Volume 110, Number 1/2

Volume 110, Number 1/2

pl10934-lg She lets fall everything she owned,
Parents and brothers, orchards and fields,
The sound of her river, the roads,
The story of her home, her own face
And her name, and the games of her childhood
—Gabriela Mistral

Cover Caption: “Girl in Window, Cuba” © Gigi Ebert Photography

Purchase »

Editors’ Page

A window opens onto a view, however broad or intimate. Though we can only guess at what the young girl on our cover sees—street market, garden plot, train yard, setting sun—we can be sure that her window frames the scene, offering both a limit and a vantage point. In a long poetic sequence on the view from his studio, Wendell Berry wrote, “A window / opens, like a word, / upon the wordless…,” a strange and compelling claim. Could perspective itself be a form of understanding? How does it shape what we see and what we say?

In the pages that follow, 57 poets train their attention on territories as diverse as nightmare (Pablo Medina’s “The River Saint”), appetite (Sandra M. Gilbert’s “Annibale Carracci’s Bean Eater”), disorientation (Carolyn Supinka’s “The Way Back”), identity (Colleen J. McElroy’s “Did I Know You Back Then?”), erotic risk (Matt Terhune’s “We Grew Up”), and mortality (Arthur Sze’s “Adamant”). There are literal windows here as well: Gretchen Primack’s “West windows (Cellblock E)” and “East windows (Cellblock F)” imagine the world beyond prison walls, and Mark Belair’s headlong narrative, “collecting,” gazes into a farmhouse at a long-married couple’s unforgettable domestic dance.

Also in this issue, we’re proud to present two culturally significant portfolios. The ten poems in “PINTURA : PALABRA, a project in ekphrasis”—guest-edited by Francisco Aragón of Letras Latinas—are as varied in tone and style as the paintings, photos, prints, and other art works in their sightlines. And our annual “World Poets in Translation” feature showcases the bold, incantatory poetry of Iranian writer and peace activist Rira Abbasi, introduced and rendered into English by Maryam Ala Amjadi.

Among our prose offerings, you’ll find Lesley Wheeler’s whip-smart essay on speculative poetry, “Verse and the Multiverse,” and engaging reviews of 11 recent books—from fine first collections to volumes of “new and selected poems” by two modern masters.A poem, like a window, opens onto a view—riverbank, city square, war zone, farm field—or instead looks within or looks to art to find its world. But whatever it frames, however wide or circumscribed the scene, it opens out for us every time we read.



Pablo Medina
The Island in the Blinding Light

Pablo Medina
The River Saint

José Angel Araguz
The Fable of the Brothers Revisited

Nico Amador
Eating Watermelon with Pablo Neruda in Constitution Square

Susan Landgraf

Kathy Engel

Andrew Grace
The Animals That Live in Said Gun’s Insulation

Stephanie Lenox
On Mythology

Chris Haven
Terrible Emmanuel and the Nameless

D.M. Aderibigbe
City Boy

Sandra M. Gilbert
Annibale Carracci’s Bean Eater

Sandra M. Gilbert
In Faith Ringgold’s Dinner Quilt

Jayne Benjulian

Lynne Sharon Schwartz

Hailey Leithauser
Moley’s Chair

Wesley Rothman
Portrait of Subwoofer as Holiest Holy

Doug Ramspeck
Religious Music

Jason Gebhardt

Jennie Malboeuf
The Country

Mike White
House after a Tornado

Gretchen Primack
West windows (Cellblock E)

Gretchen Primack
East windows (Cellblock F)

Carolyn Supinka
The Way Back

Carolyn Supinka
Vernacular Home

Carolyn Supinka
Stare Hypothetical

Lee Rossi
The Other

Rebecca Macijeski
The Planets

Maria Terrone
The Classification Unit

Colleen J. McElroy
Did I Know You Back Then?

Colleen J. McElroy
Missouri Blues

Jim Daniels
Brushing Teeth with My Sister after the Wake

Jack Ridl
Within What You Endure

Heddy Reid

Melanie Reitzel
On July 25, 1966

David Danoff

Susan Boehm
In the Night

Patricia Gray

Kelly Cherry
An Eagle

Michael Brokos
The Leash

Noah Davis

Janice Lynch Schuster
What Love Was Like

Terence Winch

Terence Winch
The Chateau Thierry

Emily Mohn-Slate
To the Question, “What Happened?”

Lisa C. Krueger
Breathing Room

Andrew Payton
On the Court

Elizabeth Rees
Fishwife’s Rue

Rachel Morgan
Promise V. Compromise

Matt Terhune

Matt Terhune
We Grew Up

Sally Ashton
“you know there was never a name for that color”

Sally Ashton
In Ithaca

Sally Ashton
I think of Eugene

Mark Belair

Tom Wayman

Arthur Sze


A Portfolio from Letras Latinas (PINTURA : PALABRA)

Introduction by Francisco Aragón

Elizabeth Acevedo

Yvette Neisser Moreno
Portrait with Leaves

John Chávez
At Daylight: Oak w/ Half-Dead Forest

Emma Trelles
from Decoy Gang War Victim

Carmen Calatayud
Gaslight Hair

Carlos Parada Ayala
Night Magic in Seven Fragments

Dan Vera
Constellation by María Magdalena Campos-Pons

Maritza Rivera
La Playa Negra (Tar Beach I)

Samuel Miranda
This Ain’t Mambo

Juan J. Morales


World Poets in Translation

Rira Abbasi (Iran) Introduction by Maryam Ala Amjadi
Repetitive Sunset
Lost in Wheat
Tehran V
Empty from the Beauty Salon–Tehran
I, The Reproduction
Valentine/The White Sheep
The Democracy of Sparrows



Lesley Wheeler “Verse and the Multiverse”



Sandra M. Gilbert “Mirrors of Mortality”
Swimming in the Rain by Chana Bloch
A Stranger’s Mirror: New and Selected Poems by Marilyn Hacker

Mary-Sherman Willis “The First Time is the Charm”
Only Blue Bodies by Rosalynde Vas Dias
Hemming the Water by Yona Harvey
Bridge by Robert Thomas

Roxanne Halpine Ward “Spinning Peril into Joy”
Axis Mundi by Karen Holmberg

Amy Tercek “A Celebration of Storytelling: Five New Collections by Poet Lore Authors”
Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes by Kerrin McCadden
The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards by Rachel Mennies
Ghost Gear by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum
The Happiness Theory by Brad Johnson
Have at You Now! by John Gery

Index: Volume 109, 1-4