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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 […]

Tea Party Leader Betrius Lamp Slams Obama for Supporting Poet Marriage

Tea Party Leader Betrius Lamp Slams Obama for Supporting Poet Marriage

Poets would like to get married in order to suffer enough to write Pulitzer Prize-winning books, but parachute out after their partners have burned them with cigarettes only five or six times. They do not understand that marriage is not about being happy or safe. It is about having children.   We are proud to bring you, exclusively, neo-conservative and […]

Karolyn Forché’s “The Kernel”

Karolyn Forché’s “The Kernel”

Belle Lettre on the Postmodern

Belle Lettre on the Postmodern

The Digital Age invites a toggling between the universal and the relative, in part due to the seemingly global access to experience; today, the subjective experience is beginning to unravel.   When we invited poet Ruben Quesada, author of Next Extinct Mammal, to contribute an essay on postmodernism, we looked forward to an insightful exploration. We weren’t disappointed—we were, however, surprised. […]

It’s the Blurby Awards!

It’s the Blurby Awards!

It’s that time of year when we as a society look back at the previous year’s excellence and accomplishments in film, television, and music. However, one cultural field is often overlooked by critics—blurbs! That’s right, it’s time for the Blurby Awards, honoring excellence in blurb writing for poetry books. So without further ado, we at CalJoPo give you 2011’s best […]

Escorting Romanian Poetry to the English Speaking World—Of Gentle Wolves: An Anthology of Romanian Poetry edited by Martin Woodside

Escorting Romanian Poetry to the English Speaking World—Of Gentle Wolves: An Anthology of Romanian Poetry edited by Martin Woodside

Martin Woodside’s new anthology of Romanian translations, Of Gentle Wolves, adds much to the landscape of contemporary English language poetry. Woodside, in his translator’s note, claims that “contemporary Romanian poets work largely in obscurity and are often dismissed as a marginal, even irrelevant, group;” he argues, however, that these Romanian poets are relevant, diverse, and dynamic and that “the poems […]

An Interview with Valzhyna Mort

An Interview with Valzhyna Mort

My personal history of violence is quite visible, yes, and it challenges first of all myself.   Valzhyna Mort’s previous two poetry collections, I’m as Thin as Your Eyelashes and Factory of Tears, garnered international acclaim, and she quickly developed a reputation as an electrifying reader. Mort has received numerous awards and fellowships throughout Europe and the US, and has […]

Po-Chop: Jennifer Kronovet: I Talk to Another More Than Myself

Po-Chop: Jennifer Kronovet: I Talk to Another More Than Myself

“I wield a dull knife / to my way of seeing: / the cloud-thoughts, not muscles, / feel the threat.”   Jennifer Kronovet’s poems from her prize-winning collection Awayward (Boa Editions, Ltd. 2009) are neatly carved sculptures, in which every single word exists for a reason—mainly to hone in on our somewhat strained relationship with language. Reading Kronovet’s collection is like […]

Author Audio: Nikola Madzirov

Author Audio: Nikola Madzirov

Click on the links below to hear Nikola Madzirov read from his translated poetry collection, Remnants of Another Age, performed at San Diego State University, April 2011. Read our interview with Madzirov here.   I Don’t Know Shadows Pass Us By Before We Were Born Usual Summer Nightfall When Someone Goes Away Everything That’s Been Done Comes Back The Hands […]

Update: A Place to Stand: Jimmy Santiago Baca’s Docu-Memoir is Scheduled for Release Next Spring

Update: A Place to Stand: Jimmy Santiago Baca’s Docu-Memoir is Scheduled for Release Next Spring

“I was a witness not a victim … My job was to witness and record the ‘it’ of their lives, to celebrate those who don’t have a place in this world to stand and call home … My role as a witness is to give voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless, of which I am one.” —Jimmy […]

The Alchemist’s Kitchen by Susan Rich

The Alchemist’s Kitchen by Susan Rich

The beauty and musicality of the English language cannot be overlooked in Susan Rich’s third book, The Alchemist’s Kitchen (a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and the Foreword Poetry Book of the Year). She invents new forms and reinvents the tried and true, exploring every device and tool with a keen ear and deft tongue.   Rich begins her […]

An Interview with Jeannine Hall Gailey

An Interview with Jeannine Hall Gailey

I think I must have a long-standing obsession with women who transform into monsters or animal spirits. The idea that women necessarily must live in two worlds—the animal and the human—kind of crosses over multiple cultures…   Jeannine Hall Gailey is the Seattle-area author of two books of poetry, She Returns to the Floating World (Kitsune Books 2011), and Becoming […]


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