Lynne Burnett (Chapbook Confessions #6)

Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here. Below, Lynne Burnett writes on her 2018 collection, Irresistible (Finishing Line Press). First, I must confess I never intentionally set out to…

Luanne Castle (Chapbook Confessions #5)

Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here. Below, Luanne Castle writes on her 2015 collection, Doll God (Aldrich Press).   When I first read the Chapbook Confessions project, I…

Kathy Boles-Turner (Chapbook Confessions #4)

Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here. Below, Kathy Boles-Turner writes on her 2018 collection, Ramshackle Houses & Southern Parables.   Listening. That’s all I was doing when poetry…

Ion Corcos (4 Poems)

These Mountains In this still bay, limestone blue, the fall of mountain steep with scree. Clumps of hard grass grip the slope, shorn like valleys I have seen in eastern Turkey. Don’t tell the Greeks, don’t tell the Turks; some of them at least. The far mountains, covered in a haze of sun and clouds,…

Stephanie L. Harper (7 Poems)

To the Dead White-Throated Sparrow in my driveway: Would you at least do me the courtesy of an explanation? What’s with your belly-mound-cenotaph arisen from the stony gloom spiel? And why this exquisite bundle of yours, with its still-tender russets folded in the unbounded repose of a napping cherub, as if you didn’t believe you…

Melissa Rendlen (6 Poems)

Snowless Woods In snowless winter woods, tree trunk skeletons raise brown branches toward grey skies suspended softly inches above. Oaks cling to their few remaining dry dead leaves, like a mother, aware too soon her children will be lost. Under foot, crunch of leaves mold into the feel of soft mulch as dog and human…

Emily Dickinson (Forerunners)

While some of Emily Dickinson’s more well-known lines had been in my head for years, I didn’t sit down with all of her poems until a flight from Atlanta ages ago, to attend my grandmother’s funeral back home. As Dickinson says, time does not assuage; but her strange words and stranger company of her presence…

Ken Craft (6 Poems)

from the collection The Indifferent World Trigger This is where I held my breath— a stand of red pine, needles and snowdust scribed about my boot, cold crescent resisting a swollen finger itchy-numb with November. This is where a buck held its breath— mouth mid-meal amid the mast, a single line of berry drool spiking…

Philip Larkin (Forerunners)

Thanks to Daniel Paul Marshall for selecting the nine poems below from Philip Larkin, as well as for the following comments. Be sure to check out his blog for his own poetry, essays and photography, as well as another piece on Larkin. Larkin was a poet I knew more about than I had read. In…

Robert Okaji (6 Poems)

As Blue Fades Which defines you best, a creaking lid or the light-turned flower? The coffee’s steam or smoke wafting from your hand. Your bowls color my shelves; I touch them daily. Sound fills their bodies with memory. The lighter’s click invokes your name. And the stepping stones to nowhere, your current address. If the…

Allen Ginsberg’s “Kaddish” (Forerunners)

While I’d like to say that after Four Quartets, I don’t know of another long poem from the last century that’s meant as much to me as Allen Ginsberg’s elegy for his mother, Kaddish for Naomi Ginsberg, 1894-1956. But it’s so powerful that even describing it as a poem seems silly: it really doesn’t matter…

Tim Miller (Bog Poems)

LAST MEAL Their stomachs a bestiary only of grain during a time of feasting and boasting and meat, bellies a mush with the barely digested gruel of barley and rye and buttercup, goosefoot and hawksbeard, linseed and clover and knotweed, with spelt and yarrow all a last gnarl or bit of weight above the waist,…