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. [...]
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 [...]
Poetry is often regarded as a mystery, and in some respects it is one. No one is quite sure where poetry comes from, no one is quite sure exactly what it is, and no one knows, really, how anyone is able to write it. The Greeks thought, or at least said, that it came from [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Children picking up our bonesWill never know that these were once As quick as foxes on the hill; And that in autumn, when the grapes Made sharp …(Droplet) no peace at all.