• POETRY

Lines to Remember: A Year in Poetry

The critic and author of The Forage House looks back on some of 2013's most memorable verse.

 

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  • POETRY

Philip Levine Named U.S. Poet Laureate

It's always exciting to contemplate the naming of a new poet to the office of U.S. Poet Laureate.  Philip Levine, the 83-year-old Detroit native and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Simple Truth, has been named by the Librarian of Congress as the Poet Laureate for 2011-12. 

 

In his review of Mr. Levine's last collection, News of the World, our reviewer, Christopher Phelps, wrote: "Levine's is a world where men and women 'buy and sell each other.' It is also "an immense, endless opera punctuated by the high notes of sirens & the basso profundo of trucks & jackhammers & ferries & tugboats."  You can read the full review here.

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  • POETRY

Orange Crush

Simone Muench is a Chicago poet by way of Louisiana. Her third book of poems, Orange Crush, sets its tone early with her opening lines: "Trouble came and trouble / brought greasy, ungenerous things." The tempting call in this poem, "Hex," evokes a depravity which sets the stage for Muench's central characters: London's seventeenth-century "orange girls," who sat outside theaters selling china oranges for six-pence each--or, more accurately, selling themselves to the audience, to the men, to the trouble to come.

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April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.