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Amanda Smeltz
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The epistle is a poetic form I am enamored of. I come to know it first through biblical epistles, those madcap New Testament letters to fledgling communes. But I found it again in Richard Hugo’s book 31 Letters and 13 Dreams, a book that was criticized in ’77 when it was released -- for being too chatty or something absurd. The dream poems in the book I don’t love, but a handful of the letter poems I adore. There is one, Letter to Simic from Boulder, that you must read. It is as strong an anti-war piece as any I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
I’d like to mention one of the reasons I cherish my friend Anthony Madrid’s book of jewelrybox marvels, I am Your Slave Now Do What I Say. There are many reasons, but this is one I don’t believe anyone’s mentioned on the interwebs. Madrid is a poet working toward dismantling moronic, objectifying images of women. As I know him to be a hater of pedantry, I don’t think he would like me saying he is doing that in his poetry, but I'll say it anyway; to me it seems clear. Where so many books are rife with women who appear... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Last year, I spent six months or so in San Francisco. There, my dude talked me into trying yoga, which I’d badmouthed for a long time. I’m all, spare me your woo-woo shit. My great-grandpa was a coal miner. Etc. But, when in Rome. We started going to hatha classes with some very kind and articulate instructors. I fell for it. What little I know of yoga practice is meditative and expressive, challenging and rewarding. It’s difficult the way poetry is difficult: you have to work at it a lot to find its fullest expression, but you also shouldn’t “work”... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
A brief reading of Emily Dickinson’s We Grow Accustomed to the Dark. We grow accustomed to the Dark -- When light is put away -- As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp To witness her Goodbye -- A Moment -- We uncertain step For newness of the night -- Then -- fit our Vision to the Dark -- And meet the Road -- erect -- And so of larger -- Darkness -- Those Evenings of the Brain -- When not a Moon disclose a sign -- Or Star -- come out -- within -- The Bravest -- grope a little... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Oct 13, 2013