Lynn Xu’s Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight

“Here reposes the reverie-inducing freedom of Rilke and Proust, where you get to say ‘dreaming’ twice, or a thousand times, and even ‘et cetera’ twice, in case you forgot to fill in the blank with your own lyrical, rapture-adjacent images the first time.”

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Denise Gromov

“Age isn’t just a number, as we’d heard/it’s how we get here. I’m twice my daughter’s age/and neither thought we’d haul ourselves this far.”

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Kink or Worship or Both: Megan Fernandes’ “I Do Everything I’m Told”

Bianca Berg

“In invoking (and sometimes tweaking) cherished predecessors, this gently impious collection also helps refurbish form.”

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“The Rhapsodic Fallacy” and Maurice Manning’s “Snakedoctor”

(Maurice Manning)

“The ‘free’ in ‘free verse’ was never meant as a free pass, an anything goes, for to succumb to it does, in fact, leave us standing in a well-intentioned mush.”

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For Whom the Nobel Tolls: Tomas Tranströmer’s “The Blue House”

(Jessica Gow/AFP/Getty Images)

“The lines, like long, rolling ocean waves on a cold Baltic sea, create their own reasons, their own rhythm, their own understanding. Anaphora is used, as Whitman did, to summon us to the great historical pageant of life, of happenings beyond our immediate knowledge.”

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The Creases Between Utterances: Jenny Xie’s “The Rupture Tense”

(Zoo Monkey)

“Whether [Jenny] Xie’s volume was long in the making or came out in a fiery burst (maybe both, by parts?), it is a work of substance, worthy of its current high reputation.”

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Edgar Kunz’s “Tap Out” and “Fixer”

“Edgar Kunz, the author of Tap Out and Fixer, does not refer to himself specifically as blue collar, proletarian, or working class. Well-meaning others, such as mentor Edward Hirsch, do so, referring to Tap Out as ‘gutsy, tough-minded, working-class poems of memory and initiation.'”

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On Arthur Sze’s “The Silk Dragon II”

(Tang Dynasty era art—The Emperor Ming Huang Traveling in Shu)

Whatever one may say about the People’s Republic of China today, it once offered the model of the poet-emperor, as well as poets employed in political life, wedding governance to lyric spirit.”

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Turkey Buzzard

(Juana Moriel-Payne)

“Here on a narrow one-lane/overgrown with cattails and ivy/the circle of turkey buzzards draws closer.”

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Bianca Stone, What Is Otherwise Infinite

By that token, perhaps Bianca Stone is just the poet for our times. Her verses wrestle with a dirty angel, one that bites and kicks. There is no snow-white falcon in her pages. But she does not quit.”

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Lisa Olstein’s Dream Apartment

(Copper Canyon Press)

“The Dream Apartment is no Barbie’s Dream House. It is rather an abode of opaque and backlit, sometimes hard-edged reverie.”

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