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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…

The Three That Speak To Us: “Love,” “How It Will End,” “The Happy Majority”

Over the course of Modern Poetry, we read a number of highly ranked poems. Having been assigned the 2009 edition of Best American Poetry, we selected three that truly captured our interest. Martha Silano’s “Love,” Denise Duhamel’s “How it Will End,” and Thomas Lux’s “The Happy Majority” were the poems that we found intriguing and…

Five Questions: 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…

The Great Poem Series: Elizabeth Alexander’s “Rally”

David Lehman’s Best American Poetry series is filled with an overwhelming amount of significant poets and poems.  That said, in the 2011 Best American Poetry volume, one of my favorite featured poets would definitely have to be Elizabeth Alexander. Alexander’s poem,“Rally”, connects back to Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign in mid October when she noticed a…

Poem Bomb: “A Story Begins” at Vavala’s Deli

“Washed ashore / What was the story about?” (Elaine Equi)

The Great Poem Series: Ron Silliman’s “For Larry Eigner, Silent”

Born in Pasco, Washington in 1946, Ron Silliman is known for his post-avant poetry blog (which garnered an impressive 2 million views in 2009) and involvement in the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E movement. Pursuing both a career as a computer market analyst and a generously lauded poet, he was the 1998 Pew Fellow in the Arts, and winner…

Five Questions: An Interview with Donald Revell

Originally born in the Bronx in 1954, Donald Revell received his PhD at SUNY Buffalo, before going on to teach at the universities of Tennessee, Denver, Missouri, Iowa, Alabama, Utah, and (currently) Nevada-Las Vegas. He has written multiple books, including Tantivy (2012), Essay: A Critical Memoir (2015), A Thief of Strings (2007), and The National Poetry…