Lynn Xu’s Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight Johnny Payne Essay - “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.” 6/9/2024
Three Poems by Ace Boggess Ace Boggess Poetry - “I scan rooms with a happiness detector,/which is like a broken Geiger counter/that stays silent while the bombs go off.” 6/7/2024
Off-Road Johnny Payne Poetry - “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.” 5/31/2024
Kink or Worship or Both: Megan Fernandes’ “I Do Everything I’m Told” Johnny Payne Essay - “In invoking (and sometimes tweaking) cherished predecessors, this gently impious collection also helps refurbish form.” 5/26/2024
The Elegant Trogon and Poem for Robert Desnos Matthew Zapruder Poetry - “I have/a secret pigeon in my heart./I keep it in a cage composed of object lessons and feed it/moral law.” 5/24/2024
Lost in the Woods Michael Boughn Poetry - “Lost in the Woods is a symptom/of heart’s sudden loss/of direction registered in small/persistent cramps and little gasps.” 5/17/2024
That Wind Françoise Nieto-Fong Poetry - “Night’s ink congeals on rice, coating peas/like black sea pebbles glistening in the harrowed/moonlight staring through the shattered kitchen window.” 5/10/2024
“Mandarin Duck” and Other Poems Li Zhong Poetry - “In shallow ripples bathing together in pairs, as may be seen by the deep, clear waters of Xiangjiang.” 5/3/2024
For Whom the Nobel Tolls: Tomas Tranströmer’s “The Blue House” Johnny Payne Essay - “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.” 4/28/2024
Rossetti’s Notebook (1862-1869) Mark Scroggins Poetry - “Nonetheless, a worm/had eaten its way through any number/of Gabriel’s lines, some of his best./He had to reconstruct them from memory,/or compose them anew.” 4/19/2024
The Creases Between Utterances: Jenny Xie’s “The Rupture Tense” Johnny Payne Criticism - “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.” 4/14/2024
Let It Be Known Annie Finch Poetry - “On its dead claws and back, mottled and plain,/from a long beach whose gulls roost on an edge,/Inscrutable.” 4/12/2024
“I ask your forgiveness; I am a mountain tiger” W. D. Ehrhart Poetry - “Why does she ask forgiveness?/For what and from whom?/Why does she call herself/a mountain tiger?” 4/5/2024
Edgar Kunz’s “Tap Out” and “Fixer” Johnny Payne Criticism - “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.'” 3/31/2024
Life Cycle of the Cabbage White Butterfly Gabriel Gbadamosi Poetry - “Examining for mixed motives the flaws/That turned their city-cousins ash-/Grey. She labels one Snow-in-Ghana,/As though she doesn’t trust her own desire.” 3/29/2024
The Return Miguel Guardia Poetry - “I am alive and you’re alive, and hope exists,/but I have to bid farewell to these words of mine,/which I will never shout, because I’m but a man. “ 3/22/2024