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“Minding Rights”: Five Questions with David Yezzi

I decided to research the poet, David Yezzi, because I really enjoyed his poem, “Minding Rights.” I found this poem in my Best American Poetry book, and decided to further research David Yezzi and learn more about his career and literary background. David Yezzi was born in Albany, New York and received a bachelor’s degree…

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Completely Subjective: Amy Gerstler’s “Watch”

Published in the Sycamore Review in 2004, Amy Gerstler’s “Watch” has provided a series of thought and reflection for many readers, myself included. Gerstler, described as “one of the best poets in the nation” by the Los Angeles Times, lost her father to a heart attack two years prior to writing “Watch.” Her story of…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

“Art Can Do That”: Seven Questions for Philip Metres

Philip Metres was born July 4th, 1970 in San Diego, and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He graduated from Holy Cross College in 1992, then went on to receive a Ph.D. in English and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Indiana University. He is now a professor of English at John Carroll University…

“A Good List”: An Interview with Brad Leithauser

Even though Brad Leithauser attended Harvard Law and had a career as a lawyer, he never lost his love of poetry, one that began in high school. He then traveled to Japan to work in a law office but wrote while he was there. He never was really as interested in law as he was…

A Renowned Poetic Voice: An Interview with Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder is an American poet, editor, translator, and professor who was born in Washington D.C.. He studied Russian Literature at Amherst College and then received an MA in Slavic Languages from the University of California, Berkeley as well as an MFA in Poetry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His works are very well-regarded…

Robert Hass: A Look into his Career and “San Pedro Road”

Robert Hass is a contemporary American poet who in addition to writing poetry, is known for translating and being a critic of Polish poetry and Japanese Haikus. Hass is recognized for his clarity of expression, conciseness, imagery, and the fact that he draws inspiration from everyday life. Contemporary poet Forrest Gander says that Hass’ “work…

“The Answer”: Five Questions with Susan Parr

Susan Parr is the author of Pacific Shooter, awarded the Lena-Miles Wever Todd prize from Pleiades Press.  Her work is anthologized in The Best American Poetry series and in Alive at the Center: Poetry from the Pacific Northwest (Ooligan Press, 2013). Born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, she was educated at Barnard College in New…

The Great Poem Series: Kwame Dawes’s “Vagrants and Loiterers”

Born in Ghana in 1962, Kwame Dawes spent most of his childhood in Jamaica. Dawes is described as a poet, actor, editor, and former Louis Frye Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of South Carolina. Growing up in Jamaica, Dawes attended Jamaica College and the University of the West Indies where he received…

“Host”: Five Questions for Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown was born in 1976 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He graduated from Dillard University in 1995 and later got his MFA at University of New Orleans and his PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Houston. During his time at the University of New Orleans, he was a speechwriter for the mayor.…