The Metalyrical Moment

Three recent poetry collections have cemented the rise of what we might call the “metalyrical”: poetry that interrogates the conditions of its own expression.

Helen of West Hollywood

It hardly seems necessary to offer a spoiler alert for news that is well over two millennia old. But some news is so surprising, so contrary to everything we thought we knew, that time can do little ...

The Lyric Me, Too

“The” is a suspect word. It’s small and ubiquitous, but there’s something presumptuous about it. It aggrandizes and abstracts. Unlike “this” and “that,” which also indicate specificity (“this word,” ...

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 ...