The Poetry Project

Letter from the Reviews Editor



In our previous newsletter, we published an array of review “correspondences” between poets; here, we want to listen to the echo of such letters in order to pay closer attention to the spaces within which they fall. Buildings, plans, skylines, scroll-manuscripts, backseats, and record players all have a role to play within these pages. The reviews in this issue of The Poetry Project Newsletter begin by contemplating Mount Carmel & The Blood of Parnassus, a new work by Anaïs Duplan. Duplan’s strange and powerful poetry and prose sets the stage for several encounters between performance, survival, music, dogs, and improvised writing.

Luckily, Duplan isn’t alone in thinking and feeling through such entanglements, and the corners provided in the Newsletter allows us to consider how three other poets are also following practices which allow for insights into refiguring space. Saretta Morgan’s spare and elegiac Room for a Counter Interior settles into a meditative arena which is both deeply thoughtful and improvisatory, where we see how thinking itself demands and depends upon extemporaneous movements. The building-space is rewired in time throughout the selected poems of Marilyn Buck, published under the title Inside/Out, the majority of which was written during Buck’s time as a political prisoner in the United States. Finally, Jason Merritt clues us into hearing through an Alice Notley record (!), where the performance site of Seattle crawls into our stereos, a series of Notley’s
poems and questions+answers crowding our attention. All of these poets practice different models for everyday arrangements and alternate architectures. They keenly contemplate templates of sway and timbre, rise and fall of ground, modes of live writing. One might be tempted to call all of this geographic poetry or geographic writing: it might also be dubbed earth listening. We have to listen and heed how space itself hears. If you would like to send a review for a future issue, please query:

John Rufo

John Rufo’s materials have been published, or are forthcoming, on Poets [dot] org, Ploughshares,The Capilano Review, The Offing, the Journal Petra, Tagvverk, Dreginald, and elsewhere. More information and contact:

#254 February / March 2018