Two Whelks

April 24, 2017

Contributor’s Marginalia: Adam Giannelli on “Whelk” by Lisa Russ Spaar Lisa Russ Spaar’s “Whelk” wavers between presence and absence, and this tension begins in the title, which refers both to the sea snail and its empty, turbinate shell. The poem begins in ode-like fashion, meditating upon and endowing with metaphor the bereft shell, a “windowsill cornucopia” and […]

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Backwards Prompt

April 17, 2017

Contributor’s Marginalia: Chelsea Wagenaar on “Qualifications for One to Be Climbed by a Vine” by Anna Lena Phillips Bell Sometimes I get stuck. I run out of momentum and ideas, and when I come to the page to write, I sputter. People sometimes ask me what my writing process is, imagining, no doubt, that a poet’s process […]

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What Can I Give You?

April 10, 2017

Contributor’s Marginalia: Anna Lena Phillips Bell on “Love Poem” by Maggie Smith Maggie Smith’s “Love Poem” seized me on first read—both because it’s made of fine, strong sentences that move between lines and couplets with ease, and because it offers an answer to one of my preoccupations. It’s ever harder to write something meaningful about the particular […]

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Original Curse

April 3, 2017

Contributor’s Marginalia: Aaron Baker on “Les Frelons” by Donald Platt If I wrote about visiting my father’s grave on the afternoon after his funeral, the day after his burial, I would describe the snow on the headstones, the crunch of my footsteps in the gravel in of the walk. I would mention that it was April and […]

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The Price of Grace

March 27, 2017

Contributor’s Marginalia: Peter Kline on “How the Light Is Spent” by Adam Giannelli The title reference of Adam Giannelli’s sonically gorgeous and finely wrought meditation on light is, of course, Milton’s famous sonnet, “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent.” In that poem, Milton’s speaker despairs as to how he can prove his worthiness to God […]

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