Young, Gifted, and BlackMay 2015
The author on the genius slave musician who inspired his novel and the fallacy of a post-racial America.
If gender, swim / parallel to shore.
The Self Forgives Little of ItselfMay 2015
it’s as if the knuckle of tomorrow / has arrived today
American SlaughterhouseMay 2015
The journalist on the myriad ills of the meat trade, the plight of migrant workers, and the twin missions of journalism and poetry.
Wide Action Is Not a WidthApril 2015
When women grew slender as church spires. I refused.
I envied them in silence / because they were starting something.
The TigerApril 2015
A Burmese poet and activist revisits the years of his incarceration, while urging change in a country that does not yet feel free.
Escape, Release, and ReturnApril 2015
The artist reimagines Robin Beth Schaer’s poem, "Messenger."
The foal in its wet white bag / isn’t dead yet. Cue the cheery organ music.
Carib Woman, 1818April 2015
I am burning in this life / and the next.
Arcadia, MarsMarch 2015
Boundaries of Gender: Not even the olive he wedged / under her tongue / could hold her, clot those cries—
Gregory Pardlo: The Poem as PursuitMarch 2015
“I wanted history I could touch like a flank of a beast.”
Mitigating the SilenceFebruary 2015
The author couldn’t find a single press in the world devoted to publishing African poetry. So he created one.
Corpse FlowerFebruary 2015
Blooms one day a year. Let wolves / suck marrow from the bones of boys.
Halfway Through LifeFebruary 2015
We who crossed paths with the bomber / and lived the whole afternoon through.
you don’t think of Vermont / when you think full-blown heroin crisis. / I don’t see why not but I’m not from here.
Terrorists Speak in Strange LanguagesFebruary 2015
I lock my tongue / even though I’ve prayed / in Persian for a thousand years.
Brother we are legion here.
It is a rat world. / You only live to keep them out / or on the way.
Manash Bhattacharjee: Return to ‘Commitment’?December 2014
The politics of Picasso, Sartre, prose, and poetry.
God suspected my heart was a geode but he had to make sureDecember 2014
Religion in America: good, God said, I took clouds and planted them / in soft, red clay.
The Everyday ExtraordinaryDecember 2014
The poet and curator on expanding autobiography, the importance of elegy, and the centrality of blues to experience.
Kafka Erases His Father With MoonlightNovember 2014
Moonlight poured fiery poison into my life.
Said Gun SleepsNovember 2014
I’d sleep against the wall in the unemployment line / next to men who slit throats in another country
Rob Spillman: Yes, It’s about RacismNovember 2014
Readpolitik: On Claudia Rankine’s polemical poetry.
If, in the church, there was blood / her blood was colorless
American Empires: If they sing will she barb them my love in her eating dress
Kareem James Abu-Zeid: A Search for Justice and Expansive IdentitiesAugust 2014
Nathalie Handal talks to Kareem James Abu-Zeid about translating the Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish and conveying the layered politics and fluid identities found in his work.
The UnfinishedAugust 2014
When we returned by a pinprick in darkness / we found ourselves in childhood
Richard Falk: Poetry and WarAugust 2014
What is the poetic response to war?
you’re nothing, / absolutely nothing, / but a Palestinian.
Dunya Mikhail: Flashed Through ExileJuly 2014
The poet talks with Jeannie Vanasco about leaving Iraq, working around censorship, and the work she’s most excited about now.
Kevin Thomas: Books, Comics, and the Procrustean BedJuly 2014
Andrew Rose interviews cartoonist/reviewer Kevin Thomas on distilling 1,000 pages into nine graphic panels.
Shelly Taylor: Shattered LanguageJuly 2014
Erica Wright talks with a poet who didn’t set out to write about war.
Sarah Van Arsdale: I Was A Lesbian WriterJune 2014
What happens when a nice, middle-aged, straight woman writer writes lesbian lit.
Fever wasn’t the only thing to break / in Cambodia
Bruno Sits on a Washing MachineMay 2014
the prairies are overrun with pioneer wives out of time / carrying rifles
The Third MariaApril 2014
The former member of the “Three Marias” on feminism forty years after the Portuguese Revolution, Facebook, and insubordination.
A Muscle of BeliefApril 2014
The Guggenheim fellow on returning to free verse in her latest collection, the difficulty of being joyful, and why poetry has taken the place of religion in her life.
Alex Lemon: A Ferocious Kind of MusicApril 2014
Why poetry needs more grit.
Building in VerseApril 2014
The inaugural poet on writing through cultural dualities, the pleasure of bilingualism, and why “the poem is a kind of mathematical proof.”
By the SeaFebruary 2014
The filmmaker on finding inspiration in poetry and the meaning of “home” in Palestine.
Elisa Biagini: A World Reinvented Through PoetryFebruary 2014
Nathalie Handal talks to the Italian poet about her sometimes disturbing imagery and how her work helps us decipher the world.
Loving CyrusBy Reginald Dwayne Betts
You’ve learned it 34 years too late and it wrestles / with the story of Cyrus, /
the first man you’ve known with a woman’s / curved breast.
Two PoemsBy Manoel de Barros, translated from the Portuguese by Idra Novey
To enter the state of being a tree it’s necessary / to begin with a gecko’s amphibian torpor /
at three in the afternoon in the month of August.
Love TokensBy Tran Da Tu, translated from the Vietnamese by Linh Dinh
I'll give you a roll of barbwire / A vine for this modern epoch / Climbing all over our souls / That's our love, take it, don't ask
Wholesale RomaniaBy Chris Tanasescu, translated from the Romanian by Ilya Kaminsky and Martin Woodside
Yes, that’s right, maybe I’ve run out of / patience, we have certainly run out of cigarettes / and the later, as Cioran used to say // hold more fire than the Gospels in our blessed country.
MidwinterBy Tomas Tranströmer, translated from the Swedish by Robert Bly
A blue glow / Streams out from my clothes. / Midwinter. / A clinking tambour made of ice. / I close my eyes. / Somewhere