Volume 113, Number 1/2

Volume 113, Number 1/2



We talked between the rooms

Until the moss had reached our lips.

 —Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

FRONT COVER: Old abandoned room. Photography by Brian Mundy.

Editors’ Page

Like a dream—or a poem—the image on our cover unsettles the distinction between inside and out. The framework of an interior space (doorways, shutters, walls) is called into question by surrealist intrusions: a rowboat in shallows, clouds roiling overhead. What’s a room without a ceiling or a solid floor?

In the pages that follow, you’ll find work that subverts expectations in much the same way—blurring boundaries between memory and perception, the self and the world. Shannon Spies, whose first published poem appears in this issue, turns feeling inside out, marking love’s failure with a stick-figure sketch; Barbara Crooker steps from a storefront in a Hopper painting out onto the streets of her own childhood; Andrew Hemmert passes collapsed carnival rides stalled along a highway and finds himself revisiting a long-ago fair; Jay Leeming travels from magical realism to the familiar magic of a maternity ward in his long meditation on birth and naming. Tacking from realm to realm seems as natural to these poets as shaping lines into stanzas.

Also in this issue, Tony Hoagland explores the evolving achievement of poet Henri Cole, and Sandra M. Gilbert offers an intimate review of Chana Bloch’s last book. In keeping with Poet Lore’s historical interest in world literature, our World Poets in Translation portfolio showcases the late Ilja Kostovski, whose provocative tirades cross cultures and dictions. Born to Macedonian Slavs in northern Greece, educated in Czechoslovakia, and for years a professor here in the US, he embraced the Old World and the New—belonging wholly to neither and strangely to both.

Where does inside end and outside start? In “Reading Basho,” Billy Reynolds conjures a domestic tableau, as a father and daughter speak at twilight in their yard. Maybe shelter’s less a matter of what we keep out than of what we keep close:

We stretch our legs and let the moon in with our small talk.

There is nothing between us but frogs croaking.

Here is our fireplace. Here is our large room.




Charles Grosel The Threads of Happiness

Jana-Lee Germaine Daughter

Brian Simoneau Lines Written in Early Spring

Donna Vorreyer Variations on Leaving

Corinna McClanahan Schroeder A Brief History of the Train

Meredith Hamilton Last Night

William Doreski Angles / Angels

Doug Ramspeck Empire of Mud

Shannon Spies Incommunicado

Carrie Addington Previous Theories of the Heart

Carrie Addington Waist Training

Erin Robertson The War to End Nothing

Taylor Collier Marital Art

Carrie Shipers hat are days for?

Carrie Shipers Death Is Not an Emergency

Laura Van Prooyen Postcard from Texas

Laura Van Prooyen She Inherits His Steady Hand

Kirsten Porter Disappearing

Aaron Caycedo-Kimura Detainment

Mark Belair Caught in Breezes

Andrew Hemmert Boxcars

Andrew Hemmert Carnival Rides

Michael Montlack My Father’s Workshop

Young Smith The White Truck

Chip Livingston The Magicians’ Twins

Robert Fillman A Creation Story

Samn Stockwell The Fifth Winter of My Grandmother

Gavin Gao Skein Song

BD Feil Boy and a Button

Billy Reynolds Reading Basho

Julie Danho The Night Before Kindergarten

Anna Leahy Blue Shift

Kathy Engel Since we’re talking about love

Anastasia Stelse The Radium Girls

Allen Stein Late-Night Radio

Richard Jones Attics

Richard Jones Wild Night Sonnet

Richard Jones Freud’s Glasses

Robert Eastwood Berggasse 19, Vienna

Barbara Crooker Drug Store, 1927

Peggy R. Ellsberg The Five and Ten

Gavin Gao
To the man on the bus who told me
to go back to where I came from

Ed Ochester
Ways in Which Donald J. Trump
Is Not Like Benito Mussolini

Ed Ochester “Big Jew

Michael Marberry The Movietone

Judith Barrington Blame the Moon

Gregory Orfalea Poem for the Unspeakable

Kelly Michels Photograph of My Mother

Kelly Michels Elegy

Kerry James Evans Coal

Gary Fincke The House Paradise

Gary Fincke Four Tractors

Sonja James Semiology in Appalachia

Kurt Olsson Saved

Rod Jellema The Sensation of Tasting Scotch

Sara Burnett Throw Roses at Me

Sara Burnett American Robin

Jay Leeming Mother Night

Ben Jasnow Incantation

World Poets in Translation

Ilja Kostovski (Macedonia)

Introduction by Roman Kostovski

Talks with God

Sermon at the Washington Monument


Tony Hoagland, “Beyond Claustrophobia: The Poems of Henri Cole”


Sandra M. Gilbert, “Looking at the Sun When the Moon is Almost Full”

                     The Moon Is Almost Full by Chana Bloch

Lee Rossi , “Left Coast Experiments: Recent Books from Omnidawn”
                      by Rebecca Gaydos
                   the field
                     by Robert Andrew Perez
                 Our Animal
                    by Meredith Stricker

Debra Wierenga, “Getting the News from Poems”
                              Mortal Trash
                                 by Kim Addonizio
                             Where Now: New and Selected Poems
                                 by Laura Kasischke
                             System of Ghosts
                                 by Lindsay Tigue

Recent & Forthcoming Books by Poet Lore poets