* Gina Balibrera *
“He who wears this burgundy velvet vest possesses an energy that cannot be adequately described in words. Photography, yes, for sure. And when you study it, this photograph of your holiday soirée months later, you’ll realize it wasn’t the vest that made him. He made the vest.”
* Mary Camille Beckman *
I read Sestets, reread it, reread it again. And when rereading wasn’t enough, I disassembled every sestet in the book so that I might put them back together again: I translated each poem into its opposite, one by one, line by line.
* Kristie Kachler *
“Do shrimps make good mothers? Yes, they do.” This is such a weird line. It feels like the turn in a sonnet that isn’t a sonnet, more specifically known as Denise Riley’s “A Misremembered Lyric.” After some very human and fretful missing/not-missing of a thing, this line comes as a complete interruption, a pause and pivot in the work of losing and forgetting and their opposites. I don’t want to work out a reading of the poem here, to worry the line and test what it’s doing. For this post, I just want to point out that a quick Facebook message to a marine biologist who almost wrote a dissertation on shrimp sociality will reveal that “there are thousands(!) of shrimp species, and each have evolved varying degrees of parental care. This can range from laying eggs and moving on with life, to living in a multigenerational colony.” So, now we deduce that if “shrimps” make good mothers then all species must make good mothers insofar as they survive?
MQR goes back to school! Read a cluster of poems, stories, and essays that talk about life in the classroom and the world of academe—work by Rebecca Makkai, Kelsey Ronan, Cindy Clem, Stephen Burt, Douglas Trevor, and Eileen Pollack
Poetry by Karen An-hwei Lee and Li Qingzhao
Fiction by Matthew Baker, Colin Fleming, and David Lynn
The Hopwood Lecture by Gary Snyder
Poetry review by Laurence Goldstein
* Paula Mendoza *
And there’s the rub. Those conventions and rules I insist be problematized (or broken), and the abstract authority that is ‘traditional’ poetry I wish questioned (or overthrown), require my own narrow and unquestioning faith in, and obedient submission to, the artist.