Category: Shenandoah

  • The present and future of pandemic poetry

    Like a sad dragon, I’m currently sitting on a diminishing hoard of potential poems for future issues of Shenandoah—Fall ’21 and Spring ’22, presuming we get there–knowing I can’t keep ALL the gold. I’m already rejecting good poems, trying to get down to 20-ish from more than 700 batches. The last couple of weeks have […]

  • Oh, February. Oh, amygdala.

    I realized this morning that I’ve been concentrating with clenched-body intensity on my mother’s and my daughter’s needs for vaccine appointments–my mother is 81 and immune-challenged, my daughter is a pre-school teacher–as if my constant vigilance was necessary to help them rise to the top of the list. That’s magical thinking, obviously, except that it […]

  • What’s cooking and what’s already on the table

    Being on sabbatical puts a insulating layer between me and the academic seasons, but I can still sense the weather shifting via publication cycles. Even for magazines and presses without university affiliations, there are year-in-review lists and columns: Aqueduct Press just published one of mine, and I’ve just submitted another to Strange Horizons for early […]

  • December cadralor

    I found a new poetic form this week through Dave Bonta’s always excellent Poetry Blog Digest: the cadralor. JJS quotes a definition in the post “The good, the bad, and the ugly”: “The cadralor is a poem of 5 unrelated, numbered stanzaic images, each of which can stand alone as a poem, is fewer than […]

  • Future schmuture

    No NEH grant again, a magazine acceptance, a solicitation of poems from a magazine I’d never cracked (!), several poem rejections, some drafting and revising, lots of Shenandoah work, a vague but persistent headache, short days and blustery cold–hello from a mixed-blessing November in Sabbatical Land. I hereby mark the sixth-month birthday of my novel […]

  • Imagining poetry after the election

    Inside Out September, 2016     Shouldn’t talk with a mouthful of half-chewed flags, but he smirks and suggests her Secret Service guys disarm and see what happens. The crowd turns wild and you can spot a star wedged in his molar. Scraps of stripe dangle from a lip. Maybe, he cracks, the Second Amendment […]

  • It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall

    …The dark threw its patches down upon me also, Walt Whitman wrote in “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.” Nearly as often as he reflects on his own tingling senses, Whitman, it turns out, writes about distance and solitude, sometimes expressing pain about it and reaching for touch across impossible gaps. “It avails not, time nor place–distance avails […]

  • Looking off cliffs

    I’m not processing very well, here at the quiet edge of apocalypse. Sometimes I’m fine, scared, down, or stir-crazy; often I’m busy teaching remotely, being fortunate enough to still have a job; generally I can’t concentrate. New York City has always been the center of the world for me; how will it fare? When will […]

  • Virtual Salon #4 with Elizabeth Hazen

    We’ve been called so many things that we are not, we startle at the sound of our own names. -Elizabeth Hazen, from “Devices” I’ll be teaching a virtual Whitman and Dickinson course in our May term, and because it may be pass/ fail only, it’s especially urgent to come up with assignments my undergraduates will […]

  • Virtual launches and figuring out how to help

    When my students asked me last week–during our final in-person classes, as it turns out–how I thought the virus would develop or whether W&L would switch to online instruction soon, I offered guesses with the caveat, “But I’m not an authority on this. My thoughts about poetry are worth something; otherwise I’m just an average […]