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The American Poetry Review - Jan/Feb 2004

  • Issue Number: Volume 33 Number 1
  • Published Date: January/February 2004
Another disarming newsprint journal (as in: Aha! You may look as if you are reading a perfectly respectable newspaper, but instead you are subversively reading poetry without being ostentatious about it), the quality of the paper belies what lies within. The prose here is always fascinating, featuring interviews with well-known poets (in this case, Christopher Merrill) and critical essays. The poetry contributions usually lean heavily towards translations and prose poems, and this issue is no exception, with a series of poems by Jean Cocteau translated by Charles Guenther, four poems by Constantine Cavafy translated from the Greek by Aliki Barnstone, and some very witty prose poems by Jeffrey Skinner. The inside-joke humor of “Day One,” simultaneously complaining about the egotism of writers who write a poem a day and actually writing a poem about writing a poem a day, is contagious. His two poems exploring theories in physics, “Many Worlds” and “White Dwarf,” juxtapose mundane and extraordinary details effectively. The rest of the poetry, including works by the likes of Tony Hoagland, Chard DeNiord, Robert Bly and Toi Derricotte, is strong and engaging, all worthy of excerpting here if there were only space. Suffice it to say that fans of both poetry and poetics will be satisfied with this issue. []
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Review Posted on January 08, 2004

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