Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘poetry for prosers’

Essays |

The Seamless Skin: Translation’s Halting Flow

Jennifer Solheim weaves the story of her decade-long translation of Yolaine Simha’s I Saw You on the Street into a meditation on the nature of the translator’s labor. Solheim looks at history, politics, time and rereading to parse how “translation can become a snake biting its own tail: the translator as writer and reader is simultaneously subsumed and resurrected by the text in the original.”


Shop Talk |

Because it's National Poetry Month…

All across the blogosphere, writers have been celebrating April 2010 by discussing poems and sharing recommendations, including work of their own. – At Powell’s Blog, Jae suggests three collections (including Alphabet by Inger Christensen), observing: The poetry section of a bookstore can present potential challenges for any reader. More often than not, poetry books are precociously slim, slipping past first glance; it’s far easier to quickly name 10 famous living novelists than 10 famous living poets; and even when you know exactly what you’re looking for, small print runs may have rendered the book unavailable. Despite these occasional pitfalls, people […]


Essays |

Magic and Music Steer this Vessel: On Jorge Luis Borges’s This Craft of Verse

In This Craft of Verse, Jorge Luis Borges’s collected Norton Lectures, Borges diverges–with sparkling erudition–from conventional forms, offering lectures that are not arguments, but gentle provocations. Remarkably, these visionary pieces were composed at a time when Borges was nearly blind. By this time, as editor Calin-Andrei Mihailescu writes in the book’s postscript, Borges could see “nothing more than an amorphous field of yellow.” We quickly learn, however, that his mind’s eye was as sharp and discerning as ever.


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recommended read: Fish Bones by Gillian Sze

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I love Gillian Sze. Not in a “we’re romantically involved” kind of way, but yes, we were classmates at Concordia University for our undergraduate degrees in Creative Writing, and from the first moment I read her work, I knew she was a great writer. So you’ll have to forgive me if I gush over her first book of poetry, Fish Bones (published by DC Books’ Punchy Poetry imprint), because I’ve always had a bit of a girl crush on her. Hopefully that doesn’t sound totally creepy and stalkeresque. I just […]


Essays |

All That Poetry

At Sewanee everyone mingled with everyone else—poets with playwrights with fiction writers, famous and not, published and not, emerging or well established. It didn’t matter. Therefore, when it was Andrew Hudgins’ turn to give a craft lecture, I was one of the first to go, eager to absorb what I could smuggle back to those students in my undergraduate workshop who had more of an ear for poetry than me, their fiction-writing professor. I needed to be at that lecture for professional obligations; I wanted to be there for personal desires. But just as I was beginning to reach towards the trellises of poetic symmetry, grasping for that hanging fruit, I heard Hudgins say, a mocking lilt to his voice, “…and then he became a fiction writer, like all failed poets tend to do.”


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I was Born Doing Reference Work in Sin

Last week, poet and activist Dustin Brookshire recommended Denise Duhamel’s work to FWR readers, and I failed to mention that Dustin has a poetry blog of his own, one bearing what may be the best name ever: I was Born Doing Reference Work in Sin. This month he’s featuring a very cool series with guest poets (including Mark Bibbins, Ellen Bass, and Denise Duhamel) called “How I Discovered Poetry”, and his site also hosts a longer-running series, “Why Do I Write?”


Essays |

Games Are Not About Monsters

Monster-killing does not have to be a hypersigil; it’s more basic than that. The organizing moral principles of a game world often boil down to something desperately obvious: black-and-white, good and evil. This isn’t bad in itself because a good game, like a good book, then takes the player into a more familiar ambiguity. Good and bad become less easily separated and less relevant the longer you travel. The trick is to create, in the gamer, a commitment to a point of view, whatever its morality…


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reader recommendation: poet Denise Duhamel

Dustin Brookshire wrote in to recommend two books by Denise Duhamel, Kinky (Orchises Press, 1997) and Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009). Her other titles include Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005)–winner of Binghamton University’s Milt Kessler Book Award, Mille et un Sentiments (Firewheel, 2005), Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001), and The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois UP, 1999). Here’s Dustin on why he recommends this poet’s work: Denise Duhamel can make you laugh, cry, think, and want to grab a pen to write, and she can do it all within a single poem. Yes, she is that talented! Kumin, […]


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Louis MacNeice, "Snow"

A number of poets have promised to send us recommendations very soon; in the meantime, I’ll share one of my own favorite poems: Snow [by Louis MacNeice] The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was Spawning snow and pink roses against it Soundlessly collateral and incompatible: World is suddener than we fancy it. World is crazier and more of it than we think, Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion A tangerine and spit the pips and feel The drunkenness of things being various. And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world Is more spiteful and gay […]


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since it's National Poetry Month…

I’m going to waive the whole “all fiction, all the time” rule and devote some space to poetry on FWR. Fiction writers benefit enormously from reading poetry, and many of us (yours truly included) tried our hand at–or continue to secretly aspire to–being poets. At FWR, a number of our contributors and readers are poets (the out kind!), and I’m wondering if you’d take a few minutes to tell us: What poets or new, recent, or classic books of poetry are you reading? Poets (and fiction writers, too, if you’re game), please send any and all recommendations to either annestameshkin@gmail.com […]




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