Paris Review – The Art of Poetry No. 83

Billy Collins has been appointed the new poet laureate by the Library of Congress, now the newest of a distinguished list that among others includes Robert Penn Warren, Joseph Brodsky, Robert Pinsky, and most recently, Stanley Kunitz. Collins’s credentials, despite starting a career as a poet at the late age of forty, are impressive indeed. [...]

Paris Review – The Art of Poetry No. 107

In an era when poetry is increasingly compressed to fit our iPhone screens, Nathaniel Mackey has been writing two astonishing long poems—“Mu” and Song of the Andoumboulou—across multiple books for the past thirty-five years. “Mu” and Song of the Andoumboulou are two ongoing sequences beaded with his insights on cosmology, grief, ancestry, migration, and black [...]

How Do We Know That Epic Poems Were Recited from Memory? | JSTOR Daily

Who was Homer? Or, to put it another way, who wrote Homer? The identity of the Greek poet was a big question among nineteenth-century scholars. The Analysts (yes, they had a name) thought that multiple authors made up “Homer.” The Unitarians (not the religion), meanwhile, thought Homer was a single, masterful poet. The notion that [...]

Learning Ancientness Studio: An Interview with Jeffrey Yang

The world of a Jeffrey Yang poem is eclectically populated. His abecedarian debut collection, An Aquarium, is a taxonomy of aquatic life that incorporates characters from Aristotle to Emperor Ingyo. His most recent collection, Hey, Marfa, takes the Texas city (coincidentally home to Donald Judd, Dia:Beacon darling) as its subject, and examines the strange, transient [...]