- January 29th, 2017
On the death of Stéphane Mallarmé in 1898, 22-year old Paul Valéry wrote an homage to the poet who had pointed the way to new possibilities for poetry. “Je sera la tombe de ton ombre pensive,” he wrote, “I will be the tomb of your pensive shadow.” Fifty-one years later at age 73, a year before he died, Valéry was still extolling his master in an essay published in 1944.
- January 24th, 2017
Songs From a Mountain by Amanda Nadelberg (Coffee House Press)
Third Voice by Ruth Ellen Kocher (Tupelo Press)
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- January 18th, 2017on The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art, by Sebastian Smee (Random House)
I was going to begin by saying that if you are a writer or artist, it is impossible to read Sebastian Smee’s The Art of Rivalry without reflecting on your professional antagonisms. But of course in any profession, especially among its innovators, there is always competition, scorekeeping, come-uppance, and counterattack.
- January 8th, 2017
In 2002, a collection of stories by Yoko Tawada called Überseezungen was published in Germany. The term was coined by Tawada from the words Übersee (“overseas”) and Zungen (“tongues”).
- December 21st, 2016
“For a long time I thought reading would somehow make me a better writer,” says Peter Orner, one of our better writers. “Now I see how ludicrous this is. All the glorious Chekhov in thirteen volumes won’t help me write a sentence that breathes. That comes from somewhere else, somewhere out in the world, where mothers die in car accidents and daughters hide the pain.
- December 15th, 2016
David Clewell has never been hesitant about spelling things out – what he sees, what he loves, how he feels and how we should feel about how he feels. He may be America’s most reliably engaging poet of unabashedly giving a damn. He gives praise and advice. No coyness, no mistaking who’s talking to whom.