Articles by: L.A. GroveL.A. Grove
Lisa Grove's poetry, translations, and reviews have appeared in Poetry, Beloit Poetry Journal, A cappella Zoo, The Puritan, The Baltimore Review, and elsewhere. Formerly a contributing editor for Poetry International, she co-founded the Poetry Translation Reading Series in San Diego. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she hosts the web series A Poem By for Poetry.LA.

Proudly Presenting the 3rd Annual Blurby Awards!

Proudly Presenting the 3rd Annual Blurby Awards!

Close Read: Yehuda Amichai’s “Huleikat—The Third Poem about Dicky”

Close Read: Yehuda Amichai's “Huleikat—The Third Poem about Dicky”

In these hills even the oil rigs are already a memory. Here Dicky fell who was four years older than I and like a father to me in times of anguish. Now that I’m older than him by forty years, I remember him like a young son, and I an old grieving father. And you who remember only a face, […]

An Interview with Jeffrey McDaniel

An Interview with Jeffrey McDaniel

Jeffrey McDaniel has a fifth book of poetry due out soon, entitled Chapel of Inadvertent Joy. In it he draws inspiration from Marina Tsvetaeva. He recently took a little time to discuss his poetry with the California Journal of Poetics.   At readings you’ve mentioned a childhood friend from Philadelphia who inspired dark persona poems that tackle drug use and run-ins with […]

Here Come the Blurbies!

Here Come the Blurbies!

And now we honor the poetry books of 2012 and the blurbs that adorn them. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Blurby Awards!   BLURB OF THE YEAR   “When I look out the window of my Winnebago I want to see a Sandra Simonds’ poem on the billboard before I crash. Bless her cranky pornboots.” — Cathy Wagner […]

Po-Chop: Derek Walcott: Origins

Po-Chop: Derek Walcott: Origins

“Beetles lift the dead elephant into the jaws of the forest.”   This line from Derek Walcott’s poem “Origins” creates a powerful metaphor for the cycle of life and specifically the process of decay. The “jaws of the forest” are the mouthparts of the beetles. As they consume dead organic matter, such as an elephant carcass, the beetles reincorporate it […]

Injecting Dreams into Cows by Jessy Randall

Injecting Dreams into Cows by Jessy Randall

Jessy Randall’s Injecting Dreams into Cows attempts to dismantle quibbles by critics who claim they are unable to engage with new poetry. Randall’s intent becomes clear in “The Nonexistent Orchard.” The poem opens with an epigraph from the New York Times Book Review which paints leading critic Helen Vendler as out of touch and disinterested in contemporary poetics: “Today Vendler seldom […]

An Interview with Sarah Maclay

An Interview with Sarah Maclay

 We’re living in a moment that is not so much definitively regional or strictly hierarchic as it is kaleidoscopic.   Sarah Maclay is a poet, critic, and teacher. She lives in Los Angeles, but draws experience from a life spanning the United States and Europe. She has written three books of poetry, is working on a fourth, collaborative book, and […]

Po-Chop: Philip Larkin: Poem XXVI from The North Ship

Po-Chop: Philip Larkin: Poem XXVI from The North Ship

“This is the first thing / I have understood: / Time is the echo of an axe / Within a wood.”   In this poem, Philip Larkin appeals to the reader’s sense of sound and rhythm to craft an illustration of time that is simple, elegant, and chilling. Like the echoing axe, we don’t see time at work; yet it steadily and incessantly […]

Alice in Wonderland: A Musical Porno

Alice in Wonderland: A Musical Porno

Throughout our first year of publishing, we’ve noticed a few folks have stumbled upon our journal Googling the oddest of phrases. We’d like to commemorate these Internet searchers with a poem, composed entirely and verbatim from their queries. Perhaps in CalJoPo, they found what they didn’t even know they were looking for.     Alice in Wonderland: A Musical Porno […]

An Evening with Katie Farris and Ilya Kaminsky

An Evening with Katie Farris and Ilya Kaminsky

On a magical night among the Buddhas at the San Diego Museum of Art, Katie Farris and Ilya Kaminsky read their own works of art for the 2011 Summer Salon Series curated by K. Lorraine Graham. Here are some special moments from the reading. (The text to two of Kaminsky’s poems appears below the audio links.)     Katie Farris […]

Po-Chop: Adam Zagajewski: Fire, Fire

Po-Chop: Adam Zagajewski: Fire, Fire

Fire, fire, eternal / fire of Heraclitus, a rapacious messenger, / a boy with a mouth stained by blackberries.   This excerpt closes Adam Zagajewski’s poem “Fire, Fire,” originally published in English translation in Tremor. The poem follows another poem entitled “Fire” which focuses on the destructive nature of flame. “Fire, Fire,” however, addresses the internal, metaphorical flame that drives innovation and […]

Music for the Black Room by Sarah Maclay

Music for the Black Room by Sarah Maclay

In Sarah Maclay’s third collection of poems, Music for the Black Room, humans attempt to conquer the natural world, but out of this desire for dominance, a synthesis of nature and civilization emerges, forming at times a surreal and dreamlike landscape. Quite possibly there is no place on Earth more suited to surreality and dreamy escapism than southern California, specifically […]


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