From January, 2017

The Three That Speak to Us: “Family Math,” “Morning on the Island,” “A Voice on an Answering Machine”

Throughout this semester of Contemporary Poetry, Morgan and I studied the 2011 Best American Poetry anthology. Out of all seventy-five poems, there were three that spoke to us: Family Math, Morning on the Island, and A Voice on the Answering Machine. We feel that these three poems are a good representation of the 2011 Best American Poetry book. One of our…

The Three That Speak to Us: “The Shoe,” “Untitled,” “Men”

Over the course of the first semester, Charlie Christensen and I studied the 2008 edition of Best American Poetry. For each of the seventy-five poems we gave “one sentence” evaluations and gave each one a score of 1-7. After reviewing and comparing our evaluations, we noticed that we gave a lot of poems the same score. We then chose our top…

Poetry and Protest: Speaking Out on the Eve of the Inauguration

Mr. Speiser and I were among those in attendance at the PEN organized “Writers Resist: #LouderTogether” event, held on the steps of the NYC Public Library on January 15, 2017. Here we are, momentarily turning our backs from both the poets and from our kids, who patiently took in the event. My oldest, Nikolai, wearing…

Completely Subjective: Amina Calil’s “Blouse of Felt”

I cannot confess to being a perfect human. I most certainly cannot confess to being a perfect interpreter of poetry. It took me two tries to find a poem; the first, Mr. Janosco had to guide me away from, as it was published years prior to what I hoped to find. When I finally found…

Six Questions: An Interview with Amy Gerstler

Born in San Diego California in 1956, American poet Amy Gerstler graduated from Pitzer College and later received an M.F.A from Bennington College. She is now a professor in the MFA writing program at the University of California, Irvine. Gerstler has written many acclaimed poetry books, including Ghost Girl (2004), Crown of Weeds (1997), and Medicine (2000), which was…