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Poetry Friday: “Advent”

By Bruce BondDecember 9, 2016

I’ve heard many people say we’ve never needed poetry more than we do now, but “Advent,” by Bruce Bond, reminds me that poetry has always been vital. The poem begins with a bombing in the Yellow Sea and smoke so thick “you cannot  see your hands,” which sets the reader up for a domino effect of…

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A Conversation with Christian Wiman

By Jeanne Murray Walker Interview

Christian Wiman was born in west Texas in 1966 and spent the first seventeen years of his life there. He attended Washington and Lee University in Virginia and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He has traveled widely and taught at Stanford, Northwestern, and Lynchburg College. Since 2003 he has edited the influential…

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Poetry Friday: “Lord, Sky”

By Betsy ShollOctober 12, 2018

The compelling narrative of “Lord, Sky,” set during the time of an election, is also sheer poetry. The writer repeats diction (“light,” “sky,” “moon,” “grin”) and layers language (“heaven,” “rainbow,” “stars,” “night,” “midnight”) to invite us “little trees of heaven / stuck in concrete” to pay heed to the world above and around us, to…

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Poetry Friday: “Glosa”

By Peggy RosenthalSeptember 13, 2019

“Glosa” refers to an invented language created as a way for all the world’s speakers to understand each other.

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Poetry Friday: “Leeks”

By Richard SpilmanJanuary 18, 2019

Richard Spilman’s poem “Leeks” also sits with surprise after expectation, with renewal after a long hibernation of disappointment.

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Poetry Friday: “Rusted Chain”

By ImageNovember 30, 2018

Each element in Haven’s poem returns to the visual of childhood games, like hopscotch or tic-tac-toe. The image of boxes containing “Xs and Os” haunts the poem, creating a pattern that compartmentalizes our speaker’s reckoning with the past. This reckoning is “a tally where no one / should ever win.” The poem speaks to a…

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Poetry Friday: “The Burned Butterfly”

By Anya SilverOctober 5, 2018

My oldest daughter’s was gifted a butterfly garden for her 3rd birthday. We watched the six larvae plump up. Then each formed a chrysalis and after a few weeks all emerged as beautiful, painted lady butterflies. We fed them watermelon and pineapple and when the day came for release, I wasn’t sure my daughter would…

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Poetry Friday: “Rain”

By Tara BrayMay 12, 2017

The emotional landscape of motherhood can often be hard to describe and is underrepresented in genres such as poetry. As a poet and mother of a two-year old with a new baby on the way, I appreciated “Rain” by Tara Bray and found it very instructive on several levels. In this candid poem, a “family…

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Poetry Friday: “The Grackles”

By Betsy ShollApril 15, 2016

Here is a poem that silently enacts a conversion.  The poem starts off with a string of scornful terms for the speaker’s new neighbors, culminating in the almost mean pun on their child’s “grin” as “grim.” But right after this, the speaker begins to soften her terms: she notices a “warmth” in this noisy, dirty,…

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Poetry Friday: “Smokers, Sunday Morning, 1975”

By Bobby C. RogersApril 8, 2016

This poem seems at first to be a straight-forward narrative: a childhood recollection of the men who smoked outside of church on Sundays. But the poetic shaping of the narrative adds another dimension. Those very, very long lines, the end of each spilling over grammatically into the next, even between stanzas: this gives the sense…

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