These Few Seeds by Meghan SterlingTerrapin Books, 2021. “Maybe in death we become a collage / of what we have most longed for— / finally you are roots, seeds, earth…” This line from “Memorial at a Japanese Lilac” in Meghan Sterling’s poetry collection, These Few...
That Was Now, This Is Then Vijay Sheshadri Graywolf, 2020. “We are obsessed with ourselves,” wrote theoretical physicist, Carlo Rovelli in his book,...
As editor of Green Mountains Review, I would like to extend deep gratitude to Vijay Seshadri for speaking with us about his new book This Was Now, That Was Then (Graywolf, 2020). Seshadri won the Pulitzer Prize for his collection 3 Sections in 2014. Currently, he is Poetry Editor at The Paris Review and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. He is also the editor of The Essential T.S. Eliot.
— E. Powell, May 13, 2021
The experience of reading Mark Wunderlich’s fourth poetry book, God of Nothingness, mirrors the page-turning necessity and immediacy of a can’t-put-it-down novel: We must learn what happens next.
Spring brings wind and water to the ruined gardens
of Pannonia, fruit tree boughs toss across
gravel orchard paths as if wildly
“I search Craiglist for sadness: a white couch the only result.” begins “Weeks After My Brother Overdoses,” the final poem in Kerrin McCadden’s chapbook, Keep This to Yourself (Button Poetry 2020). McCadden’s latest collection is a strikingly blunt yet beautifully lyrical meditation on what it means to lose a loved one to America’s current opioid crisis.
Turn It Up! Music in Poetry from Jazz to Hip-Hop, edited by Stephen Cramer, is a vibrant and hip anthology of 400 pages, including poems by everyone from Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, and Rita Dove to Yusef Komunyakaa, Kim Addonizio, Kevin Young, and Danez Smith. The book contains 88 poets in all (the number of keys on a piano), and is split up into three sections: poems about jazz, poems about blues and rock, and poems about hip-hop.
To read Bodega by Su Hwang is to immerse oneself in a world, but to read this debut poetry collection in tandem with Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong is to deepen one’s understanding of what it means to be raised in the United States as a Korean daughter of immigrants. Both offer prismatic sides of living in a racialized nation where “Asian American” is a box to check off on official census documents, and another way to categorize human experience.
My mother was a beautiful bird who fluttered around people in a state of constant agitation. Terrified of being trapped, she was always opening windows, even in the middle of January, and rushing out of doors “to catch a breath of fresh air.” Once outside, she would disappear in an instant, only to return hours later, the wind and leaves and twigs in her hair.
To read a Bridget Lowe poem is to observe a gradual transformation, a transmutation of the ordinary into progressively more extraordinary metaphysical states. Anyone who read Lowe’s first book At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky will be excited to see, in her new collection My Second Work, a return of the same immense imagination, which she utilizes with surgical precision to prod at what makes us human.
Anna is pregnant again, and with a girl. I can feel my daughter through Anna’s skin—the future pressing into the present—squirms and kicks that protrude across her distended belly. It feels like last time, she tells me. Similar sensations.
Lime Green “Picnic Set”...