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In a Beautiful Country by Kevin Prufer

In a Beautiful Country by Kevin Prufer

The reader of these poems will sift through the radiant ashes of a country that has set itself on fire, as Prufer unburies the rotting bodies of a recent history.     Kevin Prufer’s fifth collection of poetry, In a Beautiful Country, depicts a startling landscape that is eroded by war, violence, grief, and alienation. Prufer populates this landscape with […]

Po-Chop: G.C. Waldrep & John Gallaher: A Short History of Friendship

Po-Chop: G.C. Waldrep & John Gallaher: A Short History of Friendship

  “…what looked like / part of the performance / was often just a lightning bug, or a planet / a chip of mica in the road. We clapped anyway.” Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (Boa Editions, Ltd. 2011), a tremendous collection of collaborative poetry by G.C. Waldrep and John Gallaher, is electrified by lines such as these […]

Author Audio & Profile: Nikola Madzirov

Author Audio & Profile: Nikola Madzirov

From my father I learned to believe in doubt, and from communism I learned to doubt in believing. Recently, we interviewed Nikola Madzirov about his latest collection of poems translated from Macedonian into English, Remnants of Another Age. Read the interview here. We also had the chance to hear Madzirov read from Remnants. Click on the links below to hear […]

Pleasure by Brian Teare

Pleasure by Brian Teare

Addressing an epidemic that is still out of control and claiming lives worldwide, Pleasure represents Teare’s attempt to create a language for the politics of loss.   Much like his second collection of poems, Sight Map, Brian Teare’s third collection of poetry, Pleasure, is an exploration of landscapes. Rather than a pastoral inquiry into the nature of the erotic, the […]

Building the Barricade: Warsaw Uprising Photographs

Building the Barricade: Warsaw Uprising Photographs

Recently I interviewed translator Piotr Florczyk on his latest translation of Anna Swir’s poems, many of which come from her book, Building the Barricade, where with her spare and direct language she documents the Warsaw Uprising in Poland in 1944. The photographs of the Warsaw Uprising featured in this post were published in an edition of Swir’s Budowałam Barykadę (Building […]

Close Read: Lucille Clifton’s “poem to my uterus”

Close Read: Lucille Clifton’s “poem to my uterus”

  Read the poem first in Persimmon Tree Magazine. Lucille Clifton’s battles with cancer, along with the experiences that come with being a woman and a mother, inspired and perhaps necessitated an intimate dialogue with her body. Through this dialogue she is able to ask questions, articulate emotions, mourn, and celebrate the changes that come with time. Her body-language is […]

Po-Chop: Jeffrey McDaniel: The Forgiveness Parade

Po-Chop: Jeffrey McDaniel: The Forgiveness Parade

“There’s nothing like a full moon, reflected in the eyes of a blind man, using a telescope to stir a bowl of Russian alphabet soup for the cosmonauts . . .” Jeffrey McDaniel’s poem, “The Forgiveness Parade” (The Forgiveness Parade Manic D Press, 1998), is an excellent example of how poetry can serve as nourishment and push the boundaries of […]

Understanding Jorie Graham

Understanding Jorie Graham

An understanding of Graham’s body of work begins with the Modernists.  A deep understanding requires knowledge of the work of major twentieth century philosophers . . . . This article is intended to provide readers with a basic, accessible understanding of the context in which Jorie Graham writes.  It describes her major influences, focusing on the most prominent philosophy, theory, […]

Po-Chop: Dylan Thomas: Under Milk Wood

Po-Chop: Dylan Thomas: Under Milk Wood

“Vesuvius clocks all black bells and lava, Niagara clocks that cataract their ticks…” This brief description of two kinds of clocks from Dylan Thomas’ play for voices, Under Milk Wood, is part of a longer passage in which one of the voices describes a room filled with a great variety of clocks.   Whether or not these clocks are truly […]

Building the Barricade and Other Poems of Anna Swir: A Conversation with Translator Piotr Florczyk

Building the Barricade and Other Poems of Anna Swir: A Conversation with Translator Piotr Florczyk

You see, ultimately translating is all about searching for some kind of kinship between two languages, a way to uncover that linguistic essence of the text itself.   Piotr Florczyk, welcome to The California Journal of Poetics! Even though you translated Anna Swir’s poems because you felt a connection to her poetry, is there significance in Swir’s work that Americans […]

Po-Chop: Katherine Larson: Risk

Po-Chop: Katherine Larson: Risk

“I unroll into a grub. A grub with the mind of a girl, a girl with the lips of an insect”   Even metamorphosis is transformed in Katherine Larson’s first book, Radial Symmetry, which was chosen by Louise Glück for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. The lines above come from a dream poem titled “Risk,” in which the speaker […]

An Interview with Katie Farris

An Interview with Katie Farris

So much of the book is about being comfortable with paradox, especially the paradoxes that surround us every day but we prefer not to consider—for instance, what is the experience of a person who is both girl and boy? What is the experience of unexpectedly falling in love with someone of the same gender?   Welcome to The California Journal […]


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