Tribrach’s favorite poetry articles from July 2017


None of us will ever be famous.  Anyone connected to the Internet can visit John Ashbery’s house RIGHT NOW!!!!! Poets don’t write as much about summer as they do the other seasons. Mark Strand made great collages and Sylvia Plath was an art major before she switched to English. Why do we still have trouble believing that Ted Hughes frequently beat up Sylvia Plath? At the start of July, Terrance Hayes took over the New York Times Magazine’s poetry column. The Walrus has an excerpt from his predecessor Matthew Zapruder’s new book Why Poetry.  “Smart” cities can create their own poetry. Beyonce & Jay-Z named one of their twins “Rumi.” Children are prigs. The most anthologized poem from the past 25 years is “The Red Wheelbarrow.” Memoirists are starting to incorporate poetry-tricks in their work.  The NY Times has a series of visual essays inspired by poetry. Rupi Kaur, the “Instapoet” who literary poets envy because over a  million copies of her book have been sold, has been accused of plagiarism. This is a debatable charge.  And do “‘sad brown girls online’ write the same?” Speaking of best-selling books of poetry, how many of the current best-sellers, (according to Small Press Distribution,) do you know? Keep an eye out for the’ 100 + (!) poems Terrance Hayes is publishing under the same title, “American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin.” They’re appearing like Easter eggs throughout the literary world. Matthew Zapruder says “Many young poets...confuse being deliberately obscure with creating a deeper mystery. “  Johannes Göransson says “…Poetry is a strange force that can take over your minds and bodies, transport you out of what you think you know and take you into a new kind of mysterious knowledge….” Patricia Smith says “I don’t think I’m ever going to do an entire poem that’s going to be understood by a particular group all the way through” & that the craft of poems, even those that she herself doesn’t initially understand, is what pulls her in. The New Scientist says neural network poetry is so bad we think it’s written by humans. Claudia Rankine writes on the legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks, including the new “Golden Shovel” form that “sneaks an existing poem into the end words of each line. That way, the new poem always remains in conversation with its precursor.” The form was invented by Terrance Hayes. You can now listen to 2000 + audio-cassettes of Allen Ginsberg online. The work of the Beats “has perhaps been more misinterpreted than nearly any literary group in history” because the main thing/1 of the only things the Beats had in common was their friendship with Allen Ginsberg. The University where Philip Larkin worked at is displaying his ties, tea towels, and one of his girlfriend’s “knickers, bearing the words ‘do not spank.'” Charles Simic literally writes in the dark.  While in a labor camp, Irina Ratushinskaya “wrote her poems on bars of soap, using the burned ends of matchsticks.” Osip Mandelstam’s poems were “sewn into the insides of cushions and shoes, or hidden in mattresses and saucepans.”  Jennifer S. Cheng speaks of how we are becoming “increasingly aware” that “‘political climate’ is linked to personal and poetical climates.” Christopher J. Scalia maintains that “The most effective political poems approach their targets indirectly.” Louis Menand points out that even though Ben Lerner, Michael Zapruder and Michael Robbins recently wrote books resistant to the idea that poetry can change people’s lives all 3 of them have had their own lives changed by poems. A bio-artist made art from the pages & bacteria from a 300 year old volume of Ovid’s poems that one of its previous owners sneezed on. 

An enormous thank you to Brian Kiss for creating our first meme and ad, and to The American Journal of Poetry for giving us ad space!

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