Archive for the 'Poetry' Category

POETRY MONDAY: October 3, 2016

Monday, October 3rd, 2016


Elizabeth Socolow

To those of you whose holidays are this time of year, our very best wishes.

For all of us, we are pleased to present a poet who last with us on this page in October 2016. I urge you to search the archives to read about her and her previous publications. She’s a splendid poet, has long been a splendid poet, but there’s something special about these new poems. They are about someone our readers know quite well – and they were sent in response to a call to poets we published recently, in which we announced our forthcoming anthology of poems about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis. Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry, Edited and with an Introduction by Irene Willis and supported by a grant from the American Psychoanalytic
Foundation, is now in progress, and IPBooks has agreed to publish it – hopefully, sometime in 2017. (more…)

Calling All Poets: A Message from Irene Willis

Monday, September 5th, 2016


To Our Readers:

This is a reminder that we always welcome your poetry submissions, which should be sent, by postal mail, to the address below:

Irene Willis
Poetry Editor
O. Box 217
South Egremont, MA

And now, here is a special announcement, which we strongly urge you to consider.  I am editing the anthology described, which is to be published by IP Books in 2017.

Click Here to Read: Calling All Poets: A Message for our Readers from Irene Willis, our Poetry Editor.

POETRY MONDAY: September 5, 2016

Monday, September 5th, 2016

john guzlowski

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the climax of Labor Day weekend and the beginning of what already seems like fall here in the Northeastern part of the U.S.

Many of you were impressed with the work of John Guzlowski, our featured poet in April of this year. He has devoted a large part of his life and career to writing and speaking about the experiences of his Roman Catholic parents, who were taken as slave laborers by the Nazis and barely survived. Both he and his sister were born in Displaced Persons camps. There could not be a better time to re-consider those events than the present, during the heat of our own political campaign, which has kept alive the burning topic of how the world should treat refugees from war-torn regions. Please go back to our archive first to re-read some of John’s strong poems and information about his latest book, Echoes of Tattered Tongues (AQUA POLONICA, LTD., 2016), and then take the time to watch the video below, which he has been kind enough to share with us.

                                                                                              –Irene Willis
                                                                                              Poetry Editor


Click Here to View: A reading by John Guzlowski at the Hamtramck Public Library in Michigan on YouTub,.

60 Years Since the Murder of Jewish Intellectuals in the Soviet Union

Saturday, August 13th, 2016


Click Here to Read: 60 Years Since the Murder of Jewish Intellectuals in the Soviet Union on the Nation of Israel website.

Click Here to Read: Remembering the Night of the Murdered Soviet Yiddish Poets by Masha Leon on the Forward Website on August 17, 2015.

Click Here to Read:  Stalin and the Night of the Murdered Poets By Eli Kavon in the Jerusalem Post on August 11, 2015. (more…)

Poem on Blind Faith by Lawrence L. Schwartz

Friday, August 5th, 2016

On the Occasion of Hiroshima Day we thought it fitting to share the following poem by Lawrence L. Schwartz.  He introduces it with the following words:

On July 11, 2016, I was privileged to read my “Poem on Blind Faith” at the United Nations Chapel, in my role as an interfaith minister, as one of the guests at an interfaith program organized by Guruji Dileepkumar Thankappan.  (Text of poem follows link to video.)

Click Here to View:  Lawrence L.  Schwartz reading the poem on YouTube.

“A Poem on Blind Faith”

When religion is based on fear, not Love,
You cannot feel that God’s within,
You’re stuck with the fear of “that God above,”
And spend your days in dreading “sin,” (more…)

POETRY MONDAY: August 1, 2016

Monday, August 1st, 2016


Charles Harper Webb

Instead of poems today, we’re sharing an article I consider so important that no one interested in contemporary poetry should fail to read and consider. It’s from Charles Harper Webb’s new book, A Million MFAS Are Not Enough, forthcoming next month from Red Hen Press. We would welcome your comments after you’ve read it.

