Completely Subjective: Jill Bialosky’s “Daylight Savings”

I have never been close with my family. Any road trip is awkward, filled with broken down cars and arguments in the restaurant that make everyone else feel uncomfortable. There were times when I wished for a new family like the confused six-year-old that I was, but now I am plainly used to it, tired…

Latest articles

Featured

“Ku(na)hay”: Five Questions with Charles Bernstein

Charles Bernstein was born in Manhattan in 1950. He has published more than twenty collections of poetry and three collections of essays. From 1978 to 1981 he co edited the magazine L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. He co founded and directed the Poetics Program at the State University of New York, Buffalo. He is the co director of PennSound…

Featured

“Citrus Freeze”: Seven Questions for Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander is an award winning poet, essayist, novelist, critic, and translator. Born in the Mojave Desert to a single mother, Gander’s childhood was financially difficult. Gander developed his love for travel, language, and culture when he and his family would tour extensively across the United States on summer road trips. He is known for…

Featured

The Great Poem Series: Donald Hall’s “Her Garden”

Donald Hall’s poem “Her Garden” is published in the 2001 Edition of The Best American Poetry. The poem describes a dying garden, slightly melancholy, but implies some sort of release that was holding him back. What stood out to me first about this poem was the amount of imagery embedded in each stanza. For example,…

Featured

Completely Subjective: Alan Bernheimer’s “20 Questions”

Ever since I can remember, I have always been a very curious child. Why is the sky blue? How do fireflies make light? Do dogs see color or black and white? These are all questions I would constantly ask my mom, hoping she would have an answer that would blow my mind. Most of the…

Featured

“Almost”: An Interview With Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout, who is from California and a current poetry professor at UC San Diego, is a prolific member of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, a group that arose in the late 1960s and emphasized a poem’s use of language, often employing stylistic techniques not seen in mainstream poetry to do so. She has received significant recognition…

Featured

The Three That Speak to Us: “Do Unto Others,” “Country Western Singer,” “Dead Critics Society”

Daniel Johnson’s “Do Unto Others,” Alan Shapiro’s “Country Western Singer,” and Mike Dockins’ “Dead Critics Society” are three of the greatest, most thought-provoking poems featured in Best American Poetry’s 2007 edition. Nick and I read each poem in the volume looking for underlying themes, tone shifts, creative new ways of conveying messages, and other characteristics to narrow down the…

Featured

Six Questions: An Interview With Christian Bök

Christian Bök is a renowned modern poet that hails from Toronto, Canada. “Vowels,” featured in the 2007 version of Best American Poetry, is arguably his most well-known poem. Mr. Bök spends most of his time as a professor at University of Calgary, but still writes poetry as often as he can. Nick Trager and I conducted an interview…

Featured

The Great Poem Series: Cate Marvin’s “An Etiquette for Eyes”

Featured in the 2014 edition of Best American Poetry, Cate Marvin’s, “An Etiquette for Eyes”, analyzes a man with blues eyes who the speaker, a brown-eyed woman, had tried to win over in a bar. In it she reveals the pain she feels from her breakup with her past partner. I view the poem almost…

Featured

Completely Subjective: Jericho Brown’s “Hustle”

As I looked through the 2013 edition of Best American Poetry in search of a poem to write about, Jericho Brown’s “Hustle” caught my eye because there was so much of it that I did not understand upon my first reading, and I wanted to figure it out. It is a brutally honest commentary on life as…

Featured

Completely Subjective: Krista Benjamin’s “Letters From My Ancestors”

American writer and poet Krista Benjamin grew up in Lake Tahoe, CA, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from the University of California in San Diego. Benjamin spent the early part of her career writing and publishing for various literary magazines, journals, and newspapers around the California/Nevada region. Later, Benjamin was awarded with an Artist Fellowship from…

Completely Subjective: Kerrin McCadden’s “Becca”

Serifs, I say. I like serifs. I like serifs too. They’re stable, constant, waiting, trembling, a boat. Bookends, I like to think, tape stretched thin across all four canvas-sides, quivering under the weight of three layers of oil, three layers of thick piled-on paint. It’s the curl on the end of a lowercase g, the…

Completely Subjective: Jill Bialosky’s “Daylight Savings”

Daylight savings, the event, not the poem, annually both bequeaths upon and steals away from us an hour. The significance of one hour has been rapidly both declining and growing over the years. With the increase in technology, more and more can be done in one hour. In the olden days, an hour could buy…

Completely Subjective – “A Good List” by Brad Leithauser

Famous poet, Brad Leithauser, wrote A Good List while lying awake in his bed in Iceland one evening. “A Good List” gives a humorous and lighthearted list of things Leithauser has “never done wrong” (Leithauser). His literal “good list” ranges from describing how he has never stolen any gnomes from a garden to his refusal to forge a lottery ticket. At first I was curious as to why Leithauser was going into depth about his “good list.” However, it becomes clear by the end of the poem that he uses this list to distract and exhaust out his brain, when…

The Best American Poetry: Michael Dickman’s “From the Lives of My Friends”

The poem, From the “Lives of My Friends,” by Michael Dickman, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/12/14/from-the-lives-of-my-friends was first published in the New Yorker in 2009 and is a coming of age story that explores the impact of childhood friends on our lives as we grow old with them. Michael Dickman grew up in Portland, Oregon and is the author of three books, The End of the West, Flies, and Mayakovsky’s Revolver. He is the recipient of The Honickman First Book Prize, The May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, and the 2009 Oregon…

The Three That Speak to Me: “They Knew What They Wanted”, “Getting Serious,” and “Insomnia”

Poems have the ability to connect people to the power of the written word in a way that books cannot. Often times, a shorter poem can result in a more thought-provoking the message, as the reader can spin a million interpretations and connections. I chose three very different poems from the 2009 volume of Best American Poetry (https://www.bestamericanpoetry.com/ pages/volumes/?id=2009) to analyze because they touch on many disparate American ideals – from gun-toting thieves and homes, to finding one’s soul. The humor and clever associations found in these poems make them intriguing to read. “They knew What They Wanted” by John…