Mindspace

Trevor Payne, writing in The Literary Review about Rita Bullwinkel’s Belly Up (A Strange Object, 2018):

 

“…nothing replaces the energy transfer that occurs when one body touches another. Otherwise we risk getting trapped in our mindspace, where things can get rather strange in a hurry.”

 

Kaleidoscope

Cynthia Cruz, author of How the End Begins (Four Way Books, 2016), interviewed on the Poetry Society of America website:

 

“America is a kaleidoscope of cultures, influences, voices, etc. We are a hybrid nation so when I think about what is American about American poetry, I think of this.”

 

 

Uncertainty

Charlotte Matthews, interviewed by Nin Andrews in Best American Poetry, about Matthews’ book Whistle What Can’t Be Said (Unicorn Press, 2017):

 

“I feel as if living in a state of pretty much constant uncertainty is, in a way, dwelling among the mysteries of the earth.”

 

 

Mishearing

Eduardo C. Corral, interviewed by Yezmin Villareal in BOMB, about Corral’s book Slow Lightning (Yale Univ. Press, 2012):

 

“As poets, we wrestle with language on the page but we also play with it. I’m always mishearing things in conversations on the subway and it always makes me smile. It always comes when I’m drafting something humorous or tenuous. Black humor is never really like chuckle laughter—it’s a wetted down kind of humor.”

 

 

Posing

Maureen N. McLane, in the Chicago Tribune, writing about Loren Goodman’s book Famous Americans (Yale Univ. Press, 2003):

 

“Most contemporary lyrics look like other contemporary lyrics, 50 or so well-shaped lines that take us through something posing as ‘experience.’”

 

 

Simultaneously

Oscar Bermeo, in The Latin American Review of Books, reviewing Luis Humberto Valadez’s book what i’m on (Univ. of Arizona Press, 2009):

 

“… the poet’s dilemma [is] simultaneously looking back on a life lived and moving forward with that life.”

 

 

Units

Lia Purpura, interviewed by Kathleen Blackburn in The Journal, about Purpura’s book Rough Likeness (Sarabande Books, 2011):

 

“Both the poetic line and the prose sentence are musical units. Musical units of thought.”

 

Dominion

J. T. Roane, writing in Black Perspectives, about the poetry of Essex Hemphill:

 

“Dominion is indictable for its denaturing effects and sustained threat to the planet’s life.”

 

 

Boundaries

Jan Conn, author of Edge Effects (Brick Books, 2012), interviewed by Sharon Caseburg in Contemporary Verse 2:

 

“A goal for scientists who train graduate students is to push them as far beyond their own training as possible. To move or break through boundaries. This is also something we applaud and reward in poetry.”

 

 

Courage

Sarah V. Schweig, writing in The Literary Review about Brittany Perham’s Double Portrait (W. W. Norton, 2017):

 

“… belief in poetry is not a necessary condition for the existence of poetry – even for the writing of it. One can be mired in doubt and still muster the courage to put pen to paper.”