Issues

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 […]

Collected Body by Valzhyna Mort

Collected Body by Valzhyna Mort

In large part, this book is the speaker’s desperate attempt to reconstruct her family’s history, pulling its various characters together as best as she can, with little more than her own subjective experience to guide her recreation.   Collected Body is the first book Valzhyna Mort has written in English. It is a rich and complex tapestry of characters and their […]

Robert Pinsky at Slate: An Interview

Robert Pinsky at Slate: An Interview

With all due respect to excellent organizations like the Academy and the Poetry Society of America, as a matter of my own eccentricities I much prefer the informal, personal, improvised forum of Slate. Robert Pinsky began his relationship with Slate.com in 1996. At the time, publicly available Internet was still a new phenomenon (Hotmail, the first web-based email service, launched […]

German Idioms

German Idioms

Be aware of the following idiom! If a German person ever calls you a bottle, don’t think you have a long neck or a nice figure. Being a bottle simply means that you’re a loser; perhaps we’re speaking of an empty bottle here.   I recently moved to Austria to translate poetry on a Fulbright Fellowship. Being immersed in a […]

Tomas Tranströmer Wins Nobel Prize

Tomas Tranströmer Wins Nobel Prize

Congratulations to Tomas Tranströmer, who has received the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature! Tranströmer’s work was introduced to American audiences by Robert Bly, whose Seventies Press published the first book-length translation of his work, Twenty Poems, in the United States in 1970 when Tranströmer was 39 years old. Our review of a much more recent volume of his work, The […]

An Interview with Gioia Timpanelli

An Interview with Gioia Timpanelli

While the bones of the story stay the same, the art is in the telling, in the uncovering, in creating the form.   Gioia Timpanelli is one of the world’s foremost storytellers. Timpanelli doesn’t give readings; rather, she performs her work, quickly and deftly weaving between personal anecdotes and folktales from a variety of cultures and traditions, including her family’s […]

The Sorrow Gondola by Tomas Tranströmer

The Sorrow Gondola by Tomas Tranströmer

What Tranströmer expresses so eloquently in these lines is the idea that our lives are fleeting in relation to our history—the “cold sphinx, / empty arenas”—and even more so in relation to “Light and silent constellations. / The cold sea.” We are ultimately condemned to silence and have to make do with “the small script of the grass / and […]

An Interview with Benjamin Paloff

An Interview with Benjamin Paloff

It is a kind of politics that allows us to live with this reality—the fact that everything, including our bodies, eventually fails, though we know not when. Welcome to CalJoPo! Your first book of poetry, The Politics, was published early in 2011.  It is a surprising collection of intellectual but playful poems that mix earnest statements and observations about the […]

Po-Chop: Olena Kalytiak Davis: An Imaginative Study in Degradation

Po-Chop: Olena Kalytiak Davis: An Imaginative Study in Degradation

“The rest of the day is a slanted floorboard. The rest of the day is the color of absinthe. Note the personal and detached attitude. Note the application of arbitrary color. The tilted perspective. This poem is all surface. You may stand where you choose. This poem has no vanishing point.” Olena Kalytiak Davis’ poem “An Imaginative Study in Degradation” […]

Discovering International Writers at The Center for the Art of Translation

Discovering International Writers at The Center for the Art of Translation

“The Center aims to promote a truly global community, creating a world where writers and readers can cross both boundaries of borders and of language.” The San Francisco-based Center for the Art of Translation (catranslation.org) is a rich resource to visit online and in person. Since 1994 the Center has published TWO LINES, an annual anthology featuring international poetry and […]

She Returns to the Floating World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

She Returns to the Floating World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

What echoes throughout Gailey’s work is the understanding and the desire to create alternate worlds when reality is chaotic.   Jeannine Hall Gailey’s second book, She Returns to the Floating World (Kitsune Books 2011), is a collection that is inspired by and recreates Japanese folk-tales, anime, and Shinto spirits. One of the themes of Gailey’s book is the fear and […]


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