From October, 2016

The Great Poem Series: Denise Duhamel’s “How It Will End”

Published in the winter 2015/16 edition of Barrow Street, Denise Duhamel’s “How It Will End” is a poem of witness and of acceptance. It was published in Best American Poetry 2009. She has received grants and awards from numerous organizations, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She is also the guest editor of…

Completely Subjective: Daniel Johnson’s “Do Unto Others”

Daniel Johnson’s “Do Unto Others”, featured in the 2007 edition of Best American Poetry is a whimsical yet powerful poem about a young boy’s inner thoughts while listening to a pastor’s sermon in church (according to Johnson). The poem is essentially his answer to the question in the first line, “How many rocks would I…

Completely Subjective: David Young’s “The Dead From Iraq”

David Young’s “The Dead From Iraq” is a sentimental sonnet published in the 2007 edition of American Poetry Magazine. Young, born in 1936 in Davenport, Iowa, has received honors from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and others. He has also been the recipient of the Pushcart Prize…

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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…

Completely Subjective: Traci Brimhall’s “Dear Thanatos,”

After having perhaps three or four different conversations about numerous poems from The Best American Poetry of 2013 anthology, I came to settle on Traci Brimhall’s “Dear Thanatos,” originally published in FIELD Magazine’s Spring 2012 edition. This poem was written soon after Brimhall finished her second book Our Lady of the Ruins, which won the 2011…

Completely Subjective: Alan Sullivan’s “Divide and Conquer”

Alan Sullivan was born in 1948 and was raised in New York. In his later late life, he attended Trinity College in Connecticut. Since then, he has resided in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Florida. He composed an assortment of pieces, including a science fiction novels, Elixir and The Pearls of Poritrin, and even a sailing…

Completely Subjective: Mark Kraushaar’s “Tonight”

Published in the Winter 2004 edition of The Gettysburg Review, Mark Kraushaar’s “Tonight” was selected for the 2006 edition of Best American Poetry. Inspired by the work of Walt Whitman, Kraushaar tells a story of emotion and coping in his piece “Tonight”. When I first read through the poem, I was caught by the action…