I. “Art is not the class I was born into.” “On Poverty” by Alison Stine in Kenyon Review felt so familiar, for so many reasons.  An important piece that should be shared far and wide.

II. “As if I can’t understand
my body is more than surreptitious pact

between nerve
and the crime it loves,”

“Lycanthropy” by Tommye Blount in the current Four Way Review is terrifying and haunting and so well-written it makes me jealous.  

III. Speaking of haunting, here are some abandoned buildings (by Christian Richter).

IV. Why bacteria can’t get any bigger – or smaller?  So interesting.

V. “The possibilities offered by arts-based research practice are no doubt liberating for some, but prohibitively risky for others.” Julie Platt examines arts-based research over at Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies.

VI. “The Argonauts documents the pleasures of a life “ablaze with care”, but is also streaked with darker colours – experiences without which, as Nelson says, happiness would not be so “visible and real.”” A piece on Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts is in The Guardian and worth reading, but really, just go read The Argonauts. And then again. (Bonus: You can watch a conversation between Maggie Nelson and Wayne Koestenbaum at The New York Public Library here.)

VII. Love and Other Ways of Dying by Michael Paterniti is worth your time.  It will expand your world, your view, your imagination, your outlook on others, your own writing and reading.  

VIII.  “Tell me the story of salt: on your shoulder,
chest, and chin. Tell me how that first week
we seemed to know our pasts by heart,

where we’d been and where we planned to go.”

Derrick Austin’s poem “Persian Blue” in Four Way Review balances tension so well and tells so many stories through intense imagery that I had to order his book.  (You should too, here.)

IX. “We wanted too much

and everything we wanted we thought
we could have.”

Returning again to “Responsibility” by Craig Morgan Teicher in Guernica.

X. Scottish poet Robert Montgomery is spreading poetry in big ways. (Featured above.)

XI. Read Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds.  No, for real. (It’s sold out at Copper Canyon, but you should get on that second printing train!)

XII. “The reader is a part of this ambiguity. And the act of navigating that space holds political importance, he said.”  Ocean Vuong on why reading poetry is political over at PBS. And to tide you over until your copy of Vuong’s book arrives, another article on his book and poetry, this one in The New Yorker

XIII. Make sure you get Michael Schmeltzer’s first full-length collection Blood Song. It sings like pain and pulses like a vein under the pressure of your finger.

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