Category: Virtual Poetry Salon

  • A Very Good Anti-Best List

    It’s exasperating when people refer to a work of art as “great” as if that were an objective pronouncement. Great for what? The idea that there could be stable, neutral criteria by which literature could be judged more or less worthy is at best nonsensical. In practice, it’s often a way for powerful people to […]

  • Virtual Salon #13 with Sonia Greenfield

    This intense week, I’m featuring a new collection by activist-editor-poet Sonia Greenfield (check out Rise Up Review sometime, too, for brilliant poems of resistance). Letdown consists of 64 numbered prose poems about pregnancy, birth, raising a special needs child, miscarriage, grief, and recovery. No poems can be assembled into tidy chronologies–they slip and blur, associate […]

  • Virtual Salon #12 with Ned Balbo

    …the landline’s cut & no one’s listening -Ned Balbo, from “Vortex” The imaginary book party below is the twelfth in a spontaneously invented series–how did this milestone come so fast? In March, events I’d planned to launch The State She’s In fell apart, which in some ways felt like the very smallest loss in an […]

  • Virtual Salon #11 with Martha Silano

    Dear Mr. Wordsworth, It turns out there is no tranquility. When you read any of Martha Silano’s books, all of them fizzing with brio and invention and awe, you want to start a salon just so you can invite her. As Diane Seuss says about Gravity Assist, Silano’s fifth poetry collection is “popping with kinetic […]

  • Virtual Salon #10 with Ruth Dickey

    I mark up most of my poetry books–prepare to be shocked–IN PEN. I probably started in grad school, before sticky notes came in all those colors and sizes, and inked notes are more legible when you return to a text to teach or write about it. I recently went back to an old edition of […]

  • Virtual Salon #9 with Sara Robinson

    Since poetry, like bourbon, has a long shelf life and often a long trajectory of rising to wider attention, I’m including a couple of 2019 authors in this salon series, including Sara M. Robinson. Blurbing her new book, Needville, I wrote, “So many voices smolder in Sara Robinson’s ambitious new collection. Evoking a fictional coal […]

  • Virtual Salon #8 with Marianne Chan

    Marianne Chan’s brilliant debut collection engages a wide array of topics with insight, wit, and brio: not only religion but colonization, copulation, space exploration, and family relations (her mother is a funny and wonderful recurring character). I fell hard for Chan’s work in the process of selecting pieces she had submitted to Shenandoah, and All […]

  • Virtual Poetry Salon with Tess Taylor

    I’ve always liked fierce poems and feminist poems, but it wasn’t that long ago that I noticed how many of the poetry collections I like best are deeply grounded in place. In Tess Taylor’s new collection, Rift Zone, that place is California in a century perched on a fault line. Taylor writes of suburbs that […]

  • Virtual Salon #6 with Elizabeth Savage & Ann E. Michael

    Featured at today’s virtual salon are two lovely new chapbooks, a brand new one from blogger-extraordinaire Ann E. Michael and one from late 2019 by Kestrel Poetry Editor Elizabeth Savage. Both are poets whom I’ve admired for ages. If this were a live reading, you’d also immediately perceive that they are exceptionally kind and generous […]

  • Virtual Poetry Salon #5 with Caroline Cabrera

    And even in blindness our chemistries communicate. Our instinct, a lace mycelium. When my cheeks go hot and I distrust a man I may be sensing the hair as it rises from another woman’s neck. I may smell her experience. We know more than we trust ourselves to know. -Caroline Cabrera, from “The body gives […]