I couldn’t agree more with Jonathan that Own Face is an indispensible book of poetry (I would make the same claim for at least half of everything else Coolidge has written), and that “Beyond,” which he (just slightly mis-) quotes, is one of the best poems in it: Read more »

Jonathan, I feel, indulges that Rhina P. Espaillat poem far more than it deserves. Even granted that the sonnet is apparently part of a longer cycle, which I haven’t read, and which looks like it has a larger thematic focus on storytelling in the abstract, thus potentially relieving the individual poem somewhat of the accusation that the story it tells isn’t interesting in itself, there’s just no excusing the arthritic prosody and trite phrasing, which are clearly not self-consciously intended. Read more »

At a recent job interview, I was asked the following question: "How would you explain what you do in your own writing to someone with no prior knowledge of poetry?" For whatever reason, this caught me off guard. Read more »