                                                            Irene Willis
                                                            Poetry Editor

Click Here to Read:  The Limits of Indeterminancy: In Defense of Short Poems by Charles Harper Webb.  This poem originally appeared in Writers’ Chronicle, September 2015.

The Curious Fates of Famous Artists’ Pets

Saturday, July 9th, 2016


Click Here to Read: The Curious Fates of Famous Artists’ Pets by Allison Meier on the HypoAllergic Website on July 7, 2016.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s illustrated poem mourning his pet wombat (November 6, 1869), pen on paper (via British Museum/Wikimedia)

Poetry Monday: Henry Seiden

Monday, July 4th, 2016




                Henry Seiden

Happy Independence Day, everyone – at least, those of you who are in or from the U.S.A.  We shouldn’t forget that we are part of an international conversation.

Our poet today, Henry Seiden, is a psychologist and psychoanalyst who lives and practices in Forest Hills, New York.  In his professional role, he is a member of the Board of Editors of Psychoanalytic Psychology and Division/Review, journals of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association.  Within that role, he is co-author of Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide (Scribner’s, 1988), which has been translated into Chinese, Portuguese and Russian. Among his professional papers, some of which overlap with his knowledge of poetry and skill as a poet, are articles on Wallace Stevens and on using poetry in psychotherapy with children.  He is also Poetry Editor of Division/Review. (more…)

What’s The Matter With Poetry?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016


Click Here to Read: What’s The Matter With Poetry? For Ben Lerner, poems are the perfect medium for failure. So how can they negotiate with the politics of real life? BY Ken Chen in The New Republic on June 23, 2016.

Luigi Cherubini And The Muse Of Lyric Poetry, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1842.Musée du Louvre

POETRY MONDAY: June 6, 2016

Monday, June 6th, 2016

We have news this month about a number of our featured poets – some of it very sad and some quite happy indeed.  The dates in parentheses after their names show when they appeared on these pages.  If you look them up in our archives, you will be able to see their photos, learn a bit more about them, and read or re-read a few of their poems.

First, the sad news. Two more are no longer with us.  Joan Peronto (October 2009), died of heart failure last month, still young at 85.  Michelle Gillett (November 2012), only 68 years old,  also died recently, and very suddenly, of cancer. These two poets and friends from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, who contributed strongly to our poetry lives here and elsewhere, will be greatly missed. (more…)

Poetry Monday: Merridawn Duckler

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

POETRY MONDAY:  May 1, 2016



 Merridawn Duckler

Was there ever a poet with a name more perfect for spring?

If you haven’t heard of Merridawn Duckler before, it’s because you may have been following only one art form.  Her poems have appeared and are forthcoming in poetry journals such as Naugatuck River Review, Cirque Journal, Fifth Wednesday and many others. Her recent fiction has been published in Farallon Review and Poetica.  Her play in verse was in the Emerging Female Playwright Festival of the Manhattan Shakespeare Project, and other plays (more…)

Pribor 1856 by Eugene Mahon

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016


Dreams were born here
When he recognized
we were throwing away
The core of knowledge
Seduced as we were by
Surface glitter, manifest
Displays of light, the deeper
Dark ignored as if night’s
Waiting rooms
Were empty and all its ghosts
Not worth our interest,
As if limbs of desire didn’t
Flash and fling mystery about,
In tumult and scream,
As if stars couldn’t see
In the dark, as if folly (more…)

Poem for Winnicott’s birthday by Eugene Mahon

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

Poem for Winnicott’s birthday

A joy to be hidden:
Disaster not to be found-
Only the self can find you
In the mind’s deep underground.

Look! Look! The self is in hiding
Afraid of the shadow it casts
Until it grabs hold of the sunlight
And never lets go while it lasts!

Eugene Mahon

Poetry Monday: John Guzlowski

Monday, April 4th, 2016

POETRY MONDAY: April 3, 2016


John Guzlowski

Yes, as we all know, it’s National Poetry Month, but as many do not know, poetry is not just about trees, flowers and birds. Often, as in the work of some of the greatest poets – and as in the work of today’s poet – it’s about much more than that.

