Poetry

Poetry as Criticism of Life: On Claudia Rankine’s Twin NBCC Nominations

The slate of finalists for the National Book Critics Circle award is strong — perhaps as strong as any shortlist in recent memory. With its stalwarts and new blood, its willingness to rescue books that should have been nominated for other awards while remaining unafraid of recognizing established authors, the list, inasmuch as it is a cross section of American literature in 2014, shows a thriving organism. … Read More

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Guessing Game: Edgar Allan Poe or Goth Song Lyrics?

Monday marks the birthday of O.G. Edgar Allan Poe — original goth (one of them, anyway). Poe’s morose poems and gloomy short tales populate the annals of gothic literature. The master of the macabre’s life wasn’t exactly cheery, either. Drugs, booze, depression, and family tragedy plagued Poe during his day — but in death we celebrate him with a guessing game only a real goth could appreciate. Inspired by the dank darkness of Poe’s danky doom, we present you with: Edgar Allan Poe or Goth Song Lyrics? Look deep into the abyss for the answers (or simply highlight or double-click them to view). … Read More

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Bienvenido Okey-Panky, New Home for Short, Weird Lit

Today marks the launch of Electric Literature’s Okey-Panky, an online magazine of “short, darkly comic, ironic, and experimental fiction, essay,… Read More

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The 10 Most Anticipated Poetry Books of 2015

Although many books aren’t slated until later in the first quarter, 2015 is already shaping up to be a major year for American poetry, especially with the return of favorites like Mary Jo Bang, new collected works from masters like Jorie Garaham, and a book from perhaps our greatest living poet, John Ashbery. Add to this mix the rediscovery (or first translation) of forgotten yet undeniably major poets like Alejandra Pizarnik and the arrival of younger poets like Uljana Wolf, and it’s clear that poetry in America is firing on all cylinders. … Read More

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20 T.S. Eliot Quotes for Better Living and Creative Inspiration

This weekend marked the anniversary of the passing of modernist poet T.S. Eliot — a cat lover, former French teacher, past Faber & Faber director, and literary critic. Nearly 50 years after his death, the Nobel Prize-winning master scribe is still a beacon for artists of all ilk seeking life-affirming advice and the occasional oblique message to ponder. Start your new year with a few inspiring quotes from the… Read More

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6 Things You Didn’t Know About Emily Dickinson’s Writing Process

When Emily Dickinson (born on this day in 1830) wrote her thousands of famous poems, she largely intentionally eschewed publication. That means there’s a treasure trove of fascinating information to be gleaned from both her manuscripts and the interpretations and publication of her poem in the ensuing years.

And then there are those dashes. Dickinson’s frequent use of the dash has been interpreted on dozens of symbolic and practical levels. They were musical notes! Pause indicators! Signifiers of female negativity punctuating the male space of the page! … Read More

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The Best Poetry Books of 2014

If you fell asleep on poetry in 2014, you might not actually be asleep: you might be dead. Poetry this year not only proved itself the liveliest and healthiest genre of writing, it also showed itself to be the most intellectually voracious. (I would even argue that one of the best American novels of 2014 was written by a poet.) Here are the ten best books of poetry from 2014. Frankly, they may just be the ten best books. … Read More

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PJ Harvey Announces Book of Poetry, ‘The Hollow of the Hand’

PJ Harvey has announced her collaboration on a book of poetry with photographer/filmmaker Seamus Murphy (director of all 12 music… Read More

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The Works of 10 Contemporary Native American Poets

November is Native American Heritage Month — and we’re celebrating with a selection of poems from contemporary Native American writers. Joy Harjo, whose writing is featured below, once wrote: “The literature of the aboriginal people of North America defines America. It is not exotic. The concerns are particular, yet often universal.” These poets explore these universalities, as well as historical concerns and the issues facing Native Americans in the contemporary world. … Read More

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