikes I forget words and either yell a lot or go very still until I make it back to home. Once home I can deal with my feelings alone like

POETS ON POETS #1: “Muriel Rukeyser’s “Calling” and the Power of Poetry” – JOANNA PENN COOPER

  Faith is found here, not in a destiny raiding and parceling out knowledge and the earth, but in a people who, person by person, believes itself. Do you accept your own gestures and symbols? Do you believe what you yourself say? When you act, do you believe what you

POWER OF POETRY #22: “I WANT TO KEEP HAPPENING” – SARAH XERTA

  “The Power of Poetry: I Want to Keep Happening” Sarah Xerta I’m hesitant to write about the power of poetry because I don’t want to romanticize anything. Anne Sexton said “It’s the poetry that seems to be saving me” and she still eventually killed herself. I can’t forget this.

THE POWER OF POETRY #21: RONNIE K. STEPHENS

THE POWER OF POETRY – Ronnie K. Stephens There is no origin story, here. No single point on the broadside of this universe. For me, poetry has been a series of planets dotting up the sky when I’m not looking, and suddenly I’m thirty-two with a galaxy spread out around

THE POWER OF POETRY #20: “I USED TO HATE POETRY” – DENICE FROHMAN

 Photo Courtesy of Conrad Erb, LiveConnections “I Used to Hate Poetry” — Denice Frohman For many poets and writers the story goes like this: I always loved reading, I had books everywhere, and started writing poetry early on as a kid. I’m not that poet. My parents were concerned with

THE POWER OF POETRY #19: ANNA BINKOVITZ

   The Power of Poetry ​Last week I was sitting in a classroom at Lesley University, listening to my professor Rafael Campo open a seminar on the elegy, and the power of poetry to “speak the unspeakable.” One example we looked at was Martha Collins’ poem “Her Poem,” which addresses

THE POWER OF POETRY #18: “THE VINEYARD OWNER” – Lewis Mundt

THE POWER OF POETRY: THE VINEYARD OWNER — Lewis Mundt I.   Let me tell you two stories. The first: Somewhere in California, a man named Rubén Vásquez leaves his house with a small knife, planning to go to a vineyard and kill his father. Instead of finding his father, Vásquez

THE POWER OF POETRY #17: “OUTSIDE THE NARROW GARDEN” PAULIE LIPMAN

Outside The Narrow Garden      — Paulie Lipman On an episode of “The Green Room With Paul Provenza” (a comic’s roundtable of sorts), the comedian Franklin Ajaye made a statement that really hit me where I live: He said that the majority of modern comedians wouldn’t inspire him to

THE POWER OF POETRY- “BRAVE NEW VOICES” SPECIAL EDITION – KHARY JACKSON

“BRAVE NEW VOICES” — KHARY JACKSON I am writing this while at the annual Brave New Voices poetry festival, in Atlanta, GA. Several hundred young poets ages 13­ to 19 are gathered, after months of dedicated practice, fundraising and team building, to connect and share their work with each other

THE POWER OF POETRY#16: “THE POWER OF POETRY AS CATHARSIS AND HEALING” – SaraEve Fermin

The Power of Poetry as Catharsis and Healing — SaraEve Fermin The brain is a muscle that can move the world.- Stephen King In 2003 My world shattered into a million pieces, rolling across a GAP outlet as my brain exploded under it’s first Tonic Clonic seizure. This was the beginning

THE POWER OF POETRY #15: “THE POETRY OF A PERFECT COCKTAIL” – SAM SLAUGHTER

The Poetry of a Perfect Cocktail – Sam Slaughter I’ve never been a poet. The closest I’ve come—“songs” about teen angst and the like—are in a few notebooks hidden in my childhood bedroom. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve opened those notebooks since I turned

THE POWER OF POETRY #14: “POEMS ARE MAGIC SPELLS WRITTEN BY WITCHES” – ISOBEL O’HARE

Poems are magic spells written by witches. Ten years ago I had a dream that the Icelandic musician Björk appeared in the corner of my ceiling and sang to me about poetry and witchcraft. I think it took me this long to figure out what she, or at least the

THE POWER OF POETRY #13: “YOU TALK TOO MUCH” – CRISTOPHER GIBSON

  You Talk Too Much – Cristopher Gibson   “CRISTOPHER!” Is what I recall most about school, the dinner table, church, or really anywhere I was with other people as a child. Anyone who knows me knows that I talk…a lot. As a kid this was in hyper drive. I

