Category: Poetry

Punk-Poets and Poet-Punks: A Review of Daniel Kane’s Do You Have a Band?

Maybe you’ve had the same experience, you go looking for a book you are sure someone must have written only to find that no such book exists. No one has written it yet. A few years ago, I wanted to learn more about the interconnections between the early days of punk rock and the poetry scene in New York City in the Seventies. This, in part, grew out of research for a project. I was searching for information to help establish a backstory timeline for the poet-professor parents of the protagonist of my then novel-in-progress/now novel-in-search-of-an-agent Gangs With Greek Names.  I was

Because: A Review of Matthew Zapruder’s Why Poetry

Part literary criticism, part memoir about how he found his way into the life of a poet, Matthew Zapruder’s Why Poetry is a good read for anyone who loves poetry and would like a reminder of why. It is also a good read for those who feel they’ve never understood poetry and would like to try again. Here is how the introduction begins: “‘I have a confession to make: I don’t really understand poetry.’ For over twenty-five years, I have heard this said, over and over in slightly different ways, by friends, family, colleagues, strangers I met in bars and at dinner

Joanne Kyger: An Appreciation

The bio in the back of On Time, Joanne Kyger’s collection of poems written between 2005 and 2014, describes her as, “One of the major women poets of the SF Renaissance.” That is, of course, correct, but I would make a case for removing the word “women” from the sentence. While I’m sure the intention of including that gender signifier was to emphasize the importance of her position as a woman in what was largely a man’s world/boy’s club, its placement before “poets” in the sentence diminishes rather than enhances her standing. It reeks of “pretty good for a girl” condescension, unintended as

Enter the Ouroboric: A Review of Anselm Berrigan’s Come In Alone

Upon first look, Anselm Berrigan’s latest collection of poems, Come In Alone, reminded me of that bit, “Is This Anything,” Letterman used to do on The Late Show. They’d open the curtain to reveal some random act — a guy riding a flaming unicycle while juggling chainsaws or suchlike. Afterward, Dave and Paul would discuss to determine whether or not what they’d just seen was anything. The form (or formlessness) Berrigan employs in Come In Alone — one long line running around the perimeter of the page with no definitive beginning or end — has that now there’s something I’ve never seen before factor going for it,