With people fleeing oppression and violence all over the world, there couldn’t be a better time to talk about the contributions made by immigrants and refugees to our literary culture, which is another way of saying to our lives. Today we honor John Guzlowski, Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Eastern Illinois University. Born in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II, he came to the U.S. with his family as a Displaced Person in 1951. His Roman Catholic parents had been Polish slave laborers in Nazi Germany during the war and had barely survived. (more…)

Postry Monday: Walter Hess

Monday, March 7th, 2016

POETRY MONDAY: March 7, 2015


Walter Hess

We’re proud to introduce Walter Hess, whose strong personal history is the source of much of his poetry – and what makes it so compelling.

He was born in Germany in 1931. Those two facts alone suggest what was to come, and what didn’t. Subsequent to Kristall Nacht and his father’s relatively brief incarceration in Dachau, his family managed to emigrate
in 1939, first to Ecuador and then, in 1940, to the U.S., where they settled in upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights. He was educated entirely in New York City public schools, receiving a B.A. in history from CCNY in 1952 and returning years later, to study for and receive an M.A. from their graduate writing program. (more…)

On my radar: China Miéville’s cultural highlights

Sunday, February 14th, 2016


Click Here to Read: On my radar: China Miéville’s cultural highlights: The writer on a moving comic about life in 80s Turkey, disquieting composer Carolyn O’Brien and poet Caitlin Doherty’s tribute to the first dog in space by China Miéville on the Guardian Website on February 14, 2016.

China Miéville: ‘Any novel by Michael Cisco is cause for delight.’ Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian


Monday, February 1st, 2016



Here we are, deep into the winter of the big snows in strange places and very little in the usual places, (sorry, New York), and ready once more to think about poetry.

Lucille Clifton was not only a famous African-American poet but one of our greatest and most memorable American poets. Twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1979 to 1985, she was a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz,  Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary’s College of Maryland,  a visiting professor at Columbia University, and in 2006 a fellow at (more…)

Holes in the Door Posts, Poem by Eugene Mahon

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Through the holes
In the doorposts
You can see
Peering back at you
If you dare to see
What survives
What wouldn’t be
Cast no cold eye
Put your ear
To the holes in the doorposts
The screams that you hear
Are your own.
–Eugene Mahon

Click Here to Read: Witnessing the death of Yiddish language and culture: Holes in the Doorposts by Arnold Richards. (more…)


Monday, January 4th, 2016



William Jay Smith

Remembering William Jay Smith ( 1918-2015)

Happy New Year, everyone — meaning, really, that we hope 2016 will be a better year on many fronts than 2015 was. On the poetry front, we lost another member of the greatest generation. William Jay Smith died last August in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, at the age of 97, after having lived for many years in Cummington, Massachusetts, near his good friend, Richard Wilbur. You may have read Smith’s obituary in the New York Times and elsewhere, but if you are interested in knowing more about his  life, you may also want to read his two memoirs, Army Brat (Persea Books, 1982) and Dancing in the Garden: A Bittersweet Love Affair with France (Bay Oak Publishers, Ltd., 2008).

Shortly after the publication of his new memoir, we featured him on these pages. It was for  November 2008, during our own first year. We remember him now with a renewed sense of loss and a reprise of that post.

Irene Willis
Poetry Editor


William Jay Smith

William Jay Smith, as many of you already know, is one of America’s greatest poets, translators and literary critics.  He was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (the position now known as Poet Laureate) from 1968-1970 (more…)

Evgeny Kissin Will Indulge His Love of Yiddish Poetry at Carnegie Hall

Monday, December 14th, 2015


Click Here to Read: Evgeny Kissin Will Indulge His Love of Yiddish Poetry at Carnegie Hall By Vivien Schweitzer in The New York Times on December 13, 2015.

Evgeny Kissin, shown in Central Park, will play works by Jewish composers and recite poetry Wednesday at Carnegie Hall. Credit Sasha Arutyunova for The New York Times.