“POETRY SPEAKS FOR ITSELF (EXCEPT IT CAN’T ACTUALLY SPEAK AT ALL)” – TAYLOR MALI

Poetry Speaks For Itself (except it can’t actually speak at all) —- Taylor Mali Deconstructing the difference between the message and the messenger. I sat on a panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival recently called something like Poetry in Performance. Four poets were asked to perform a poem and then

THE POWER OF POETRY #12: “THE POWER OF GRIEF” – KIERAN COLLIER

   Power of Grief       – Kieran Collier I. My mother passed when I was 14. I say passed because it’s gentle in the same way she was. I could say she was taken from us, killed by ALS, but then the disease would be the subject instead of

THE POWER OF POETRY #11: DUNCAN SHIELDS

The Power of Poetry – Duncan Shields Poetry uses language to surpass language. That is the central thought I’ve come to believe during my relationship with the spoken and written word. Effective poetry resonates with people. It evokes a response in the listener (or reader) that’s different from looking at

THE POWER OF POETRY #10: “WHAT POETRY MEANS TO ME” – CLEMENTINE von RADICS

WHAT POETRY MEANS TO ME            – CLEMENTINE von RADICS What Poetry Means To Me   “Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

THE POWER OF POETRY #8: “THE SUPER POWERS OF POETRY” – JESSICA HELEN LOPEZ

The Super Powers of Poetry – Jessica Helen Lopez Listen here. When I write poetry I take on an extraordinary ability to warp, utterly break, and then mend again the rules of physics. Teacups may melt in the cabinets of my kitchen and my braided hair is able to drip

THE POWER OF POETRY #7: BLYTHE BAIRD

   THE POWER OF POETRY By Blythe Baird The first time I was exposed to spoken word poetry, I was a sophomore in high school. It was a strike of pure luck. My first day back at school after months of intensive rehabilitation for mental and physical health issues, a

REVIEW: BLOOD PERCUSSION – NATE MARSHALL (BUTTON POETRY / EXPLODING PINECONE PRESS)

Sprinkle my ashes across the north side of Chicago & the surrounding suburbs.   the south side has seen too many black boys become the end of a flame. “In the Event of My Demise”  After reading the introduction to Nate Marshall’s Blood Percussion, I was deeply moved, but a

THE POWER OF POETRY #6: “A POND, A STICK” – DIANE SEUSS

  A Pond, a Stick I just finished grading final portfolios for two of my poetry courses, here at the tail end of the academic year when teachers feel foul, ragged, bone-tired, and heartbroken. I have found myself wondering if poetry is in a losing battle with Kim Kardashian’s ass

REVIEW: HERE COMES THE NEW JOY – JOHN BARRIOS (UNIVERSITY OF HELL PRESS)

   I am hesitant to include quotes from the book in this review. Not that it is a bad book, completely the opposite actually. I had such fun reading the book that I feel like any lines or poems I could use would be short changing the book as a

REVIEW: OUR NUMBERED DAYS – NEIL HILBORN (BUTTON POETRY)

    To say I hate you would imply a world in which I kissed more than your stomach. Look, we’ve established that I’m a jerk, so let me say this: I am a flat tire and you are a pothole full of lug nuts. I am a pile of

THE POWER OF POETRY #5 – TONGO EISEN-MARTIN

  The Power of Poetry Tongo Eisen-Martin Poetry does as much as the reader is ready for. Does as much as the writer can walk through her or his walls. Therefore poetry is every stitch of an expanding universe; every stitch of an expanding universe speaking for itself. Or therefore

REVIEW: An Electric Sheep Jumps to Greener Pasture – Tyler Atwood (University of Hell Press)

  the truth was a mirror the church led me to believe I discovered the impossibility of finding my reflection in  the pieces when it broke a single-parent household I ran  my fingers through the shards of glass probing the edges  for where they once fit together finding only the 

The Power of Poetry #4: “The Transformative Power of Poetry” – Ethan Smith

The Transformative Power of Poetry – Ethan Smith On language When I first started writing intentionally for poetry performance, I thought my word choice was easily understandable, and was often frustrated when people were confused about the language I was using. Over time, I improved at actually saying what I

REVIEW: I Want Love So Great it Makes Nicholas Sparks Cream in His Pants – Calvero (University of Hell Press)

If you are looking for soft, pillow talk love poetry, this is not the collection for you. If you are looking for honest, real, hilarious, disgusting, uncomfortable,and fun truths, look no further.  The titles alone were a laugh out loud experience unto itself. “Get ready baby, ’cause I’m about to

THE POWER OF POETRY #3: JENNY DRAI

  “The Power of Poetry” by JENNY DRAI 1. I remember the poem that made me want to be a poet—it was Paul Celan’s “Night Ray” (“Nachtstrahl”) from Poppy and Memory. (I first encountered Celan as an undergraduate German major. Up to that point, I had written almost exclusively fiction

POWER OF POETRY #2 – EBONY STEWART

    “Power of Poetry” by EBONY STEWART I remember being eight or nine when my parents finally got divorced. Or should I say, when my mother finally gathered all her strength to leave my father. She took us with her. I wasn’t sad, I knew they shouldn’t be together.

