Featured Poetry

Poetry: Prayer by Carolyn Oliver

By Carolyn Oliver | November 10, 2017

Some poems evoke an old voice inside—maybe manufactured by school, by history, by Dickinson—that leaps from word to word with unexpected vitality and novelty. Carolyn Oliver’s “Prayer”—a Golden Shovel, the form invented by Terrance Hayes—presses “the long lush dark” into…

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Poetry: 3 Poems by Kristin Chang

By Kristin Chang | November 3, 2017

Call these three poems by Kristin Chang brutal. Call them violent, haunting, body-strewn and murderous. But do not deny their anchored beauty and exquisite craft—the heart and family and city laid bare, the poetry besieged by the tragedy of bodies.…

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Poetry: The Domino Effect by Jeff Whitney

By Jeff Whitney | October 27, 2017

“The Domino Effect” is one of those poems that travels. Jeff Whitney uses these couplets to assemble vastness, one aphorism at a time, one startling image leaning into the next. What’s left, the poem ultimately asks, when it all falls down?…

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Poetry: Essay Retreat by Afua Ansong

By Afua Ansong | October 20, 2017

A strange connection exists between poetry and teaching, and Afua Ansong explores it beautifully with subtle couplets and understated scene work. Notice how her students come alive in the focus of her language, how the poem respects Joseph and Erika…

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Poetry: For Ayotzinapa by Matty Layne Glasgow

By Matty Layne Glasgow | October 13, 2017

Poetry and tragedy cannot be divorced. With “For Ayotzinapa,” this is abundantly clear. Matty Layne Glasgow writes a commanding tribute to the students who lost their lives a handful of years ago—commanding our attention with dryly cut images and visual…

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Poetry: i, ii, iii, iv, v by Jos Charles

By Jos Charles | October 6, 2017

These five beautiful little poems by Jos Charles prove the power of brevity. The succinct linework introduces delicate imagery with a voice that is distant, yet intimate, bare, yet bursting with bodies. Charles knows how to leverage space and silence…

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Poetry: Filthy Woman During Ramadan by Noor Hindi

By Noor Hindi | September 29, 2017

Noor Hindi reminds us of some of the best things of today’s poetry: deep, contemporary faith insights wrapped in the heat of luminous body, with all its parts magnified and hyperbolic. Notice how the subtle rhythms and meter set by…

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Poetry: How to Take Time by Daniel Lassell

By Daniel Lassell | September 22, 2017

We love the mouthfeel of Daniel Lassell’s “How to Take Time,” the patience for the right word in its right place—and the courage it performs in reaching for deep wisdom off the back of a red headed woodpecker. Lassell is…

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Poetry: A Sunday Afternoon On the Island of La Grande Jatte in the City of Columbus by Patricia Miranda

By Patricia Miranda | September 15, 2017

We love the pace that Patricia Miranda builds in “A Sunday Afternoon”—she packs the single stanza with delicate humor and a theatrical rush. Too easily we see the speaker as ourselves, clumsily reversing through a day of mishandled opportunity and…

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Poetry: Written on this Land by Emily Strauss

By Emily Strauss | September 8, 2017

With subtle luxury of sound, Emily Strauss writes of the desert, the West. Couplets hide the harmony crafted line by line until that final hard rhyme, shining like a jewel. Strauss understates her language as “dry and austere,” “barren”—but the…

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