Resistance without Rhetoric

There’s a common belief that moments of public agony are good for poetry. Political turmoil, so this wishful thinking goes, galvanizes an otherwise private art and ...

What If Keats Had Lived?

What if John Keats—the brilliant Romantic poet, whose revolutionary lyrics blended classical myth and sensuous imagery—hadn’t died at age 25? The Warm South, a new novel by Paul Kerschen, reimagines ...

Atlantic Got Your Tongue

Safia Elhillo’s poetry comes to us exactly when we need it, in the era of the travel ban and the border wall. The richness of feeling and formal inventiveness of her work open up an alternative ...

Poetry in Times of Crisis

Even on a college campus, you rarely spot a poem out in the open. When you do, it’s often a sign that something terrible has happened. In the days after the 2016 presidential election, I came across ...

Boss Poet

Little has changed since Bruce Springsteen explained the origin of his song “Thunder Road” to a seething crowd at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, on September 19, 1978. “There was this ...

A Storm of Words

Imagine a world where the hottest degree was an MPA, a Masters in Poetry Administration. Where a single poem could send global financial markets into a spin, where poets were the envy of all, and ...

Reduction and Relief

In 2015, the conceptual writing movement came under fire in a very public way. Kenneth Goldsmith and Vanessa Place, two of conceptual writing’s most prominent figures, drew sharp criticism from the ...

The Postindustrial Pastoral

Adrienne Su’s accomplished new book of poems Living Quarters invites meditation on the material specificities of too-readily-typecast locales. Recalibrating the geographical and cultural tropes of ...

Drone Poems

The protests of Hong Kong’s 2014 “Umbrella Revolution” were marked in early days by the intermittent appearance of a helicopter drone flying high above the crowds, looking rather like a pizza box ...

Blue Peter: On Peter Gizzi

Brice Marden used beeswax to kill the reflective luster of his triptych color panels. Ad Reinhardt leeched the gloss out of his chromatic blacks. Jasper Johns accreted his white flags with matte ...

Wait Cursor

A girl, bundled against the cold, holds up her hand as though requesting pause or distance—freeze, stop, stay back. Perfectly centered in the space of her bright palm is a Mac loading wheel frozen in ...