POWER OF POETRY #1: I’m Uncomfortable Too. – by Wil Gibson

  The first time I remember hearing the word “poetry” it came from a family member who was making fun of poets. How dumb they were for thinking their words mattered. How silly they talked. How lazy they must be to just sit around and write all day. “Why the

REVIEW: When the Gardener Has Left – KIERAN COLLIER (EMERSON COLLEGE)

  “She told me that she bought the ring in San Francisco at an outdoor market. I like to imagine she was watching the Pacific hold the coast the same way she would hold my father later that night. My father is a shore, my mother is an ocean; when

REVIEW – THE BONES OF US – J. BRADLEY AND ADAM SCOTT MAZER (YESYES BOOKS)

“The Bones of Us” is part poetry collection, part graphic novel, and all well done. J Bradley and Adam Scott Mazer have given us something we can appreciate from a few different angles. The poetry is moving and relatable… “We will kiss like passengers without floatation devices, Hang on to

REVIEW: JOANNA PENN COOPER – WHAT IS A DOMICLE

  from “Crown” In this photograph, I am a girl child. My thoughts come out in my hands and my hair. If only I could realize it. Be just the person I just am. With What is a Domicile, Joanna Penn Cooper has essentially written the ironic version of “Easy Like

REVIEW: JENNY DRAI – :BODY WOLF:

[Facebook] splits at seams : instructions to reduce your look Avoid: just : these : five : food : no : exercise : miracle : fruit the other orchids posing that way But I’m thistle Spectrum of stick you meant poke me my own toe Could be the hatred of mirrors : last year’s

REVIEW: MONICA McCLURE – MALA

  from Petocha Virginity is $$$ in a vintage velvet pouch Touch her if you can for virginity is no real but she is wanting to be touched   Not being a woman, and not having a daughter of my own, I think that I look at Monica McClure’s Mala (Poor Claudia)

REVIEW: MIGHTY MIKE McGEE – HARMONY

  I had the esteemed pleasure of getting to see Mighty Mike McGee twice in the last week – once at St. John’s Booksellers for Them’s Fighting Words, and at Slabtown for the Portland Poetry Slam – and when he performs, the audience listens. It’s no different with Harmony, his newest

REVIEW: C.D. WRIGHT – 40 WATTS

  There is something about C.D. Wright’s 40 Watts (Octopus Books) that tugs at my heart strings – strings that are often silent, often questioned. The romance inside these 40 pages reminds me so much of my grandparents, that I can’t help but watch the movie of their lives play on my eyelids

REVIEW: ALISHA BRUTON & NOLAND BO CHALIHA – WE TRY TO TOUCH EVERYTHING

  I had the opportunity to go to the book release – at the Independent Publishing Resource Center  – for We Try to Touch Everything, a new chapbook from Portland, Oregon poets Alisha Bruton, and Noland Bo Chaliha, where each poem is titled “We Try to Touch Everything”. It was pretty incredible to

What Really Happens When Page Meets Stage? – Taylor Mali

Eight years ago, in November of 2005, I shared the stage at the old Bowery Poetry Club with my mentor Billy Collins. Because of Billy’s busy schedule, the event had been scheduled well over 18 months in advance during which time Bob Holman, the owner of the club, suggested that

POWER OF POETRY #1: THE REAL POETRY QUESTION – TAYLOR MALI

As my first contribution to this blog, I thought I should aim high and try to answer the biggest poetry question of all: What exactly is poetry? Haven’t people been asking that question and answering it—or trying to—for thousands of years? For as long as there has been poetry? Of

INTERVIEW: Taylor Mali is Metaphorically Yours.

Taylor Mali is one of the best known poets of the last decade. He’s been a part of seven national slam poet teams, four of which have won the competition. He spent nine years as a middle school teacher, and worked to create 1000 teachers through poetry, finally hitting the