musings

 

John Felstiner: Poet, Translator, and Scholar

I am late to this news, living so far now from Stanford, but I’m saddened to learn that John Felstiner, the great translator, died last February of aphasia. The condition “leads to a loss of ability to understand and express language.” Few deaths could be crueler. When I arrived in Palo Alto in 2010, Felstiner [...]

Reviewing New Poetry for the Gettysburg Review

Last weekend, during a Memorial Day trip to Chicago, I had the good fortune to hear Deborah Landau read from The Uses of the Body at the Poetry Foundation. She was accompanied on stage by Inna Faliks, a wonderful pianist. Landau would read a few poems, Falik would play Bach or Liszt, and together they made [...]

Why I No Longer Subscribe to the Indianapolis Star

To the Editorial Board of the Indianapolis Star: Because you failed to denounce the appointment of an avowed white supremacist to the President-elect’s inner circle (Steve Bannon); and because you, unlike your parent paper (USA Today), did not renounce Donald Trump as “unfit” for the office from the start; and because you normalize autocracy (flag burners [...]

The NEH Supports Indiana Poetry, National Poetry Month, and My Poem About Eating Hot Dogs

I once wrote a poem about a hot dog eating contest. Yesterday, it was beamed out to all of Indiana for National Poetry Month. These are your NEH dollars at work people. (With thanks for Shari Wagner and the Indiana Humanities for this opportunity.)

“Glaciers” in Crab Creek Review 29.1 (winter 2016)

In last year’s winter issue of Crab Creek Review, I wrote a poem in the voice of a glacier. Pick up a copy of this fantastic journal if you have a chance, or subscribe. My thanks to Jenifer Lawrence and my old friend and press-mate, Martha Silano. What follows is a brief note that accompanies [...]

“Letter in a Bottle for When the Seas Rise” in Poetry Northwest 11.2

I am delighted to return to Poetry Northwest with a poem about–in order of appearance–early snowstorms, a bouquet of microphones, and a garbage flotilla. It’s called “Letter in a Bottle for When the Seas Rise.”

“Exhausted, Renegade Elephant” in New England Review 37.2 (2016)

My thanks to Rick Barot at the New England Review for publishing my poem “Exhausted, Renegade Elephant” last year. The title comes from a fantastic Joel Sternfeld photo of the same name, which I saw at the Portland Art Museum.

Two New Poems Online: Hawai’i Pacific Review & concīs

It has been a few months since I posted links to my new poetry available on the web. (These things happen when you start a new academic position, as I recently have at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.) That said, here is “Old Tyme with a y,“ a brief meditation on time, with thanks to [...]

Join Me in Supporting the NEA and NEH

Please consider writing your members of Congress to voice your support for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Both organization have been–as John Ashbery writes in his monstiche “The Cathedral”–”slated for destruction.” My wife, Anne Fisher, and I would not be where we are today were it not [...]

An Open Letter from the Only Poet on the Professor’s Watchlist*

When my name appeared on the noxious Professor’s Watchlist–a McCarthyist attempt to shame professors who speak out about social justice–I set aside some precious break time to write a reply. Not only is my entry on the list factually inaccurate, it is intimidation masquerading as public service. Many thanks to the Kenyon Review for giving [...]

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